What can we expect from the QSR industry in 2021? The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the world as we know it. Sales are returning as guests seek out connections again but with disruption often comes a fundamental shift in consumer expectation. Market Force Information’s QSR consumer panel study outlines four major trends that will evolve growth in the QSR industry:
The impact of COVID-19 on customer behavior was fast and widespread across all industries. But for the QSR industry specifically, expectations increased as priorities moved to health and safety first, which have in turn shaped decision making and buying behavior. When faced with so much choice, many consumers are selecting their choice based on brands they trust to provide a clean, sanitized, and safe experience. As QSR consumers return to a sense of normalcy it will be the QSR brands that can retain this trust that will receive their loyalty.
An increase in branded app downloads creates an opportunity for QSR brands to replace the third-party giants, cut down on fees, and take full control of the customer journey. To directly monitor and improve areas like menu selection, filtering options, customer complaints, and delivery helps brands create a consistent experience that is on-brand and resonates with customers. With this level of control, QSR brands will be able to understand what actions will improve conversion, create trust, and build loyalty.
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It’s a stressful time for both restaurants and their customers but since the emergence of COVID-19 the vast majority of unhappy QSR consumers didn’t bother to complain, they simply walked away. A customer complaint highlights a problem, whether that’s a problem with the food, employees, or internal processes, by hearing these problems directly QSR brands can investigate and improve to prevent further complaints in the future.
If QSR brands can understand what their core guests want as we move into this new normal, and promptly deliver on that promise, their chances of remaining on top are high. Real-time “voice of the customer” feedback needs to be collected through multiple channels (offline and online) to make communication convenient.
Investment in Digital CX
In the upcoming weeks, Market Force Infirmation will be sharing its 2021 QSR industry research. With the increase in digital adoption, brands are investing heavily in understanding and improving the digital customer experience (CX) to ensure every channel delivers against the brand standards, delights their customers, and increases sales.
Who’s winning the CX game? Watch for Market Force’s breakout of brands that have won their customers’ loyalty in this extremely competitive space in their 2021 QSR Panel Results. Sign up at here to receive a copy.
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