How to WOW Your Customers with Curbside Pick-up
When stay at home orders began in early March, many restaurants and retailers were forced to close their doors due to COVID-19. Even if some businesses were not forced to close, many faced new service standard demands from their customers wanting to stay safe and “stop the spread”. According to CNBC, “The number of orders placed online and picked up at stores by customers surged 208% between April 1 and April 20 compared with a year ago.” Forbes revealed big brand retailers like, “Target, Lowe’s and Wendy’s have pivoted with the times, and have succeeded…These are retailers that bend over backward to make it easier on the customer, even if it made it harder on their own brand.” It pays to follow industry trends even if that means making further considerations for your customers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Conversely, curbside pickup is not just a fleeting trend. In fact, many consumer reports indicate that curbside service is here to stay. Forbes reports, “59% of customers say they are more likely to continue curbside pickup after the pandemic.” The service is not only safe for customers but convenient, “because they don’t have to get out of the car” as noted by the National Restaurant Association. Plus, this service is ultimately beneficial for restaurants and retailers’ bottom lines. When more goods are sold in advance and efficiently delivered to the customer, employees have more time to devote to other customers creating an opportunity for more sales. So now more than ever, it is best to invest in the future of your business by building trust with your customers through curbside service.
In order to report the best practices, sometimes you have to see it for yourself. We conducted a private study of frequented businesses. In our independent experiment, some businesses excelled in their service while some were adequate but had room for improvement. We agree with Grubhub’s list of best practices for curbside pick-up:
- Provide clear pickup location details in the pickup instructions (ex. Meet at the side door on Park Street)
- Create signage indicating where the pickup area is at your restaurant (ex. Add signs that say “Curbside Pick-up here”)
- If you have a designated curbside pickup zone, please add details.
- Add an on-site phone number. Be sure to have the phone available at all times as customers and drivers will call that phone number upon arrival.
- Ensure employees are wearing personal protective gear to keep themselves and the food safe. Gloves are recommended when handling bags and follow proper handwashing procedures.
- When receiving a call, make sure employees ask for clear instructions (i.e. type of car, color of car, etc.) to ensure the correct match customers and driver with the correct order.
There is always room for improvement even for our most frequented establishments. If this is the case, how can a restaurant or retailer know when their curbside pickup is effective or lacking? With A Closer Look’s Mystery Shopping solutions, a business can effectively receive discreet feedback to make improvements to their curbside pickup service.
Even though this time is arduous for restaurants and retailers, it is crucial to focus on the aspects of your business that you can control. With A Closer Look’s Mystery Shopping solutions, your business will be well-positioned to deliver accurate and timely curbside service to your customers.