5 Ways to Get Your Customers to Market for You

5 Ways to Get Your Customers to Market for You

Word of mouth marketing is cost effective and builds trust.

Word of mouth marketing is one of the most effective types of marketing for your restaurant, and it usually costs you very little and is oftentimes free.

For many people, the opinion of a friend, family member or co-worker means more than any actual advertising you might do.

Humans are social creatures, and they want to talk to others. You want to encourage them to talk about your restaurant.

What’s more, people are influenced by one another, so the more you can get your customers talking about you the better.

According to a Harris Poll, more than 80% of Americans turn to their personal networks for recommendations.

It benefits your restaurant to take care of your diners by providing not only excellent food but exceptional service.

What’s more, people are influenced by one another, so the more you can get your customers talking about you the better.

Consumers talk about the brands they like (or don’t like) about 90 times on average a week. You want to make sure they’re talking positively about your restaurant.

In this article, we look at five ways to get your customers to market for you and spread the good news about your restaurant.

#1: Amaze Your Customers on a Regular Basis

The best way to get your customers to market for you is to consistently wow and amaze them.

Standing out in the restaurant industry takes some good planning and training. It starts with good food and continues with the best customer service in town. (tweet this)

You want to aim to provide the most incredible experience from the moment your guests arrive in your parking lot. Surprise them by going above and beyond every minute they’re in your care.

Be sure and get to know your customers. Recognize repeat diners. Thank them for visiting your restaurant.

You also want to over train your staff in the art of customer service because for many people it’s more important than the food.

#2: Offer Your Customers Incentives

Another way to encourage your customers to market for you is through your loyalty program.

After all, loyal customers make great brand ambassadors.

You’ll find various types of incentives. For example, you might begin a referral program that rewards customers with a small discount such as a free appetizer.

You can also offer a traditional loyalty program where your customers benefit the more times they visit your restaurant.

This is a win-win for both of you. The customer earns food, and you get the chance to wow your customers over and over again.

customers

Encourage and pamper your loyal customers.

#3: Be Helpful to Your Customers

Another important aspect to getting your customers to market for you is by providing them something of substance.

When we’re talking about this, we’re not just talking about inside your restaurant but in the digital realm as well.

Offer your social media followers’ content that is valuable, relevant and provides them something they need.

For example, before publishing anything on Instagram or Facebook, ask yourself how your content will help your customers.

Know how your content relates to their lives or don’t post it. For example, you know everyone wants to know the trick to your light as air bread loaf you serve before the meal. Consider sharing your insider tip on how to make bread that is light and fluffy.

You want your restaurant to appear in the digital realm as a place of good food, great service and expert cooking staff.

Basically, whatever you share digitally, make sure it’s the most relatable, likeable post possible.

As an added tip, check out your competition. See what they’re doing on social media that seems to be working and do it better.

#4: Engage Your Customers

This is a two-pronged approach.

First, engage your customers in your restaurant. Encourage your waitstaff to get to know their diners. This doesn’t have to be on a best friend basis, but perhaps it’s enough to recognize Bill Smith when he sits down in their section and remember that his favorite drink is a Shirley Temple.

Second, engage your customers online.

Diners who are engaged with you online are more likely to be your brand advocates. (tweet this)

You can also send emails to your customers to engage with them on a regular basis. Provide them with tips and video tutorials, offer specials, and introduce new menu items.

The more you engage with your customers on a regular basis, the more you’ll strengthen your relationship with them and encourage them to tell everyone they know about your restaurant.

Use frequent communication through email and social media, and you’ll keep your restaurant top of mind.

#5: Make It Easy for Your Customers

Above all, you want to make it easy for your customers to advocate for your restaurant.

It doesn’t matter how thrilled your customers are about your restaurant, they might need a gentle nudge in the right direction.

So, if you’re after Google reviews or social media reviews, you have to ask. Send them an email. Or, if you offer table payments, encourage the review right there.

In addition, invite them to your social media pages, ask them to sign up for your email, and encourage them an extra time.

Final Thoughts

You are sitting on a powder keg. Yes, that’s right.

Your happy customers are literally “exploding” to tell their friends and family about the great restaurant they ate at last night. They want to share about the mouthwatering meal and dessert that left them so content.

This is why your customers are your most powerful marketing force. You’ll find that no amount of paid marketing can measure up to your brand ambassadors.

The best part of all? You don’t have to pay them anything to tell everyone about your incredible restaurant. They’ll do it willingly.

What does it take on your part? It takes great food, superb service that is unforgettable, ambiance, and good will.

Take the five ways we’ve provided to get your customers to market for you and put them to work in your restaurant and watch your business row.

At Restaurant Engine, not only do we create great, responsive websites, but you can count on us to create a website that drives business to all your restaurants and edges you above the competition by using mobile-friendly design with a terrific user experience. Ready to take the plunge and create a website with an online menu, blog and beautiful photos? Get your free website consultation today!

Image: Pablo Merchán Montes and Kelsey Chance on Unsplash

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