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Maximize Return on Experience (ROE)

Today’s blog post is a part of a series that I will be sharing this week related to what I learned at the Agilysys Inspire User Conference in Las Vegas, March 18-20, 2024.

I learned the difference between return on investment (ROI) and return on experience (ROE).

ROI measures the return on investment relative to its cost. Traditionally, it is calculated by dividing the net income from an investment by the original cost of the investment and multiplying this number by 100, the result of which is expressed as a percentage.

ROE is the long-term return that comes from ensuring every customer and staff experience at every touchpoint creates an advocate for your business. ROE is more cumulative and has a longer life that exceeds the results or returns from today, this week, month, or quarter.

Maximizing ROE requires technology that helps you liberate resources and time as you:

  • Offload to systems routine activities that can be automated.
  • Distribute “access to act” through customer self-service options.
  • Invest in mobile systems that enable transacting anytime, anywhere.
  • Design wait-busting workflows that incorporate kiosks or terminals that can be staff- or customer-facing and are available any time. (One study revealed that customers spend 30% more, on average, when ordering from a kiosk or tablet.)
  • Create digital engagement that facilitates reservations, ordering, and payment so that tech-savvy customers can act, freeing staff to focus on those who prefer in-person encounters.

As I reflect on the above list, I’m reminded of a recent experience at Yard House. I used a tabletop point-of-sale (POS) tablet that prompted me to “Choose a Brew.” This screen advanced to one that displayed “To You, The Perfect Pour Is…” followed by a sliding scale from light yellow to dark red. Beneath the scale were taste categories, including fruity, floral, bitter, sour, refreshing, strong, and local. This screen advanced to another that allows users to further isolate their preferred beer (e.g., cider, IPA-hoppy, seasonal-rotating, malty-amber, etc.). And each screen includes a “Call Server” button in case you need help—or just want a second opinion.

In addition to ordering capabilities, the tablet included video and trivia games for purchase and a variety of rotating promotions:

  • Love Beer? Join the Club and be the first to know what’s brewing at our house. Sign up now by texting BEER to 37238.
  • 32-oz Beer Crowlers To Go.
  • Skip the Line. Join the Wait List Online Before You Arrive followed by a link to the waitlist.
  • Kitchen Open Late. Full Menu Available.
  • IPA Madness promotion, now through April 8. Purchase a flight of four freshly-tapped IPAs that are competing for a spot on the brewery’s core beer list.
  • Make Our House Your Home. Join Our Team! Competitive Pay, Flexible Schedules, and Promotion Opportunities. Included a web link and QR code.
  • And, as you’re wrapping up, there’s a “Ready to Roll?” screen that includes a “Pay Now” button.

When I spoke with my server about customers’ reaction to the tabletop tech, she said it was versatile and gives customers the choice to enter their orders themselves or, more commonly, having their server enter the order. She demonstrated by rotating the tablet toward her and pretending to enter an order.

She made the point that the tabletop POS saves her time from having to take the order from the table, recorded on a paper ticket, to a POS station on the other side of the restaurant, and wait in a queue behind other servers before being able to transfer her guests’ orders from the ticket to the POS system. She said this allows her to spend more time at the table with customers, answering questions and building rapport, rather than standing at the POS terminal executing transactions.

So, what was the tech-enabled ROE from my experience at Yard House? Well, in addition to the pint of Two Hearted IPA and two Vampire Tacos, I bought a to-go 32-oz. crowler of VooDoo Ranger 1985 Mango IPA. I would not have made this purchase had I not seen the promotion on the tabletop tablet. That alone added 34% to my order. I’m also writing about the experience here. Clearly, I’m an advocate for the Yard House brand with plans to return—and spend.

Order Delight Your Customers: 7 Simple Ways to Raise Your Customer Service from Ordinary to Extraordinary by Steve Curtin or purchase from select retailers, including Barnes & Noble.
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