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Consumer Mobile Apps: Why Consumers Shouldn’t Be the Ones to Train Your Staff

By : Jon Lawrence

June 15, 2015 11:05 AM

Consideration #2: Your guests shouldn’t be your trainers. | NCR Restaurant SolutionsLast week we started a Blog series on Top 8 Things to Consider When Implementing Consumer Mobile Apps in Your Restaurant. In it we listed the first thing to consider – that offering mobile payment alone isn’t enough. We’re ready to look at the next consideration that pertains to training – both staff and consumers.
 

Consideration #2: Your guests shouldn’t be your trainers.
 

NCR is a global tech company. We nerd-out trying the latest mobile apps that we’ve helped our customers build. This not only gives us insight into the technology used in restaurants, but also the operational flow when apps are used to engage with a restaurant.
 

Imagine that your marketing and IT team has worked hard to create a mobile app for your brand with the intent to deliver an amazing, unique customer experience that drives loyalty and delights your guests. Fans of your brand download the app and can’t wait to try it out at the location around the corner.
 

They place an order on their mobile device, walk into one of your locations and expect to have their order ready to go. But what if the employees at that location have no idea what the app is or how to actually interact with a customer who has already ordered and paid for a meal before ever walking into the restaurant? This often happens if you don’t plan ahead for how the operations in your individual sites may need to change.
 

The first time your front-line employees hear that you have an app shouldn’t be from the guest standing in front of you. If your consumer engagement strategy includes mobile apps and interaction with your guests, make sure your staff understands how this technology works, how it helps them deliver greater service and why it doesn’t take away from the jobs they are doing today.

Customers excited to try out your app may not be so excited to use it ongoing if there isn’t a very clear strategy for the transition between mobile interactions and their in-store experience.
 

The Takeaway:
 

If you are considering implementing mobile apps in your restaurant, it’s critical to make sure that you develop and execute staff training as part of your strategy. Your staff should be educated on what they need to do to deliver a quality guest experience when orders are not placed directly with them.
 

Keep any eye out next week where we discuss knowing your “triggers.”

Jon Lawrence

Sr. Dir., NCR Hospitality Solution Mngt and Product Marketing

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Jon has been designing and delivering technology solutions for two decades. At NCR, he helps define, develop, and market solutions to restaurant operators across the globe. In this blog series, Jon shares his insights on consumer mobile apps for restaurants.