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How Digital Menus Improve Customer Engagement »Small Business Fireworks

If you've ever been to a fast food chain and takeaway, you may be familiar with the flat screen menu inside or outside the store. These are

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If you’ve ever been to a fast food chain and takeaway, you may be familiar with the flat screen menu inside or outside the store. These are called digital menu boards, a type of menu designed to streamline the ordering process by allowing you to see the menu items clearly.

Despite their benefits, not every store has a digital menu board. This is mainly because these digital menus are relatively expensive, especially for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs).

Is it then safe to assume that digital takeaway menus, or any other store, are not worth the cost? Actually no; it can be a good investment because they offer many other benefits besides being eye-catching. It is especially known that digital menu boards enhance customer engagement, a key performance indicator that you should be familiar with.

A brief overview of customer engagement

As the name implies, customer engagement refers to how “engaged” a customer is with your business. Of course, you want your customers to feel as engaged as possible. (1)

Any strategy to improve customer engagement is essentially a strategy to foster positive relationships with customers. This positive relationship will then have many other benefits. For one, it increases customer loyalty, which means your customers are more likely to seek out more of your business’s products and services. It also means that they are less likely to buy from your competitors. (1)

Improving customer engagement is not easy, but a digital menu board does several things that make this goal easier to achieve.

1) This solves one of the most common customer problems

The menus found in stores such as takeaways are relatively small. If the menu exists just at the top of the counter, a customer must come to the front of the queue to decide on their order.

Unless your customers have memorized the menu, this can lead to delays, as each customer is likely to spend a few minutes figuring out what’s available before deciding on an option. A digital menu board solves this problem by simply having larger fonts than regular menus. Because the menu is more readable from a distance, customers can decide on their order before they get in line, all of which save a significant amount of time. (1)

So what does this have to do with customer engagement?

One of the best ways to improve customer engagement is to address their complaints. It creates a sense of engagement among customers as it shows that you are listening to their requests and complaints and taking time to come up with solutions accordingly. (2)

As you may have guessed, the above issue involving delays in orders is one specific complaint that many customers have against businesses with inconvenient menus. By solving this problem, you can show your sincerity and thus improve customer engagement.

2) Digital menu boards keep your customers informed

Keeping customers informed of recent updates and changes to your business is another way to boost customer engagement. This is why many businesses create their own social media pages on the internet where they post updates about their business for their audience to see. (1)

This is just one way to keep customers informed. Digital menu boards can achieve the same result, albeit on a much smaller scale than social media platforms.

Digital menu boards are very much like televisions in that you can change their content with a remote control. You can use the remote control to display updates about your listings through the menu bar. For example, if you recently came up with a new burger recipe, you can inform your customers by displaying a poster of it on the board.

Granted, there are much cheaper ways to do this, such as through brochures and posters. However, keeping customers informed is just one way to use this feature of digital menu boards.

3) Digital menu boards can become a source of entertainment

As mentioned earlier, a digital menu board is essentially a television. Not only because you can control its contents, but also because it can display all kinds of graphics, not just static images. In other words, you can use the menu board as a source of entertainment for waiting customers. (2)

For example, you can create an advertising video that you have made for a specific product and display it through the screen. Since customers now have something to look at, they will spend less time thinking about the potentially long waiting time and more about enjoying their time.

4) Digital menu boards can stimulate a customer’s appetite

Apart from being a source of entertainment, digital menu boards can also stimulate the appetite of your customers. According to this study, pictures of food can create feelings of hunger. (3)

While some may argue that you can do the same with brochures, this is not necessarily always the case. After all, ink fades, of course, so that the pictures would eventually become unpleasant or unattractive. Digital images do not, however, so it remains effective regardless of time. In short, digital menu boards can keep your customers busy by maintaining their motivation to eat.

5) You can use digital menu boards to display all kinds of information

Customers also feel a sense of engagement when they know more about your business offerings than they do with other businesses. For example, if you are transparent about your ingredients, people will be more comfortable buying your products or services. This is especially true for vegans, as they rely heavily on ingredient lists to determine which product is vegan.

As luck would have it, this is another area you can tackle using digital menu boards.

Suppose you need to disclose the ingredient list and nutritional information of your products. Normally you will create a page on your official website and display it there. (2)

With a digital menu board, you can very easily and quickly display that kind of information via its screen. You can also add information like calories, allergy information and other facts. Either way, all of these will point to your business as a transparent and reliable business. (2)

There is no denying that digital menu boards are an expensive investment. However, this piece of advertising technology offers so much versatility and convenience that many business owners consider it worth the cost. Choosing the right content to show your customers using digital menu boards is the secret to getting the most value out of it.

References:

  1. “What is customer engagement? Definition, Benefits and Strategies for Success “, Source: https://www.outreach.io/blog/what-is-customer-engagement
  1. “Digital menu boards: top 6 benefits”, Source: https://www.visix.com/resources/blog/digital-menu-boards-top-6-benefits/
  1. “Food photos create feelings of hunger”, Source: https://www.mpg.de/4990409/regulation_eating_behavior

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