5 Tips to take orders on the phone for Coffee

Now more than ever it is crucial for any coffee shop or restaurant to offer multiple ways for your customers to place their order. Offering call in ordering is a great way to stay in contact with your customers without any need for a 3rd party online-ordering platform that isn't integrated to your POS or loyalty program.

But by taking orders on the phone, what are the best ways to keep your guests coming back? What is the best way to offer call in ordering? 

This Article Contains: 

    Why Call-In Orders are Important for your Business

    It's clear that online ordering is important. Services like UberEATS, DoorDash are a big part of today's delivery and pick up business. But despite the extra revenue they might bring you, the big Con's of online ordering services are that you don't own the customers anymore, the items are often higher priced than you think they should be. Or your margin you have to pay is ridiculous high. Some even want 6% per order + 3% processing fee!!

    Taking phone orders is often the only way for you customers to be able to get the drink they want. It's very hard to setup a 3rd party online menu that allows easy ordering of a Blended Chai Latte with light ice, 4x caramel, Stevia, Almond Milk, but no whip - which then matches your pricing (light ice +$0.50, 2xPumps free, each additional is +$0.25 and so on). That leads to pre-defined drinks on the online ordering solution and filled text-boxes with special wishes. NO WIN for you or your customers.

    Call-In ordering is also a great way to upsell on items and promote special offers. You simply tell it your customer as you would in store. You can't promote a triple stamp tuesday on a 3rd party online ordering platform.

    And in an industry where the contact to people matters most, you should always be there for them. Handled right, you don't slow down business with call-in orders, instead you delight your customers with an " in store" experience. What slows down business is reading cards over the phone or take payments on pickup. You could even server your customers faster when connecting a guest profile to their mobile number. Not reading cards over the phone even lowers fraud and therefore builds trust with your customers.

    Taking call-in orders also means, that your customers stay in your rewards program without an additional 3rd Party solution that you have little control of. You know who ordered what and you can stamp on pickup.

    The best 5 Tips for Call-In Ordering In 2021

    1.  How and Where to Promote Your Call-In Phone Number

    If you don't have a land line number at your store, you might just get a pre-paid mobile number and an old phone that you keep at your location. Now you are ready to take orders via phone. But wait, how do your guests know about that number?  Well, it depends on the budget you are willing to spent. You yould rent every billboard in town to let your guests know, or you create  business card type flyers you pass around your target area.

    The cheapest and probably most effective way however is to promote your number on your instagram account / Facebook and your Website. That's completely free and besides adding your phone number to your profile description you can even let your instagram followers do the leg work and have them promote your phone number for you. How? Let your customers tag a friend to receive a special offer. That way you make more business and your number gets promoted.

    2. The Right Way to talk to your Customers

    The process for taking an order is the same as in store. Being polite and gathering all the necessary information to place the order completes the transaction and promotes customer satisfaction. The order taking process can determine whether a customer places a repeat order.

    Ask for the caller’s name and use it during the course of the conversation. Do not call a customer by their first name unless they instruct you to do so. Never put the customer on hold or talk to your team member while the line is open. If you are using a system that offers Customer Profiles (Like Touchpoint), the best way to start the conversation would be :"Do you have a number with us?". That way you would instantly see their name, number of visits, and most important their recent orders. You could even see if a gift card is connected with that account.

    Never act like you are in a hurry, the most important customer is the one currently on the phone. Keep your manner patient and helpful.

    Always repeat the customer's order back to her for verification. Make sure she is clear on the price for the item ordered to avoid the customer receiving an unpleasant surprise when she receives the bill. Using a contactless payment solution like Touchpoint's ZeroContact Pay, your customers get an SMS with a payment link sent. They instantly see the live bill on their phone and can tip, split and pay with a single tap.

    When using ZeroContact Pay, your customers also don't need to give you their credit card number over the phone, That builds trust and speeds up the service by a lot.

    Always end the conversation by thanking for their business. Wait for them to hang up the phone first.

    3. Don't annoy Guests with Apps and Signups

    Your guests love your brand and your products, but do you think this love is strong enough to have them create an account with an unknown, untrusted software service, that maybe requires them to download an App? And once they added their order to the cart and are ready to checkout, now they "only" have to enter their dredit card information? This process takes longer than drinking that coffee they where ordering.

    Instead offer a service that allows paying with ApplePay or Google Pay, on their phone without App or signing up! YEAH! 

    4. Use Contactless Payment with SMS Pay-Link

    There are two ways to take payments when taking orders via Phone.

    1. You ask your customer to tell you the 16 digits and necessary infos over the phone, that you then have to enter into your system. This not only slows down the order process by a lot, but is also mistrusted by customers because they are afraid of credit card theft. It's just not an option for 2021 anymore.

    2. You let your customers pay on arrival. That is OK if they arrive and did not decide to go somewhere else. But also going to the car, telling them the price, and then take the payment (via EMV or Swipe or even Cashj) slows you down and is just not a fun experience.

    But wait, there is more! 

    Captivate your customers by sending them an SMS with a payment link. That way, they can pay on their own phone at their home or while getting to you. No need to signup up or to download an App. They simply add a Tip and can then pay with Apple Pay, Google Pay or any major Credit Card. ON THEIR PHONE. You don't have to buy any new device to take contactless payments, your customers don't have to give anybody their credit card information. It's that simple. And once they arrive, it is all about the good experience of getting their order.

    Here is how it works:

    Our ZeroContact SMS Pay Link requires no additional hardware on your end. It works with any modern web browser. Of course your customers will get an e-receipt too.

    5. Offer Live Order Tracking

    If you want to offer exceptional service, you can even offer live order tracking. With just a tap on the order, you can inform your customer wether their drink is in the making or ready. With Touchpoint ZeroContact Pay your guests can even notify you when they've arrived. All it takes is pressing the "I'm Here" button and you'll get notified.

    What to Look for When Taking Orders via Phone

    Besides promoting your phone number and using contactless payments via SMS Payment link, here are more features that you could consider:

    A. Be able to split the bill:

    Your customers should have the ability to split the bill in advance on their phone

    B. Preset Gratuity

    You should be able to preset the tip, e.g. $1 ,$2 $3. That way you customers are likely to give higher tips.

    C. E-Receipts

    Customers should receive e-receipts of their order

    D. Feedback

    Once guests received their order, they should get the chance to rate the service, so you get their feedback right away.

    E. Order Stats

    Have an Order history ready so you know when the calls came in and in best case what was ordered.