Small business owners want to impress customers from the moment they walk into the store: the smell of freshly baked pastries, beautifully presented products, and friendly faces. But more and more, customers are experiencing that first touchpoint digitally. More than 65% of his consumers say he researches products online before going to a physical store, and 76% say he checks a business’s online presence.
Whether it’s through an online booking portal, Yelp page, or social media site, choosing the right technology is critical to ensuring these customers reach your store. But how do you find technology that feels as personalized and helpful as the first hello from a team member?
Jeremy Julian – Host Restaurant Technology Guides Vice President of Podcasts and Professional Services at Custom Business Solutions helps business owners find technology that enhances their business based on one guiding principle. The technology you employ should focus on improving the customer experience.
“Go back to the roots of ‘why did you start that brand?’ Then use technology to enhance that process and help you do it on a better scale,” he said. . “[It’s important] It’s about doing it at a pace that really works for consumers.
Below, Jeremy shares five tips for exploring new technology, from shopping to finding the best business partners.
1. Do your research before adopting new technology
Identifying existing pain points is key to using technology effectively. One way he achieves this is by becoming a customer himself and “buying” technology experience in similar businesses.
“Be a consumer of the two or three brands you know,” said Jeremy. “Business owners love to talk to other business owners, and they love to talk about their accomplishments.” This provides valuable insight into the technology you’re implementing and how your customers want to interact with it. can do.
2. Adopt the simplest solution
Technology is often the first touch point for consumers, so the solution you choose must be intuitive and reliable. Otherwise, you may lose potential customers. His 40% of consumers visit a competitor’s her website when they can’t access a company’s mobile site.
Jeremy says:[Customers aren’t] Go in and talk to the owner. They are on your website using the app and scheduling their time. And I get annoyed when they don’t have a good experience. ”
3. Start small and leave room for growth
Before you buy any technology, consider whether the system can grow with your business and integrate with other technologies you may need in the future. For example, many restaurants need a POS system that can be integrated with other platforms.
“[Your] The POS also needs to be open to other inputs into its system, such as third-party deliveries, online orders, text-to-order, text-to-pay, and all these different options. The guest experience you’re looking for,” said Jeremy.
4. Use Customer Data Carefully
“Today’s consumers continue to be young, so if you do something for data, they’ll give you data,” says Jeremy. “If you ask for it and do nothing, they will stop coming to your facility.”
For example, data from online review sites such as Yelp can be used to create more efficient and personalized marketing campaigns. Plus, it shows your customers that you value their feedback and want to improve their experience.
5. Choose the right partner for your business
When choosing a technology provider, think of us as your business partner. In other words, make sure your business values and mission are aligned. “They represent your brand. They represent your product. They represent the solution to the consumer,” he says.
Interview by Emily Waschkovic
These lessons behind the review, a weekly podcast on Yelp & Entrepreneur Media. Listen to Jeremy and Emily below, or visit her Episodes page to read more, subscribe to the show, and explore other episodes.
The above information is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your situation. References to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp unless otherwise stated.