How to Retain Customers

by Willie Biggart

The key to retaining customers? Provide better service than your rivals.

It’s simple when you put it like that, but how can you maintain the edge in a catering market that’s subject to stiff competition?

Maximizing service

Losing customers is a hidden killer of businesses, and most state bad experiences as the reason for losing customers. There is no expense line, which says ‘Lost Customers’ but it could be amongst the biggest costs of your business.

By focusing on forward planning, having a detailed view of exactly what needs to be produced, where it needs to go and by what time, caterers can maximize their outputs and deliver the best service that they can. Ensuring the best customer experience possible provides reassurance to customers – who, easily swayed by bad service experience and lack of choice, can quickly go elsewhere. They may not complain at all - so you may only notice when they are long gone.

Typically, catering companies operate using a stream of manual channels – from hand-written notes in the kitchen, to orders taken over the phone and payment systems that, unchecked, can result in unpaid or overlooked invoices. This approach can often see things ‘lost in translation’ – leading to costly mistakes and, as a consequence, loss of customers.

A single platform solution

By employing a single platform digital ordering system, companies will be able to contain customer preferences, addresses and billing in one place – they will be able to collate production requirements and plan deliveries - minimizing the likelihood of mistakes, and ensuring the ordering process is both simple and efficient to the end customer.

Working to ensure that the ordering process runs smoothly, from order to production to delivery and, of course, billing, is a steadfast way to guarantee customer retention. This unified approach will lessen the strain on staff and increase productivity. And through this approach, catering companies will be able to buck trends – and invest in staff training and service development to help them continue to develop their services.

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