The quick serve industry is quickly adopting technology to make the dining experience more convenient for customers, while increasing foot traffic by offering such efficencies. Between online ordering and in-app ordering options, eating out has gotten more convenient. I know I have made use of online ordering when I realized time was not on my side, or the kids’ schedules all blew up simultaneously, or I was out and about and realized that cooking was just not going to happen that night.
A possibly overlooked area is the telephone in this industry. By increasing the ability for customers to call in orders, it opens up even more of a wider net of customers to capture. But, if it takes off, do you have the manpower to handle calls while maintaining service levels in the dining area?
Considering an outsourcing program, or call center for order placement, can be optimal for the quick serve industry. Pizza Hut is an example of one that utilitzes a call center for telephone orders – this centralized unit can take and dispatch orders quickly, sending the information to the correct location based on the customer’s address.
What are the benefits of using a call center vs. calls placed directly to the location?
1. It can potentially cut costs: call centers based on volume can cost less than you might think. It may also cost less to utilize a call center than designate staff at each location to be assigned the task of taking orders via phone.
2. Efficiency: staff can focus on preparing orders and assisting customers who are dining in, rather than shifting their focus between the register and telephone.
3. Perhaps the best argument for using a call center for phone orders is the marketing aspect. Unlike orders placed individually at a location, perhaps by an employee that is focused on taking the order and moving on to the next task, call center orders can capture pertinent customer data, similar to the way online and mobile app ordering work. Data is then compiled and can be used for marketing purposes, to track customer frequency and loyalty, and gauge customer traffic more effective. This is perhaps the most beneficial aspect of using a call center to take customer orders.
Does your company use a call center? If so, is this an effective strategy? Has your company tried this without success? Either way, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Please send your comments below and join the discussion!