Restaurant tech company improves client communication with Rake

Written by:
Mike Mattingly
universal channels
client communication
customer communication

Growing a business requires constant innovation, planning, and reinvention to stay ahead of the competition. It’s not easy, but the formula is simple math—a business must add more customers than it loses.

Since technology companies with client services are vying for the spotlight with newer products and competitive pricing, customers abandon a company without a second thought. Customer defections impact a businesses’ growth rate. This measurement is called churn rate. For a business to reduce customer churn, it must address existing issues and implement counter strategies.

According to a Harvard Business School report, profits can rise by as much as 25% to 95% if a business increases customer retention by 5%. One significant way for businesses to decrease customer churn is by improving customer communication.

How Can Communication Improve Customer Churn Rate?

Communication is a critical part of doing business, and if not addressed, can increase your churn rate. Online sources such as Neil Patel, Hubspot, and SuperOffice provide irrefutable evidence that customer communication is one of the top strategies to reduce churn.

However, a major problem that businesses face is finding ways to effectively communicate with customers on their terms. Emails, although acceptable for keeping a record of important messages, can get buried or lost if not checked regularly. Even texting has its limitations. And, while businesses have tried different ways of communicating with customers, those haven’t proven to be effective long-term solutions. 

Use technology to solve problems, not create them


You’ll be surprised to know that many businesses do not even have strategies in place to tackle this issue.

Here’s how prompt, active communication can play a part in decreasing churn rate:

  • Encourages customers to take the next step in deciding to buy/stick with a product or service.
  • Makes customers feel prioritized when concerns are taken up immediately as opposed to days later.
  • Actively asking customers for their feedback and responding to their ideas makes them happy to come back to your business.
  • Allows customers to get a real-time, immediate response when faced with a dilemma.
  • Adds a personal touch when customers get one-on-one responses for queries, doubts, or updates.
  • Gives customers a sense of priority when past conversations or issues are on record.
  • Allows businesses to craft strategies, revamp marketing goals, and target customers better through online behaviors.


In a series of posts, we’ll use fictitious characters in real-world scenarios and review how different businesses can improve communication through a universal messaging platform.

How Do You Improve Client Relationships with Channel Communication?

In this write-up, we review how a technology company in the restaurant space introduced a better way for their team to communicate with a restaurant client.

The restaurant team

Restaurant owner, Jerome, retired early from a successful medical career and bought a casual, family-friendly restaurant.  He works with Rachel, the restaurant manager, who is a single mom to a son in junior high school. Rachel is busy juggling work and home and consequently has no time to learn how to use a new communication app. Rachel lives by SMS. As for Jerome, he keeps in touch with old friends and classmates by using Facebook Messenger.

We then have Eddie, who is the kitchen manager. He’s worked for Jerome and Rachel for 3 years. He’s responsible for coordinating with food suppliers, handling delivery orders, and making sure things run smoothly in the kitchen.

Eddie prefers to talk over the phone with the restaurant’s business associates—food vendors, linen vendors, pest control tech, technology vendors—instead of trading emails. Sometimes he won’t check his inbox for at least 48 hours on busy days but he does stay close to SMS as his wife loves to send him sweet messages.

The restaurant tech company

Looking at the ToastTab website
Do technology companies become service companies?

Like most restaurant technology companies this company was trying to help the restaurant streamline operations and run its business smoothly. First, we have Matt, who is the territory account executive. He uses a consultative approach to build relationships with local restaurateurs. Matt's team includes support and growth operatives who engage with the clients Matt ropes in.

We then have Nicole and Jimmy on the team, who support Matt's clients and their manager, Elizabeth. Elizabeth oversees their work by tracking customer reach, making sure IT tickets are addressed and closed promptly, and ensuring that the team offers the best service by sharing ideas through links to blogs and how-to articles. Elizabeth’s mission is to manage a responsive, kind and empathetic team.

Elizabeth identified a communication gap her team had with the restaurant clients they worked with. Jerome and his team were busy running the business and didn’t have time to get accustomed to using complicated, ineffective or new forms of communication. Elizabeth had exhausted different ways to improve client communication between the two teams and then she found Universal Channels by Rake. Universal Channels would allow everyone to connect using the platform of their choice.

