Ghost kitchens (or dark kitchens) present a great opportunity for you to launch a brand without the overhead of operating a dine-in customer experience. This model’s market was globally about $43 billion before Covid-19 and is projected to reach more than $71 billion by 2027. Having no physical storefronts highlights the need for ghost kitchens to implement a strong customer retention strategy to retain customers. Customer retention refers to creating a strategy for retaining customers and improving customer lifetime value (i.e., the total worth to your business of a guest over the whole relationship period). Beyond transactions, customer retention is about relationships. Customers consider their relationships with brands practically the same as their relationships with friends. They are interested in reliable and authentic brands that understand what matters to them.
Why is customer retention important? Focusing on relationships with your existing customers should build customer loyalty. With this loyal customer base, you can weather volatile markets more easily. We hope you know that increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can improve revenue by 25% - 95%. New customer acquisition costs can be 5 to 25 times higher than keeping an existing customer coming back. Here, you shall learn about the most effective customer retention strategies to re-engage customers.
Best customer retention strategies that work for dark kitchens
1. Reward loyal customers to keep customers coming
Incentivizing customers with promotional offers helps your ghost kitchen upsell and boost sales. Use the effective customer loyalty program featured on the menu management and ordering platform One2 to keep track of your loyal customers and deliver a personalized customer experience. Indeed, 75% of consumers favor businesses that reward them.
Some other ideas for increasing customer engagement in this regard include:
- Provide happy-hour offers to improve sales during low sales days.
- Offer special meals at discounted prices.
- Introduce a special holiday offer to increase repeat purchases.
2. Give more excellent customer service by capitalizing on customer data
When customers place orders, they leave their name and contact information with you. These personal customer data aside, you have the One2 system capture their preferences and frequently ordered items.
Use the customer behavior data to decide how to upsell low-performing dishes with your bestsellers. Then, easily and quickly adjust your online menu accordingly using One2.
Besides, as you determine who your guests are, you may target them with the right approach and information through the right customer communication channel. These channels can be social media, blogs, videos, or via the customer support team
3. Get more existing customers and new customers through online referrals
Try and get as many positive referrals as possible on various platforms. In this way, your dark kitchen will be found faster online. It enhances your brand image as well.
For instance, consider listings like Google My Business. What is great is that One2’s Google My Business syncing functionality allows the ability to implement this instantly.
Also, encourage customers to leave reviews on social channels like Instagram and Facebook and trusted review sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor. Getting customer feedback on these sites matters since they tend to show up at the top of search results.
You may incentivize guests to leave a positive review by offering rewards like discounts. Or, a note in each delivery bag asking for customer feedback or something similarly simple can have an impact.
Another pro tip is giving your diners an unexpected reward as part of their purchase. Doing so enables you to create more touchpoints with your brand and a memorable customer experience that will encourage them to spread the word about your dark kitchen.
4. Create a customer feedback loop
With more than 83% of consumers trusting online reviews as much as personal recommendations, feedback and ratings have never been more crucial. It is not just significant to collect customer feedback but to consistently monitor them.
Swift feedback can boost customer satisfaction and increase customer retention rate. For instance, if customers feel unhappy as the food arrived cold, consider adjusting your food delivery packing. Should customer complaints be about salad having too much dressing, think about keeping the condiments in a separate container. Plus, you may want to quickly send an apologetic message to the diner making up for their bad experience.
5. Work on your website
Always remember that website is your dark kitchen’s home online. It provides customers with a comprehensive and updated picture of your business. Especially, the website is a central location where customers check menus, find your social media links, and place an order (which is easily feasible with One2’s ordering functionality. This platform even helps enrich your website traffic with its SEO (search engine optimization) enhancements.
What One2's customers have to say.
Some other tips for improved website performance and high customer retention rates include:
- Include appealing photos of your food.
- Work on particular brand details such as your company name, story, tone of voice, and color scheme.
- Ensure fast page loading time.
- Ensure mobile device friendliness.
- Make your website easy to navigate.
6. Manage your online menu better to boost repeat customer rate
Sushi X menu powered by One2
Surely, the online menu is the heart and soul of your ghost kitchen, making for your best customer retention strategies. A menu that lives up to customer expectations often has these characteristics:
- Leverage data collected from your customer base to get customers excited about your menu. For example, should your dark kitchen is receiving more pizza orders, you may include more deals like the meal of the day, create combos, or add new flavors.
- Improve the menu visuals by including photos, menu descriptions, unique meal names, etc.
- Consider ideal menus for ghost kitchen.
- Align your menus on platforms, including your website.
- Ensure the design and logo are similar across menus and platforms.
Given all these important factors, creating a great digital menu can be a huge challenge. One2 helps you easily and seamlessly manage your ghost kitchen menus anywhere, anytime.
7. Enhance customer relationship management using social media
Serving as a conduit for communication with repeat customers and new customers, social media is another critical part of your online presence. You may use it to:
- Provide incentives and offers.
- Create urgency with limited-time deals.
- Further develop your brand personality.
- Showcase new and attractive photos.
- Share customer-generated content.
While it is free to set up social accounts, improving customer retention rate using these platforms can be challenging without the right plan. You may read this guide to get them right.
8. Tap into email marketing
Email marketing is among the best tools you have. It generates a whopping 360% return on investment.
Done right, it should foster customer loyalty and reduce customer churn rate. But promotional emails and newsletters can also lead to annoyance when adding to inbox overload without serving a useful purpose. That is why consider these key pieces of advice when creating your emails.
1. How can I brand my ghost kitchen?
- Build a functional website with appealing food imagery and online ordering.
- Have a social media presence
- Visit farmers' markets to interact directly with the community.
- Experiment with digital advertising
- Capitalize on email marketing
- Keep your guests updated with SMS
- Personalize your packaging
- Boost your reviews
2. How can I use behavioral targeting in my customer retention strategy?
- Send timely cart-recovery emails.
- Use exit-intent popups.
- Provide relevant product recommendations.
- Leverage location-specific product results to reach out to niche customers.
- Tap into dynamic landing pages.
- Create dynamic segmented ads.
- Leverage highly-targeted peer recommendations.
- Celebrate customer milestones.
- Create behavioral retargeting ads.
- Target hesitant leads with incentives
- Use dynamic pricing.
- Use intelligent chatbots.
- Explore omnichannel marketing.
- Target by traffic sources.
- Do not leave out the seasonal shoppers.
For further information about how to improve customer retention, feel free to contact us.