What motivates people to choose one brand over the other? Research suggests that the choices we make are driven by emotions.
Over a decade ago, neuroscientist Antonio Damasio made a groundbreaking discovery. He found that people with damage in the part of the brain where emotions are generated were incapable of making even the simplest decisions. His research shows that the choices we make, including where to eat our lunch, are primarily based on emotions.
So , how can QSR brands harness the power of emotion to their advantage?
The short answer is – by making sure that every customer experience at a QSR is a great one. Here is how QSRs can achieve this elusive goal:
Emotions are fundamental to every decision we make, including where and what we eat. But there is another side to the story – emotions influence our perception of reality.
Here’s just one example: Research shows that nostalgia can actually make restaurant consumers more patient.
In the study, consumers who had been waiting in line for ten minutes were asked to recall happy events from their pasts. They were then asked to estimate how long they’d been waiting. Nostalgic customers estimated that they’d been waiting about five minutes—as opposed to eight minutes in the non-nostalgic control group.
QSRs can utilize color, scent, and visual cues to make their consumers experience positive emotions.
Restaurants should ensure that their consumers have an enjoyable experience across every platform they choose—digital or in-store. The importance of a smooth experience shouldn’t be underestimated, as we discussed in the previous article on the topic.
A recent customer experience survey shows that companies who make it easy for their consumers to use new services experience a 20% improvement in customer satisfaction—and up to a 15% increase in revenue.
While online and mobile channels are on the rise, physical spaces are not going anywhere soon. In fact, we are now seeing a trend reversal, with online stores migrating out into the real world. When Amazon, the world’s biggest online retailer, starts opening brick-and-mortar stores– it is a clear sign that in-store channel is far from becoming irrelevant.
Physical spaces offer a unique value proposition that cannot be fully replaced by digital channels. Price and convenience aren’t the only factors in consumers’ decision making. Other things, such as human interaction, instant gratification by consuming the food right away and the ability to indulge all five senses are impossible to replicate online.
When consumers choose to come to your restaurant over simply ordering online, they’re willing to give something up: time, effort and the energy required to interact. It is important that QSRs step up to the plate and provide outstanding customer experiences across all channels, but most importantly in the physical space.
Data-driven customer experience is critical. In competitive and fast-paced world of QSRs, Big Data works to enhance customer experience by making the brand truly consumer-centric. Companies are increasingly turning to analytics to better understand customer trends, behaviours and preferences.
Historically, restaurants relied on surveys to understand their customers. But survey results are often distorted by bias; there is often a discrepancy between what people say they will do, and what they actually do. Data, on the other hand, is objective.
By gaining insights into who the consumers are, what drives them and what constitutes positive experiences in their understanding, brands can tap into emotions to create personal connections with consumers. In addition, the ability to test and adapt is crucial for creating consumer centric, targeted experiences
There is a push for data-driven decision making across the industry, and QSRs feel competitive pressure to collect raw data and put it to use in actionable ways. For example, some QSRs are using their data collection to optimize their menu prices. Others are using this technology to fine tune their menus, or even borrow desirable features from their competitors. Lastly, there’s a huge push by industry leaders to use big data to lower wait times.
The sources of data that QSRs should take advantage of are countless: customer loyalty apps, customer relationship management programs, mobile ordering, social media, internet search trends, sensors and beacons and smart point-of-sales systems.
Gamification is taking the world by the storm. The Pokémon Go craze has demonstrated the power of gamification to influence consumer behavior, and gamification market is projected to grow from $242 million in 2012 to $2.8 billion in 2016.
When it comes to generating consumer engagement, loyalty and positive customer experiences gamification works like a charm. But how?
The answer, once again, lies in the fact that humans are fundamentally emotional beings. Intrinsic desire for motivation, competition, reward, and status are strong emotional motivators. Gamification taps into each of these motivators to keep consumers engaged.
On top of that, consumers love reward-heavy games that deliver a sense of achievement. Consumers are hungry for social proof on social media, and love racking up points and compete for the top spot on a leaderboard.
For more information on this and other ways that gamification can benefit quick service restaurants click here to sign up to SCREEMO blog today!