Quick-service (QSRs) and fast casual restaurants need to intensify their efforts to strengthen customer loyalty and attract new consumers, as they continue facing immense challenges from inside and outside their four walls. Those challenges include decreasing sales, evolving consumer tastes, and stiff competition in a saturated market.
The importance of positive experiences for QSRs is hard to overstate. According to research it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for a single unresolved negative experience.
At the same time, companies are struggling to provide the positive experience that customers have come to expect. The Temkin Group’s recent 2016 Customer Experience Rating study showed an alarming decline in customer experience, with only two QSR brands making it top 20.
By creating positive customer experiences with gamification, QSRs can engage and motivate consumers to stay loyal and to keep coming back. Considering that millennials comprise a large slice of the QSR consumer base and are addicted to their digital devices, gamification shouldn’t be a hard sell.
Need more convincing? Here are our top seven reasons why every QSR chain should implement gamification:1. Enhance Customer Experience
Gamification done right will make interactions with a brand easy and enjoyable.
Promotions and rewards programs are a given. Gamification enhances customer experience by demonstrating that a QSR is more than a place to simply pay money for food; the visit can also be fun and challenging.2. Reduce Perceived Wait Times
Your QSR’s service may indeed be fast, but consumers have their own sense of time and it may not be fast enough. People are busy, and if they have to wait even five minutes, they’ll start itching to leave.
Despite the importance of speedy service, the average wait time at a QSR increased from 203 seconds to 222 seconds between 2014 and 2015, according to one of the more recent surveys. We haven’t yet seen any statistics for 2016, but QSRs surely need to decrease that 222-second average wait or turn it into a fun and positive experience if they want to attract and keep consumers.
As we all know, time flies when you are having fun. That is why consumers nowadays instinctively reach out for their mobile devices whenever they need to kill some time. Gamification reduces perceived wait times by turning those few minutes into a playtime.3. Generate Continuous Brand Engagement
Gamification illuminates a brand. Consumers expect their favorite restaurants to evolve from a place for simply ordering and eating food and instead become an experience they look forward to.
By gamifying individual touchpoints or entire sections of the customer journey, QSRs can truly connect with consumers. That’s because gamification generates engagement beyond an initial visit.
With SCREEMO, consumers can continue playing the game even after they leave the restaurant. However, on-location gameplay adds the competitive element to the experience. The possibility of winning motivates consumers to come back to the restaurant, increasing loyalty and generating continuous engagement with the brand.4. Build Loyalty
There is clear evidence that existing customers are much more valuable than new customers. That is why engagement and loyalty should be at the top of marketing priorities for any QSR chain.
Consumers will be motivated to stay loyal and keep coming back if their previous experience was fun and entertaining.
Would you like fries with that? Consumers aren’t always thrilled to hear about upsell opportunities in your restaurant. They have their minds set on ordering a certain meal, and a cashier’s offer to order more from the menu is often perceived as a pure sales grab. A game that introduces new items as part of the plot can overcome that perception.6. Generate Emotional Connections
Look no further than sports. People love competition. They like to win prizes and they want to be entertained. With on-location game in their hands, people will develop a bond with the brand on a personal level.7. Stand Out from the Crowd
QSRs face stiff competition not only from similar brands but from grocery and convenience stores. Done right, gamification will make a brand stand out from competitors and all other brands that lack the fun and excitement of a gamified experience.
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