Ryan Williams
Jeremy Julian

Using Real-time Feedback to your Advantage

April 13, 2017

Customers expect high quality food, excellent service and good facilities and they definitely are not afraid to complain they don’t get it. Whether good or bad, it is the world we currently live in. We are all aware of customers who want to make a fuss in the middle of your restaurant, cause drama and disrupt others. But there are also the customers who say nothing and never return or even worse, those who never come back AND go home and write an online review.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could solve issues right then and there before your customers have time to even think about a review? The majority of complaints and bad reviews are based around small issues that can be easily fixed if you knew about them at the time.

 

Make it simple and non-confrontational for customers to leave feedback and they will.

 

Simple and easy-to-use touchscreen survey devices are the perfect way to collect point of experience feedback, in real-time.

You can design branded surveys that are short and specific to your needs. Use certain feedback forms during specific times or special occasions, such as, holidays, happy hours, weekends and/or when you offer different menus or deals. Your surveys will be relevant to your customers and you’ll receive specific feedback and useful insights.

When thinking in terms of location, your station needs to be easily accessible and away from staff so you receive honest feedback but not in a dark corner or interrupting other customer’s experience.

 

Real-time feedback

When surveys are completed, you get instantaneous results. ‘Bad’ or’ negative’ reviews should be color-coded or given a special indicator to view and solve instantly. You will then be able to approach the customer and resolve their complaint before they leave the restaurant.

A massive 91% of customers will do business with you again if their complaint is resolved quickly and satisfactorily.

If you ask customers if they’d like to leave their details you could also contact them once they’ve left the restaurant, possibly before they get home. You could thank customers who have left positive reviews and encourage them to do online reviews. Those who were happy but not delighted could be thanked for their comments and assured you’ll take actions to improve before their next visit. You could also contact unhappy customers who have left negative feedback and had already gone home before you got a chance to address their problems.

The point is to be responsive – whether good or bad, a personal touch is always best. That simple action will bring customers back and turn delighted customers into brand advocates.

 

Use Data to Improve Your Business

So now you are building up a database of all these responses. What do you do with all that data?

 

Use it to improve your business.

 

If you notice the same complaint coming through, then look at the process or people involved. Same goes for positive reviews. It is full of rich qualitative data and you can use that to your advantage with your marketing efforts. Do people really love the friendly and personal atmosphere created in your restaurant and often praise it? Use that in your social media, email marketing and all available channels. Use their words and reviews to your advantage to bring in customers that crave that kind of experience. The reports generated from real-time feedback can also help improve your business.

You could also use feedback for staff motivation by sharing both positive and negative feedback. Or you could introduce rewards based on feedback; the member of staff with the most positive feedback each week gets a bonus or other reward.

 

Happy Customers Save Money

The insights from customer feedback really can help improve your restaurant. They are teaching you how to keep them happy.

It costs 6 times more to attract a new customer than it does to keep an old one. Listening to your customers, keeping them happy and loyal so they return will save you money.

Word of mouth recommendations is the best form of marketing. According to Nielson, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising.

Turning happy customers into promoters will also have the benefit of attracting new customers.

 

Need to pass the time between our next post? Then check out Custom Business Solution for all your restaurant technology needs!

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