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Updated by Dawn Gribble on Aug 31, 2018
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Dawn Gribble Dawn Gribble
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5 Important F&B Customer Experience Trends You Need to Know

Customer Experience (CX) continues to be one of the deciding factors for customers when choosing who they will spend their time, effort and money with.

For businesses in the Food & Beverage (F&B) Industry, where competition is fierce and new innovations are frequent, keeping your customers happy, aware of your brand, recommending you to others – and returning themselves, is crucial for success.

Here are 5 F&B Trends You Need to Know

1

Offering a Personalised Interaction with Your Customers

Offering a Personalised Interaction with Your Customers

Your audience want to feel as if you are listening to them, understand them, are responding to their expectations – and evolving to cater to their needs. Advertising and marketing no longer has the same impact when conducted through traditional channels, and a one-size fits all approach is rarely appropriate.

79% of organisations that exceeded revenue goals have a documented personalisation strategy. (Monetate, 2017)

Customers want to be enlightened, educated and entertained – by speaking directly to them on a personal one-to-one basis and offering them content, promotions and offers that aligns with their values, individual requirements – be it dietary, ethical, accessibility or something else, and purchasing decisions – your brand is more likely to be relevant, remembered and recommended.

2

Creating an Emotional Connection between Your Customers and Your Business

Creating an Emotional Connection between Your Customers and Your Business

With recommendations and researchable content available at their fingertips, consumers are empowered to make their decisions – but venues that don’t appeal and directly engage with the consumer are less likely to be seen, remembered and engaged with.

By creating an emotional connection with your audience, you build a rapport that generates trust and familiarity. Customers are more likely to return to and recommend venues that have made them feel an emotional connection.

Whether you’re operating a loyalty program, or offering an exceptional customer experience – it is vital that an emotional and empathic connection is nurtured, with the needs of your audience is catered to.

With so much choice available in the F&B Industry, your brand needs to stand apart from the competition – your business may not be a person, but it needs to have its own voice and personality, and these need to align with your customers’ expectations and interests.

By operating a CX strategy that is consistent and caring, your audience will feel more connected, be more forgiving of issues or mistakes, and be more inclined to not only trust you – but look to your brand first as an established leader in the market.

3

Promoting Closer Alignment of Brand Values and Promises

Promoting Closer Alignment of Brand Values and Promises

Consumers want to engage with businesses that deliver on their promises and operate on the moral and ethical standards their brand promotes. They don’t want to find a disconnect between what your brand says and what it actually does.

If your brand is championing a cause or aligning its values with a belief – then everything you do and create, from social media posts to menus, should reflect this.

In this digital age, it is extremely easy to find out which brands are lying or misleading their customers – and the fallout can be long-lasting and expensive to fix, if it’s even possible to fix in the first place.

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” – Warren Buffett, Chairman & CEO Berkshire Hathaway

4

Making Strategic Use of Feedback and Metrics

Making Strategic Use of Feedback and Metrics

Understanding your customers wants and needs is important for any F&B venue – you need to know what new trends will affect your menu, preparation and serving styles and customer satisfaction.

By using metrics and collating data directly from the customers, you put yourself in a position to know everything you could ever want to know about the people who frequent your establishment. But collecting data for the sake of data isn’t helping anyone – if you don’t have a system in place to sort and analyse the information, and apply it to the relevant parts of your business – then all you are doing is wasting time, effort and money.

It’s important to have a strategy in place before you begin collecting data – look at your business goals, and what you want to achieve with your advertising, marketing, and social media strategies.

Once you have decided the areas you need to focus on, you can decide which streams of data to collect, analyse and apply.

5

Conduct Pre-emptive Problem Solving

Conduct Pre-emptive Problem Solving

Taking a pro-active approach to problem-solving means your business is better positioned to limit crises and issues that could negatively impact your brand. Social Listening and monitoring can allow you to detect issues and resolve them quickly and efficiently.

By having clear strategies and clear lines of communication, staff are able to escalate any potential problems quickly, which can lead to problems being avoided before they happen. Reviewing the position of your brand in the market, and evaluating consumer sentiment will help you gain a clear indication of how you are performing.

Comparing this information to your strategies and goals, will help you identify which areas are performing well, which could do better – and any that need immediate attention. This allows your business to be flexible and identify hot-spots before they can be pointed out by an unhappy customer and shared with the world.