Restaurants stand to make great gains in service to their customers by leveraging AI technology. Expanding the application of existing technologies, like chatbots, will help restaurants meet the demands of their tech-savvy clients, and help provide immediate access to services while improving margins. Here are some highlights of how AI powered chatbots are changing the restaurant industry.
What are Chatbots and How Do They Impact Restaurants?
Chatbots are computer applications powered by artificial intelligence to communicate with humans in natural language. They are designed to mimic natural human conversation via an online chat interface, SMS, and/or voice chat.
Customers have embracing the modern age in all facets of life, but particularly when it comes to ordering goods and services online, such as food. Aiding in this are artificial intelligence -powered chatbots, which allows users to place the order from their device with the help of a chatbot. AI integrated chatbots can help business in many ways.
Close to 60 percent of US adults use voice assistants and the global voice technologies market projected to $184.9 billion by 2021, voice evolved as the key business area to watch. With the AI ability extended from text processing to speech, chatbots are no longer just a chat window on a website or a mobile app. AI-powered speech processing systems like IBM’s Watson, Apple’s Siri, Google’s Google Home, VERA and Amazon’s Alexa, have changed the applicability of AI concepts from scientific applications to the daily lives of everyday people. Speech-based chatbots for customer service are expected to make up large parts of a company’s marketing strategy in the future.
The trend of chatbot service has already started. Industry giants like Pizza Hut, KFC, Dominos, Starbucks and McDonald’s have already adopted AI-driven bots.
How Chatbots Reach New Clients
Chatbots generate personalized experience and redefines the way customers are serviced. Customers interact with a chatbot at their convenience, either by speech or text. Chatbots powered by speech processing technology enables customers to speak with the chatbot naturally.
Voice chatbotss like Google Home and Alexa empower customers with tailored voice experiences. These humanoid chatbots deliver instant and effective solutions, thus resulting in greater customer experience. The data collected by chatbots help businesses study trends and deliver what customers expect through features like custom content and push notifications.
Restaurants can even integrate chatbots with social media messengers to reach their clients where they live (on social media).
Wingstop's bot service built into both Facebook and Twitter account for 16.9 percent of total sales and are growing rapidly."
Social Media chatbots are a huge success. Unlike human agents, chatbots can handle many customer interactions at a time, eliminating wait times. Chatbots enable customers to book a table or order food at their convenience.
Marketing 101: Show Up Where Your Customers Live
Customer engagement, retention and satisfaction are key for any service industry. The most common challenge of a restaurant owner is "If we provide delicious food, why is it hard to retain customers?” The distinguishing factor is the customer experience.
65% of consumers surveyed said they’ve cut ties with a brand over a single poor customer service experience."
One poor experience can lead to a lost relationship with the customer. A chatbot gives your customers 24/7 access to your brand, minimizing frustration and potentially saving a lost customer.
Chatbots help deal with the challenges faced by restaurants with analytics, as well. Chatbots gather and organize sales and customer behavior data, then strategize their marketing efforts based on location and customer interests. This helps management deliver personalized marketing plans, push notifications (about loyalty programs or new items) and personalized dining experiences. This instills a feeling of community with the customers, which ultimately helps retain customers and increase satisfaction.
Affordable Chatbot Technology
Chatbots offer 24/7 customer service, a much cheaper alternative to hiring 24/7 human support. In this way, a chatbot saves effort, time and money. The ability to have chatbot integration within social media messengers makes bots cost effective for even a small businesses. It is a one-time investment, rather than hiring a staff or agency. According to a Business Insider report, chatbots can save businesses up to 30 percent more, as compared to traditional customer service solutions.
How Restaurants Can Benefit From the Evolution of Technology
While chatbots offer many benefits, the most significant of them are listed below:
- Book tables, even before the customer has reached the restaurant
- Place a carry out or delivery order
- Track the status of orders
- Serve customers 24/7
- Personalized marketing
- Provide customer analytics
- Minimizes customer service cost
- Integrate to social media to reach new audiences
- Increases brand engagement
A business’s success lies in delighting customers. So, delight your customers by integrating AI-powered chatbots into your business strategy to deliver the best customer experiences.