Chatbots are a type of conversational AI software that businesses can communicate with their customers more effectively on their website, social media, or mobile apps. If you own a restaurant, adding a chatbot to your website would save you a lot of time and effort. Let’s look more closely at all the benefits of using chatbots for your restaurant.
What Can Restaurant Chatbots Help You With?
1. Booking tables
One of the first advantages of having a restaurant chatbot on your website is that it can handle table reservations for you. Human errors tend to happen when you take reservations over the phone. Eliminate that risk and ensure all your reservations are accurate by relying on a chatbot.
Customers will be able to book a table in a matter of seconds, and you will no longer have to worry about missing any calls.
2. Answering questions about online orders
If you have an online ordering system active on your website, you probably have to deal with many questions related to online orders. Think of the most frequently asked questions related to order taking and prepare template answers that your chatbot can provide immediately.
Since you are already taking orders online, it would be counterproductive for customers to call you with questions when you could provide the answer on your website. However, always give them the option to talk to a real person if the chatbot didn’t answer their question.
3. Helping your staff solve customer problems
As mentioned above, one of the primary jobs of a restaurant chatbot is to take some of the work off your employees’ shoulders. Whether they have questions about your services or they want to raise an issue to your attention, you can start the conversation with a chatbot.
A chatbot can quickly solve most minor issues, but there are customers who will still want to talk to an employee. In that case, don’t deny them that option because it will lead to bad customers service, which is precisely what you’re trying to avoid with chatbots in the first place.
4. Promoting restaurant deals
You can use chatbots to inform customers about your most recent restaurant promotions and special offers. Trigger the message to pop up when customers land on your homepage or browse the menu.
This is one of the easiest ways to increase your average order value. You’re reminding customers that if they place an order now, they will get to benefit from this deal. If you’re not offering online ordering, you can also promote dine-in deals and urge customers to book a table to take advantage of it.
5. Upselling and cross-selling
Speaking of increasing average order value, the best way to do that is to use upselling and cross-selling. And guess what? Restaurant chatbots can help you with that too. You can program them to make recommendations based on customers’ previous orders or what they added to the cart.
While the customer is adding items that can allow customization, the chatbot can ask whether they’d like an extra topping with that or supersize the meal for just a couple of dollars more.
6. Cutting costs
Restaurant chatbots are immensely beneficial for your restaurant’s finances because they are relatively inexpensive to install and use. Rather than paying a lot of money on separate tools for taking reservations and promoting deals, as well as hiring employees to accept phone orders and answer questions, there’s a simpler solution.
Chatbots can take care of all of that, plus many other tasks, and all you have to do is install them on your restaurant website.
7. Following up on reviews and feedback
Online reviews are the backbone of any business in the digital age. Customers check reviews before extending their patronage to a business. That’s why you should strive to collect as many positive restaurant reviews as possible.
After placing an order, you can prompt the chatbot to ask customers for a review. Chatbots can also send reminders to customers to leave their feedback without you lifting a finger.
8. Improving customer service
Overall, there’s no denying that restaurant chatbots can help you improve customer service. There are many reasons for that, from the fact that they are available 24/7 to the quick replies they provide.
If there’s one thing customers hate is waiting for a restaurant to get back to them with a reply when they’re hungry or disappointed in the service. Not having to wait and get their problem solved immediately might “turn that frown upside down.”
9. Collecting data
You can’t put a price on valuable information about your customers and their purchasing habits. The excellent news is that chatbots can help you with that too. For example, they can gather data that will help you figure out which dishes are popular and which you should rethink.
Chatbots can also collect information like your customers’ email addresses, which can, in turn, help you create a hefty email list for your restaurant newsletter. The number of valuable statistics they can generate will help you deliver a more personalized experience to your customers and improve your marketing strategy.
10. Increasing customer engagement
Did you build a restaurant website to increase engagement? Then adding a chatbot to your website is the next natural step you should take. That’s because chatbots are designed to interact with your customers in ways that you couldn’t through the phone.
By asking questions, providing recommendations, and replying to feedback, they allow your customers to interact with the brand and feel like their contribution and concerns are being listened to.
Chatbots are still relatively new and regarded with distrust by some business owners. Still, the truth is they can be of great help in multiple ways. The benefits outlined above are just some of the things to keep in mind when trying to decide whether a chatbot is a right fit for your restaurant or not.
If you’re still undecided, you can always test them out for a while and see how your customers feel about having a chatbot help them navigate your restaurant website.