21. February 2012
No matter what type of restaurant you have, chances are that more than half of your customers have searched for your restaurant online. In this digital age, your online presents effects your business in a huge way. The question is what can you do to make sure the people who are finding your business online are actually walking through your door? Here are 4 ways you can convert online traffic to offline customers.
1) Include “A Call To Action” On Your Website
Customers may be looking for your website to find out information. But simply offering information doesn’t prompt them to act on it. A call to action is simply something that causes a consumer to act. You may have a downloadable coupon or “Like us on Facebook to receive special offers”. If you offer takeout, it could be something as simple as an “Order Now” button with your phone number. You need to have something that causes a customer to act on the information that they have received.
2) Make Sure Online Business Listings Are Claimed and Complete
Some potential customers may be looking for your restaurant while most are just looking for any restaurant. Many sites such as Google Places, Yelp, and Citysearch offer free online business listings. Most sites such as these offer the option to “claim” your business. They will verify that you are the owner or employee of the restaurant and then allow you to make changes to that business listing. Making sure your online business listings are claimed by you and have complete information is an important part of drawing in customers. Add photos and descriptions to your listings that will appeal to potential customers.
3) Test Online Offers
While you may not have a huge list of customer contacts, Groupon, Living Social, and Foursquare will. Test out different offers on these sites. They can be a great way to get new customers through the door. However, make sure you monitor these offers carefully. While they can create a lot of customer traffic, they can also be very costly.
4) Encourage Your Existing Customers To Leave Feedback
A huge part of what people look at when evaluating a restaurant is customer reviews. Unfortunately, many times people that have had a negative experience are the ones that leave reviews online. So how can you get your customers to share their positive experiences? You can start by printing something on the bottom of your receipt along the lines of “Please Review Us Online!” but that alone will not do it. Here is where you need to get your staff involved. If a customer is going to take the time to set up an account and review your restaurant online they need to know you really care. Have your staff point this out to a loyal customer. Explain how much it helps your business and advertising cost and that it will only take a few minutes of their time. Make the invitation personal.
Remember that when it comes to engaging your customers online or offline your imagination is the limit. Be creative. You know your business better than anyone else. So ask yourself; what ways would be most effective to convert your online traffic into loyal customers?