Simple, contactless ordering with Routegy and Square

QR sign for stadium mobile ordering

In recent months, QR-code-based menus have become nearly ubiquitous in restaurants, bars, and other establishments. We find them on storefronts, host desks, and dining tables. They range from simple sheets of paper hastily printed at home, to well designed signs that are built for the long haul. While these solutions definitely help by making certain physical interactions contactless, in many cases they feel more like a stop gap.

QR code menu on a restaurant table

# "Please scan the code to see our menu"

Most of these QR codes simply point to an existing, static menu page. Quite often, the menu page isn’t optimized for mobile or is just a PDF version of a paper menu, which leads to lots of scrolling and pinching and zooming. A subpar experience to say the least. Finally, the process of ordering and paying is still the same - it’s hardly contactless and requires human interaction.

# Let your customers order and pay, not just browse

This experience can be made better and safer, especially in places where no table service is expected: our favorite order-at-the-counter lunch spot, food truck, coffee shop, or concessions stand. Why not go the extra step and let people order and pay directly from their phones? The Routegy+Square mobile ordering touchpoint brings this experience to life, directly on people’s devices with no app required.

Routegy mobile menu Routegy mobile menu item

With Routegy, customers simply scan a QR code or tap an NFC tag to navigate a fully interactive menu in their phone’s web browser. They browse and select items for purchase, review and modify their selections, provide payment details, and order. And no finger acrobatics required as the menu is optimized for mobile devices. Finally, a fully touchless experience for simple ordering.

Routegy mobile cart Routegy mobile payment

# Plug-and-play with your existing Square infrastructure

Routegy’s ordering flow fits right into your existing Square setup. Once a customer makes an order, Routegy will use Square's Payments API to charge the customer and create an order via the Orders API. The end result is no different from entering the order manually with your existing Square POS terminal. Not using Square? No problem. Getting started is fast and doesn't require any additional hardware or subscription fee.

Square transaction cart

Getting started is easy. Once you have your Routegy and Square accounts setup, you just need to build your menu, define a Routegy touchpoint, and connect it to Square using a Routegy handler configured with your Square application ID and access token. In addition to the Square handler, you can also add our email or SMS handlers for additional customer notifications or receipts. Use it with our curbside pickup and customer check-in touchpoint for a complete customer experience and a one stop-shop for your staff.

How Touchless Customer Feedback is Evolving

Ron Swanson smashing cell phone with a hammer

Touchless customer feedback isn't new. We've all experienced our fair share of day old email surveys and yelling magical incantations to an interactive voice response system on the telephone. While these systems do provide some value, the COVID-19 pandemic is demonstrating that your customer feedback tools must evolve if they're going to serve you and your customers in a rapidly changing environment.

Let's discuss some of the existing tools, gaps in their ability to perform touchless feedback, and how the landscape is evolving.

# Why care about customer feedback?

Regardless of industry, providing top notch customer experience is your business.

94% of customers avoid businesses with negative reviews.

32% of customers will stop doing business with a brand after one bad experience.

When customers have a great experience, they are willing to pay up to a 16% price premium.

Your business survives and thrives by retaining customers and creating fans. The best way to do this is to talk to them, listen to their feedback, and take action on it.

# Touchless customer feedback? We already do that.

"Please stay on the line to complete a brief survey..."

Click. These are rarely, if ever, brief.

"Please press these smiley faces in our heavily trafficked airport bathroom..."

Yuck. When was this last cleaned?

"Please respond to our email survey regarding your visit from last tuesday..."

Hrm. I think it was OK but I don't really remember anymore.

"Text HELP to 83641..."

Where does this go? I don't want robocalls.

Businesses need to design a seamless customer experience for providing feedback. This may seem intuitive yet it is commonly overlooked. If you're going to ask for their help to improve your business, don't punish them for it. Make it quick, convenient, and timely.

# Do it and do it well.

A touchpoint showing Routegy NPS survey question

Quick, one-question surveys provide great insight into how a customer feels.

"The next time you need service, would you want the same person to help? Yes/No?"

"On a scale of one to ten, what’s the likelihood you would recommend Routegy to a friend or colleague?"

"Did you have a positive interaction with us today? Yes/No?"

These short surveys give you an overall sense of their experience and open the door to future communication where you can dive deeper with more thorough questions.

Convenient feedback should take no more than 30 seconds to complete. Response rates drop precipitously as survey fatigue sets in. Feedback tools must have context about the interaction so time is not wasted asking unnecessary questions.

"How was your experience at our South Lake Union location today?"

"Did you enjoy your room service in #2501?"

Timely, instantaneous feedback is actionable. Delayed, stale feedback is not. It's nearly impossible to remediate a negative customer experience well after it happened. Act quickly to maintain customer trust.

"We're sorry your experience earlier today didn't meet expectations. May we reach out to you and make this right?"

# Will existing tools help you accomplish your goals?

IVR/telephone feedback systems don't have much evolutionary potential and have remained relatively unchanged for years. Customers shouldn't have to call a service center and work through a touch-tone interface to reach a representative. If already on the premises, they should be able to provide feedback about their experience exactly where they're standing.

