You have a POS system, of course, and likely an accounting system to go with it. But when’s the last time you invested in customer-facing technology?
Operational technology is crucial to streamline the work you do behind the scenes and maximize your impact, but if you focus entirely on your internal operations, the customer’s experience can be left to languish. The best Customer Experience (CX) platforms meet at the intersection of operator and customer experience, helping your team work smarter so that you can happily deliver a dining experience students will love to enjoy.
What exactly can a customer service platform do for higher education foodservice? Let’s break it down.
A customer experience platform unites the internal work of your dining service teams with the external experience they are providing to their diners. It systematically ties into operational workflows while integrating into the customer’s view to streamline ordering, provide nutritional transparency, and ensure each customer touch point is delightful and easy for the operation to deliver. Put simply, a CX platform makes it easy for your customers to be customers without bogging down foodservice staff.
Today’s students have come of age in a world where the customer is king. They expect their dining experience to be convenient, the menu to be transparent, and the food to be high quality. A customer experience platform helps you deliver on these expectations, and then some.
Student expectation: “I want to order my meals any time, from anywhere.”
How a CX platform helps: Contactless ordering, integrated menus, and no service fees
As true digital natives, your students are used to ordering from afar with apps like Grubhub.
CX platforms allow you to compete with third-party apps with your own, streamlined offering that dynamically updates based on menu information entered in a centralized system. The best platforms keep customer attention on your offerings alone (rather than displaying them alongside off-campus options), and charge a flat rate (rather than slapping you with fees for each individual order). In addition, you can provide an even more transparent and informative menu for students to browse and find meals aligned to their dietary needs and preferences with robust nutritional data and compliance management tools that do not come standard in apps made for commercial restaurants.
Student expectation: “I want to know what is in what I’m eating and whether it fits my nutritional needs.”
How a CX platform helps: Data-driven menus on every screen and personal device
Your customers live in a world in which any and all information is available in an instant, so it’s no surprise that they expect to know what food (and ingredients) are on the menu before they decide to place an order. And with more than 38% of students following at least one diet and nearly 50% avoiding at least one allergen, knowing what’s on the menu is often about more than just personal preference.
Here’s the good news: You already know what’s in your meals. All you need to do is share that information in a way that’s easy for students to understand and for you to update. That’s where a customer experience platform comes in. With CX tech made for non-commercial foodservice, you can quickly turn your data into mouthwatering menus packed with nutritional information, and display them everywhere: online, in a mobile app, through voice assistants, and even on digital screens onsite. Best of all, every channel automatically keeps in sync and up to date, so you only have to make changes to your menu data once and in one place.
Student expectation: “My food isn’t just to fill me up—I choose my meals based on what I want to eat.”
How a CX platform helps: Eye-catching digital menu boards
Here’s a subject that unites students and operators: Food! If you’re like many operators, you live to get creative and provide new, delicious, and healthy offerings that students will love to enjoy. And students are hungry for innovative options! In a recent survey, 44% reported that they wished their school would change the menu more often to offer new foods.
With modern digital displays in dining halls and other venues (as well as well-designed online pages), you can highlight what makes your food special and help students find the kind of dishes they’ll be excited to eat. With a CX platform that includes an intuitive drag-and-drop presentation builder, you can even customize dynamic content to highlight special programs like locally sourced ingredients, spotlight special campus events and news, and more!
Prioritizing technology that will help elevate your customer experience can feel like a luxury, but if any of these issues sound familiar, you’re poised to make a huge difference, and potentially more importantly increase revenue, by implementing a CX platform.
Putting customer experience at the forefront of your work as a higher ed foodservice program is no longer simply a nice-to-have. Luckily, CX platforms can help you bridge the gap between an efficient operator experience for your staff and a delightful customer experience for your students.