Business and Operations
Five ways to improve customer database management
By Carmen Vogel-McCombie
By Carmen Vogel-McCombie
Nov. 19, 2013 – How are you maintaining a complete, and accurate customer database? Carmen Vogel-McCombie reveals how to maintain an effective database by making sure your team of staff stay on track.
Nov. 19, 2013 – The customer database is one of the most important tools for restaurant chains to keep up-to-date and accurate. It’s the core of your point-of-sale system, and with loyalty programs, even more important for overall customer satisfaction.
What is a typical customer worth to your business? For example, with an average ticket value of $20, a customer who orders just once a month is worth $240 per year to you. If you’re good to him, he’ll be worth at least $240 next year too. If he likes you enough to recommend you to a friend, he’ll be worth double.
One of the best ways to market to that customer, to keep him coming back, is through database marketing. And database marketing starts with accurate information in your customer database. You can’t thank a new customer or recover a lost one with a postcard offer if you don’t have the right address in your database. If you try, you’ll waste your marketing budget on undeliverable postcards.
1. Train your staff to enter complete addresses
Sloppy customer data starts with employees entering incorrect and duplicate information. Show your staff what information you need to collect and why it’s important. Make it a requirement of the job, and enforce it. Remind them to also ask each return caller if any of their contact information has changed.
2. Ask carryout and dine-in customers for their addresses
Enter full names and complete mailing address for your dine-in and pickup customers too. Use a monthly draw for a free meal or other giveaway to collect addresses easily.
3. Check your new customer report weekly
At least weekly, run a New Customer report from your POS to verify that each new address is complete and correct. If information is missing, look it up.
4. Delete customers who have not ordered in more than six months
Since redemption rates for lazy customer mailings drop sharply after 120 days, deleting old records can help keep your database from getting out of hand.
5. Import a street database for the zip codes in your trade area
When new customers call, the POS system checks the street database to auto-complete address fields with accurate information—including the correct postal code, which order takers often forget to enter.
Customer database marketing from a POS targets existing customers. It increases sales by building loyalty, frequency, and order value. Common programs are designed to encourage repeat business from new customers, increase sales to loyal customers, and recover customers who are potentially lost to the competition.
Carmen Vogel-McCombie is a marketing and trade show coordinator at
SpeedLine Solutions, Inc., and a contributing editor to On Point: The
Restaurant Technology Blog.