If you indulge in a bit of fast food now and then, you might have noticed your local McDonalds being less crowded but not due to lack of popularity or some other mysterious reason. It is quite simple – they’ve introduced a new piece of technology that is making the restaurants function more efficiently. In return, there are fewer crowds but a rise in the profit. How is this possible? Well, it’s all thanks to introducing a self-service system that is increased customer satisfaction.
With that in mind, let’s see what exactly makes self-service so grand from a customer’s perspective.
1. Less opportunity for error
Has it ever happened to you that you order one thing at a restaurant or a café and get something completely different? Waiters often have to take orders when it’s crowded, the music is blasting and that means they might misinterpret what you said. Also, they could be just having a bad day and have difficulty concentrating.
Whatever the reason for taking down a wrong order, and regardless of whether customers verbalize their dissatisfaction, this type of experience is something that damages the reputation of a particular place. This is why self-service is a good idea – customers get to choose items from the menu on their own which means that the chances for an error are decreased. A customer can make a mistake while ordering but the order can be easily tracked and checked so that the restaurant doesn’t bear consequences.
2. Customer get served faster
Besides a mistake in the order, the second thing that customers most often complain about is the waiting time. Some processes just can’t be hurried, especially when it comes to making coffee or preparing a meal, but a lot of time is lost also on things that are not a primary part of the business. This includes having only one or two waiters in a crowded place and by the time they finish taking the orders and charging for meals, your food ends up cold.
While for great food and cocktails you would need more than technology to improve them, automating the ordering process can speed it up significantly. Customers can use self-service kiosks to order and pay for their food and drinks as soon as they walk in, without having to wait. All that remains is for the order to arrive so they can enjoy it.
The feeling of being in charge
Thanks to the advancement of technology, we have access to a lot more data than we used to and we are able to research almost anything online. This access to information made us understand our surroundings better and consequently increased our desire to constantly monitor certain things, such as real-time weather forecasts, menstrual cycles, our calorie intake, etc.
It’s the same with choosing a restaurant and also ordering – people like to compile all the available data from the menu, count the calories, the time something needs to be prepared, the level of their hunger, the amount of money they have and only then will they make a decision. They have the most important data listed there, the rest they need to check with themselves and knowing all these factors is important to most customers and that’s what makes their experiences satisfactory.
Creating a personalized experience
No matter how skillful or well-mannered the waiter is, you just can’t please every customer. Some are in a hurry and want the order to be taken briskly without any additional questions. Others have more time on their hands and enjoy chit-chatting about the menu or the weather. Self-service eliminates this need for a waiter to constantly evaluate how to approach to whom: those that like weight their options and taking their time ordering can do so, while others can skip steps they deem unnecessary.
Also, most people enjoy trying out new things so by offering them to order via a self-service kiosk, for example, it is like you are giving them a new toy to play around. In case some older generations have trouble grasping the system, there will always be somebody younger to help them out or somebody from your staff and they will soon realize how simple and effective this personalized approach is.
If your customers’ experience is not motivation enough for you to consider a self-service system, perhaps the decrease in costs due to fewer ordering mistakes and additional staff can help with changing your mind. If both of these reasons fail to convince you, then the increase in sales will definitely persuade you to embrace this new approach to service and all the benefits that come with it.