You probably have a lot of misconceptions about automating anything in your restaurant. It’s all about the people, after all, and who wants to deal with automations? Surely not your callers!
However, when you’re deciding how to handle your understaffed team and influx of calls during peak times, you will also want to consider the following three facts:
Your in-person guests always expect to be served first.
Picture this: you’re standing in a long line and just when you get to the front, the phone rings and the person who was just about to help you answers the phone instead. It’s a very frustrating situation to be put in as a customer. If you’ve been waiting, you understandably expect to be helped when you get to the counter. It doesn’t seem fair that a random caller gets assistance first.
Of course, the staff was likely trained to answer the phone as quickly as possible. Missed phone calls are lost orders. Unfortunately, angry customers can become lost orders, too. If you don’t have extra staff members to handle the incoming calls, what do you do?
Most importantly, never ignore the customers standing in front of you in favor of answering the phone. There are other solutions to the phone issue, such as Reachify, that can help with your call problems without interrupting your in-person customers.
Setting up an online ordering system doesn’t automatically translate to online orders.
Even if your website or app is perfect, ordering is straightforward, and the checkout process is easy, your regulars are in the habit of calling in their orders already. It won’t even occur to them to look online to place an order. Once they’re already on the phone with you, they’re even less likely to order online.
How do you combat that?
We have found that letting people know on the phone is a good way to get them to notice your ordering system is up and running. A lot of people just don’t realize how much more convenient it is to place an order online, specify what they want and when they want it, and then have it ready and waiting for them at the appointed time. Other companies have also posted QR codes on receipts, menus, ordering counters, and restaurant windows so customers can see them and get their orders in online before waiting at the counter or drive-thru window.
Most people don’t immediately hang up when an automated answering system picks up.
Obviously, it is always preferable to have human-to-human interaction on all phone calls, but sometimes that just isn’t possible for various reasons, such as scalability, and is not always optimal for a business. Automated systems address these inevitable issues, and have been around long enough for people to be comfortable with them. The important thing is to help your callers in a helpful, quick and efficient way.
Reachify’s system is designed to help callers get exactly where they need to be as fast as possible. Whether they need help with a previous order placed with a third party delivery service, a link to online ordering, or directions to your restaurant, Reachify’s automatic texting options send those callers the right information at the right time, without ever interrupting your staff. It’s a win-win for everyone!
For more information on how Reachify can help your restaurant succeed with phone automations, contact us here.