So, you’ve finally taken the leap and moved forward with your mobile order ahead app. Your logos are in place, the menus look great, and everything is ready to go. With all the effort you’ve already put into setting up the app and getting it ready, you want to make sure that your customers know about it.
Rolling out your app takes more than just clicking a button and watching it go live; it’s a process. Doing it well takes planning. The more you work on the unveiling of your app, the better it will be for your business. Here are the best practices for rolling out your mobile order ahead app.
Plan the Release Date in Advance
The first thing you should do is set a firm release date. Setting an exact date will help your customers prepare themselves and get excited for the new addition to their favorite restaurant.
Remember when you were little, and your birthday was coming up? The excitement level for your big day grew with every hour as the time got closer, and it’s all because you knew something big was going to happen on that specific day. Rolling out your mobile order ahead app is no different. Giving your customers a specific date to look forward to is the first step in generating buzz to ensure that everyone knows about your new app.
Create a Website or Landing Page
Before you release your app, make sure you have a functioning website. Not only can it be a helpful tool for rolling out your app, but it’s also the primary way that people search for your restaurant. Over 90 percent of people research restaurants before choosing one. Websites are an essential way to attract traffic to your business, especially for a QSR.
Once you have a website, build a separate landing page specifically for your order ahead app. Studies show that the biggest source of app installs is from a company’s website. If 90 percent of new customers are looking through your website before they come to eat, then each one of those people will see that you’re about to debut a brand new app, which is a bonus considering the growing demand for order ahead apps. Make sure to include app features along with the release date. The more information you make available, the more exciting it will be for your customers.
“Promoting” your new app is a broad term. It can be done in any number of ways. The more you promote, the more people will know your app. There are countless ways to promote your mobile order ahead app:
- Social media – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram
- Physical promotions – flyers, banners, signs, pamphlets
- Word of mouth – get your employees to talk up the app to customers
- Email updates
Beyond your website, social media can be a quick way to get your message out to thousands of people immediately. The best part: They don’t need to actively visit your restaurant or webpage. Most of the time, it’s put right in front of their eyes without you having to do a thing. It’s cheap and effective. Use it! Creating a hashtag for your business or your app can be an easy way to spread information to people who may not otherwise see it.
Your QSR is already getting a steady flow of customers through the door. Use your restaurant itself to increase buzz. Put flyers and banners in the lobby, pamphlets on the tables, even put a short blurb about the app right in the menu to make sure that every customer who comes through the door will learn about it. Besides, existing customers will be the most excited about the new order ahead app.
In addition to the physical promotions, make sure your staff is kept up to date on the app release. They will be your best promotion engine since they interact directly with the customers. Get them to generate buzz, talk about the app, and get people excited. Every person who gets excited about the app will tell their friends and family.
For Square customers, Square offers a marketing upgrade to help you promote your business and app. This includes the ability to create personalized email campaigns so that all your customers can stay up to date with business changes and promotions. These promotions can come in handy to help push your app before it’s officially rolled out. Once the app has been released, email campaigns can continue to remind customers to download and use the app.
Pay Attention to Customer Feedback
As a business owner, you might not be aware of how some aspects of your business look from the customer’s perspective. Once your app has been officially rolled out, make sure you listen to any and all customer feedback so that you can adapt the app to meet the customers’ needs (you’ll have to prioritize these as they come in). Your mobile order ahead app should be a living thing. It needs to evolve with ongoing features. The people who can give you the best advice on how to make the app better are the people who use it.
Treat the App as an Extension of the Business
Many QSR owners see the order ahead app as a bubble. It exists alone in a world all its own as an aide to the company. That, however, is not the case. Think of the app as an extension of your business. They are one entity. Make the app enhance the in-store experience and make the in-store experience enhance the app. It’s not a one-way street. Making the app and the business one cohesive unit will create a better user experience both for customers dining in and those ordering from the app.
By thinking ahead and using these practices, you can ensure a successful unveiling of your business’s mobile order ahead app.