What is a Universal Messaging Platform?

Before we reveal how Rake provided a simplified communication platform to conduct business, let’s explore the world of universal messaging. A universal messaging system is an integrated platform with different forms of communication media incorporated into one system with a single interface.

Using this kind of technology, Rake developed Universal Channels - an omnichannel messaging platform that connects to SMS, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Rake itself. This next-generation universal messaging platform makes conversations a primary focus and the choice of the messenger a secondary aspect.

Rake provides users the freedom to use an app they’re already familiar with by maintaining a single platform of messages. There’s no need to learn how to use a new app from scratch just to communicate with coworkers, clients, or customers. For Elizabeth, Rake offered a no credit card, no-risk, 60-day trial that allowed her to drastically improve the way client communication was managed.

How Rake Improved Communication Between the Restaurant and Tech Company

Elizabeth created a workspace on Rake platform and named it after her tech company. It was easy, zero programming or coding required. This would allow restaurateurs Jerome and Rachel to easily track, send and receive messages from her and her team. This was Elizabeth’s attempt at finally improving - no, actually fixing communication between her team and the restaurant client.

Test driving the Rake app

She alerted her team that they would be receiving an invitation to join a new virtual workspace. They should be on the lookout for ‘RAKE’. All they needed to do was accept the invitation and download the Rake app. Simple.

She explained how Rake would benefit the team by significantly changing how they would conduct two-way communication. This in turn would mean reduced customer churn and more commissions for everyone! After she used Rake with her team for two days, it was time to get the restaurant onboard. She first created a Universal Channel and ensured she completed the steps necessary to connect Facebook Messenger and SMS to the channel. It was easy, no coding or programming was required.

Initiation

Elizabeth asked her coworker Jimmy to send a teaser email to Jerome, Rachel, and Eddie, explaining how things were about to drastically improve in the way they communicated. The email stressed how simple the change would be and how everyone could take advantage of the game-changing transition.

The invitation Elizabeth sent to the restaurant gave Jerome, Rachel, and Eddie the choice to choose a messaging platform they were most comfortable and familiar with. Elizabeth and her team were giving their clients the power to choose their preferred platform instead of the other way around. Her team was using Rake, which allowed them to connect with any of their customers.

Execution

Jerome chose to use Facebook Messenger, and Rachel and Eddie went with SMS. The three of them had full two-way messaging access to Elizabeth’s universal channel. The tech team and restaurant team were now able to send, receive, and view messages in real-time. No one would miss a message because they were now using an existing and familiar messaging platform on their devices. It was like nothing had changed but everything was better!

Using the Universal Channel from Rake also meant that emails weren’t the sole point of contact anymore. A Universal Channel supports file sharing, uploading images, sharing emojis, and forwarding links with previews, among other features.

How Did Communication Change for the Restaurant and Tech Company?

What transpired after the teams started using Rake’s Universal Channel is the perfect example of how technology is helping restaurants grow. After a week of using their new universal channel, Matt (the territory account executive) received two referrals from restaurateur Jerome! For her proactive initiative to close the communication gap with her clients, Elizabeth was recognized by the tech company's regional director and awarded a “Founders” bonus. This recognition is given to those who act like an owner and solve problems rather than running from them. 

A successful two-way communication bridge

What Elizabeth and the team noticed was that not only were their messages being actively addressed by the restaurant but that communication was also faster. Neither of the two teams had to fall back into an abyss of miscommunication or delayed messaging, thanks to Universal Channels from Rake.

The tech company and restaurant were getting their work done faster, which meant everyone had more time to dedicate to personal needs and aspirations outside of the business.

Universal Channels by Rake created a win-win solution where both businesses benefited from a simplified, responsive, intuitive source of communication. For the above real-world scenario, it is clear that restaurant tech companies need to do more than just introduce new features to help streamline operations. They need to incorporate the right communication methods and channels to effectively minimize miscommunication and grow a business.

Ultimately, a universal channel helps both businesses focus on the future without compromising on their individual progress.