Yelp reviews small business expert Emily Washkovic shares an excerpt from this week's podcast episode.
Restaurant Tech Guys podcast host Jeremy Julian knows a thing or two about the restaurant tech industry. He grew up in the family business of keeping financial records and is now vice president of professional services at the same company, Custom Business Solutions, 20 years later.
Despite his long experience in the technology industry, he is the first to warn small businesses that technology will always solve their problems. "Technology for technology's sake doesn't make sense," Jeremy said, adding that if technology isn't applied with the right mindset, it's not worth the investment.
Early adoption sounds good or innovative and puts your business ahead of the competition, but it must be done as carefully as using technology to create a better guest experience.
"The people who use [the technology] know very well who their guests are and how they interact with the brand. Once you decide who your consumers are and what your brand is, you start implementing the technology. Ultimately, it's all about that. The experience. And the experience that guests expect. Is this practice? Yours." Products and what are they? Do you want to show yourself off?” Wherever you use technology, the world knows who you are.
Solving technology problems or improving current processes, identifying existing weaknesses is key to getting the most out of technology. One way to achieve this is to become a customer and "buy" the technology experience within the same business.
"Use two or three brands you know," says Jeremy. "Entrepreneurs like to talk to other entrepreneurs and talk about good things." This will give you valuable insight into how your customers want to interact with the technology you are trying to implement.
It's also important to remember that what works for a large business may not work for a small business. When choosing a technology partner, consider it a full business partner. "You represent your brand. You represent your product. You present your solution to consumers," says Jeremy.
Since technology is sometimes the first point of contact for your users, the solution you choose should be intuitive and reliable. Otherwise, you may lose potential customers. "A lot of times they're not going in and talking to the owner. They're scheduling their time on your website where they're in this program. If it's not a good experience, it's frustrating." Jeremy shared.
Before purchasing technology, consider whether it can grow with your business and integrate with other technologies you may need in the future.
Taking the example of a restaurant, Jeremy says, "So you have to have a store. My advice is that the store has to be open to receiving other inputs, third-party delivery, online ordering, SMS ordering, texting. Pay, you're really a guest." I want to experiment." To create all these different options.
Fifty years ago, business owners collected customer data through face-to-face contact. Ordinary people know what to expect and appreciate it. With the advancement of technology, it is easier than ever to collect data, but what you do with it is more important than having it.
As Jeremy points out, “Consumers, especially consumers when they're still young, will give you that information if you ask and do something with it.
In practice, this is similar to analyzing data for more efficient and personalized marketing campaigns, for example to show that you understand your consumers and why they visit your business more often. A free way to get customer feedback is online review sites like Yelp
Ultimately, the technology you use will support the primary goals of your small business. "If you're in this industry to provide good hospitality to good people, get back to it. Use technology to make guests better," says Jeremy. "Why did you create this brand?" Back to root. So use technology to improve the process and make it better [it's important] we have to do it at a pace that makes sense to the consumer because at the end of the day none of us are going to be in business.
Although Jeremy specializes in restaurant technology, his advice applies to any small business. When considering technology, keep these tips in mind:
- First, define your customer base. Before implementing new technology, consider how customers will use your business; This should guide your choice of technology.
- Start small if you must, but have room to grow. If you're just getting started with technology, make sure it can adapt and grow with you as your business grows.
- Technology should always have a purpose. Technology after technology can hurt your business instead of helping it. First, identify the need.
- Be a consumer before adopting new technologies. An important step in adopting a new technology is to "shop around" other similar businesses to see what they like (or don't like) about their technology.
Tune in to the episode below to hear Jeremy and Emily live, and subscribe to Behind the Review to learn more about new entrepreneurs and reviewers every Thursday.
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