Winning at Customer Experience

Basic customer service isn’t optional for a successful business, but companies—including restaurants—that take it to the next level of planning and creating a great customer experience enjoy greater revenue and profit than competitors that don’t.

The reason such businesses are winning at customer experience (CX) is because they understand that it doesn’t happen by accident. It requires a plan, research, execution, and continual evaluation.

With this process (called by the Aberdeen Group the Customer Experience Value Chain) in place, a restaurant has the tools in hand to be intentional about customer experience. While the goal is to surprise and delight patrons—which may sound like the effort is spontaneous and unplanned—it takes a lot of planning and intentionality to accomplish it consistently.

What Is Your Restaurant’s Customer Experience Value Chain?

The CX Value Chain doesn’t define a singular experience that will work for every organization. But it does provide direction in determining the customer experience that will resonate with your patrons. As you understand your customers and what they value about (and within) your business, you’re on your way to defining the customer experience that will deliver—and making it happen.

Understanding the Customer Experience Value Chain

As outlined by the Aberdeen Group, the CX Value Chain consists of 4 building blocks and 4 support activities:

Core Activities

  1. “Know Your Customers”: understand the wants and needs of your patrons
  2. “Develop Experience Strategies”: plan the customer experience that will delight patrons and is consistent with your restaurant brand
  3. “Bring Your Experience Strategies to Life”: design and implement the customer experience that will accomplish your goals—and what the patrons are looking for
  4. “Monitor Your Success”: review the results and make changes to continually improve

Support Activities

  1. “Customer Data”: gathering patron data and centralizing it across your organization gives you quick access and a fuller picture of who your customers are and what they desire
  2. “Technologies”: robust interconnected technology enables you to deliver on your customers’ desires efficiently and with deeper insight
  3. “Processes”: similar to the benefits of technology, processes speaks to how your restaurant functions with regard to policies and procedures
  4. “People (Culture)”: your staff has a huge impact on customer experience, so the culture among your employees—and how they interact with patrons—must be customer-centric

How patrons feel after dining at your restaurant has a huge impact on your bottom line. And in many ways, improvements you make to your business aim for improving customer experience because it is so core to your revenue.

Intentionally understanding, planning, implementing, and reviewing CX is where you will see the most improvement. It won’t happen by accident, and it will take focused effort, but it will transform your business.

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