A sign with buttons on a airport bathroom wall asking about the experience

Mobile apps with in-app feedback are in a favorable spot but have barriers to entry with installation and account creation. This makes adoption difficult for high churn businesses like tourism and quick interactions like Grab & Go food pickup.

SMS feedback systems, with their 160 characters, are limited by the amount of information they can ask. Questions that require context about the customer, their interaction, or nuance are near impossible to perform. These systems don't capture the customer narrative well and are best left to highly structured questions with fixed responses.

Feedback terminals, commonly seen in airport bathrooms, are falling out of favor with physical buttons that must be pressed. These require constant cleaning and are likely to see a steady decline in usage as cleanliness becomes a driving factor. The worst customer feedback systems are the ones that customers don't use.

"Only 31% of men and 65% of women wash their hands after using the bathroom."

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Director of Cleanliness

# How is the landscape evolving?

"Alexa, the room service tasted great."

Smart speaker adoption in industries like hospitality show ways to capture customer feedback immediately after interactions with concierge or room service staff.

A sign with touchless sensors asking about bathroom experience

Feedback terminals are evolving into gesture sensors and QR/NFC based systems. Waving your hand in front of a sensor or tapping your phone is a much more sanitary approach to gathering feedback in high traffic areas.

A touchpoint showing a restaurant comment card

Paper feedback, like restaurant comment cards, are going the way of the dodo. These are quickly evolving to QR/NFC table stands or integrations into your email receipts. Restaurants receive instantaneous feedback, giving them a chance to remediate a bad experience immediately and avoid negative Yelp reviews.

With sensors and QR/NFC based systems, customer feedback is being captured at the point of interaction, not minutes, hours, day later through an isolated email or text. Did you have a great experience with your bank teller? Tap your phone right here on the counter to let them know that your experience with Johnathan in the Bellevue branch was wonderful.

# Feedback across all areas of your business

While a scoring system like NPS helps you capture broad customer sentiment, businesses should look to capture localized feedback at common customer touchpoints. Immediate, actionable feedback for these will help you improve the experience for all future customers, not just the ones providing it.

A sign in a doorway asking for customer feedback with a QR code

Are the bathrooms dirty or out of hand soap?

Is the 4th floor too hot or cold?

Is the music on the patio too loud?

Is the cell service/WiFi poor in certain areas?

Don't think of these as issues for building management, maintenance, or IT. These are customer touchpoints with your business. Using a unified system to capture feedback across your business enables your customers to provide feedback whenever and wherever they are.

# How does Routegy solve touchless feedback?

Routegy makes it easy for people to interact with your business in a contactless, app-less way. Purchases, issues, requests, and feedback are made by interacting with QR codes, NFC tags, sensors, and smart speakers. Collected information and context are sent to the destination of your choice: notifications via SMS or Slack, integrations with your existing software, and anything in-between; no code required.

Building a touchless waitlist experience with Routegy, Trello, and SMS

QR sign for customer contactless waitlist check-in

As many countries around the world begin to soften COVID-19 related restrictions, restaurants, hair salons, and other service-industry businesses are resuming operations. However, in this post-COVID world, business owners have a new set of challenges: screening customers for symptoms, enforcing lower occupancy, and limiting face-to-face interactions.

A tablet at a restaurant prompting customers to check in by entering a name and phone number

The first point of interaction usually involves checking in. Previously, it would involve talking to a host and using pen-and-paper or a shared tablet. In the midst of a pandemic, though, we don’t want customers to reluctantly touch surfaces and question our sanitation and social-distancing practices.

Touchless, contactless solutions based on QR and NFC can help, and in this article we'll show you how you can easily create a touchless waitlist to keep you, your staff, and your customers safe.

For customers, the experience is seamless: They scan a Routegy QR/NFC touchpoint with their phone and fill out a mobile-friendly form providing details like name, size of the party, and a phone number to use for notifications. Routegy uses JSON Schema to define collected data, making it simple to customize this touchpoint, or build your own that collects data specific to your business. Want to ask if they made a reservation? Done. Do you run a hair salon and need them to specify the desired service? No problem. Are you required to collect some COVID-19 related data from your customers? Easy.

Once submitted, Routegy will route collected data via handlers attached to the touchpoint. First, it will send an SMS confirmation to your customer via our SMS handler. Second, it will use the Trello handler to create a customer card in your Trello board used by staff to manage the waitlist.

For you and your staff, managing a waitlist using a Trello board couldn't be easier. The board consists of three lists: Waiting, Ready to seat, and Seated. Every time a customer checks in, Routegy will create a card with their information in the Waiting list, and you simply drag the card to Ready to seat and Seated lists as you work your way through the queue.

In order to notify customers that you're ready for them, we'll use Trello automation rules. When a customer card is moved to the Ready to seat list, we will programmatically call a Routegy touchpoint that will send an SMS to your customer using the Routegy SMS handler.

That’s it! A touchless waitlist experience that's both easy to use and flexible. The types of data collected from the customer can be easily customized to include things like reservation info, type of requested service, or any data unique to your business. Routegy touch handlers make it easy to send collected data to any destination of your choice including email, Slack or, if you’re building a more complex workflow, Zapier.