Portions of this article originally appeared in Authority Magazine, published 6/17/22.
Written by Jon Squire, CEO & Co-Founder of CardFree.
Offering a fantastic digital customer experience has become a must for restaurant, hospitality, and retail businesses. To compete with 3rd party delivery or aggregator sites, operators need to provide a unique brand experience that will keep customers coming back. CardFree CEO and co-founder, Jon Squire breaks down the 5 most important aspects of a digital customer experience that will drive repeat business.
People are busier than ever and adding to the clicks, calls, stops, payments, etc. they have to do in a given day will only get you dropped from their go-to list. Dunkin’s brand is built around ‘Runnin on Dunkin’ so embracing the natural speed that comes with ordering ahead and skipping the line was a no-brainer for both the brand and the customer. People don’t go to Dunkin’ to lounge and read the paper, they go to get their fuel for the morning and work. Embracing tech that made that easier was a win-win.
Similarly, adding friction to any part of a customer’s day is never a good idea. When Starbuck’s broke the mold and launched mobile payments, they were hell bent on not slowing the line and not making the customer do more than they would do in a physical card world. A defining moment was when people realized they could reload their gift card standing in line — before they got to the counter — and not be that person who pulls out a checkbook at the grocery store accompanied by groans. Reducing friction increased line speed and drove more sales.
A lot of the brands we work with are successful because they have unique identities and realize that combining that identity with tailored technology can be a win. Tree House Brewing drove massive adoption of mobile ordering by leveraging great training and greeting folks personally by their vehicles during COVID to walk them through the new contactless journey.
The last thing you want to do is crush it with a new product only to realize you can’t support the sales and demand. In our early days one of our partners had a novel idea of giving away a free product for bases stolen in the playoffs — this was a first ever on a national level. They also warned us a few days prior that this would be fulfilled via our mobile platform…. luckily, we’d built a network that was focused on the largest of scale (not to say we didn’t melt a few server farms during). Partner with folks who can help you scale, and sleep at night.
Partner with folks that will make your data work for you vs. them using it for their own goals. Your data drives and informs loyalty, repeat business and things like smart pairings. A lot of our partners will look at daypart trends, food preferences, and factors like weather to deploy informed marketing strategies — driving both new sales and larger baskets.