Chatbots are very quickly becoming used by the restaurant chains like Burger King and Tacos to handle the straightforward questions from their customers. By using Chatbot the customers can choose where they can collect their order, pay online and be informed when the order will be ready for them to collect.
What is Chatbot
A chatbot is a software that can converse with humans or even chatter to us almost like a human. It answers questions that are straight forward like if you need to go to a restaurant or would like to see the latest movie it will be able to tell you. It could also depend on the way it is programmed give you the location and what would be the best time to get there or in the case of movies what time the screenings are.
Where they can be used
Most of us have probably already used this software and if you have the latest software you probably already know about Siri for Apple or Cortana for Microsoft. They both use Chatbot software to answer your questions. That is exactly how they are used for other applications like ordering food. They will recognise the customers request through the way the menu is written and then ask the relevant questions.
From the old TV series, Michael Knight and his car Kitt who could communicate and presumed by many would never happen is now fast becoming reality. There are the big names like Apple and Siri, Google Now and Amazon’s Alexa that you can ask to order over the internet, control your appliances at home and much more. this technology is now fast becoming the technology that is being used by restaurants.
How can Chatbot Technology Help Restaurants
Firstly the main aim is so that the user has a much better experience and the technology basically covers all the basics and relieves your staff of answering and attending to the common questions. This is information that customer often asks such as “what is your address?” and taking the food orders in advance which is especially useful for fast food outlets.
Restaurants are not necessarily using specific apps but are now using Chatbox and the social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. The reason that some restaurants opt for not having an app only is because they realise that not all the customers except the most loyal ones will download the app. These take up memory so having the facility for customers to communicate with the Facebook messenger and twitter helps to broaden the customer base.
It is also worthy to note that Chatbots save restaurants money because Chatbots take away the need for phone calls and calling centres and because they communicate with the customer it creates a simpler ordering process. Even though apps are pretty consistent it will not allow the customer to leave out steps.
Chatbot and delivery
The convenience factor is what restaurants need to take into consideration as people are increasingly only using a few apps even though they have numerously downloaded onto their smart devices. Studies have shown that people in general only use 5 apps that they have downloaded. Therefore it would be better for restaurants to consider third party apps such as messenger where a person can use the same app to communicate with their friends and family and at the same to order food.
This provides a logical progression for the customer to order a delivery.While they are driving home can at the same time make an order for food to be delivered using the same chat app.
Not only does it make it convenient for the customers but it also gathers all the essential information that is so important for customer relationship management. It will record information like order history, customer information and the frequency the customer orders so that the next time the customers requires an order a better service can provide.
The other advantage is that the logistics of the restaurant can be solved by service companies. It simplifies the whole process whereby the order is placed with the restaurant through the Chatbot which automatically requests for the service company to deliver the meal from the restaurant to the client.
Payment made easy
Payment will eventually also be made through Chatbots and Master card have already got services with its Masterpass app. Both Subway and The Cheesecake Factory can now use Facebook messenger. The customers can chat to their bot and then check out using Masterpass. The cheesecake factory has gone one step further with the customers being able to buy gift cards by using their bot.
Some restaurants run loyalty programs for regular customers and these gain points every time the customer decides to have a meal. However, making that information available to the customer is not always easy for the cashier or the manager should they be asked for this information. To make it more convenient for the customer they can chat with the Chatbot who will not only be able to take their order but will also be able to provide other information like how many points the customer has.
A chatbot is still in its early stages of being used by restaurants but the potential of what the system can offer is unlimited. They can take away all the line delaying questions that the customers ask like “what time do you close,””Do you accept master card”, etc and at the same time will be able to coordinate with third party delivery system but more importantly can gather important information to ensure that the restaurant can offer the best service to the specific customer’s need.