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Capture the Voice of Your Customer

Your customer’s expectations are growing day by day. A thriving restaurant depends on the ability to meet those expectations. Effective tools to determine your customers needs, wants, and desires are the absolute best ways to ensure that you are ahead of the curve on meeting those expectations. Customer feedback and voice-of-the-customer solutions allow you to collect data that can directly impact your business by matching the menu, service, and experiences to what your customers actually want, expect, and need.

Customer feedback solutions are designed to capture, analyze, and measure all manner of customer emotion and data surrounding your brand. Although your servers may be able to provide anecdotal information about comments they receive from guests, a customer feedback solution can consistently ask diners to answer a few questions about their experiences and quantify responses. The insights from this solution allow you to answer specific questions about your business, monitor performance over time, to make changes that must be made, and to ensure that your guest experience is the very best that it can be.

Customer Feedback Survey Best Practices

To truly capture the voice of the customer, you need a strategy that results in data you can trust. Ensuring participation in a survey is essential. If only a small percentage of your customers provide feedback, it’s risky to trust the results. It’s possible only a few dissatisfied customers will participate, in fact - in instances like these - it’s usually only dissatisfied customers who will participate, severely skewing your view of the actual customer experience. The same can be said if only a few of your most loyal customers respond, resulting in a rosy picture that doesn’t draw attention to real issues affecting your overall dining experience. An added benefit to capturing your customer feedback internally, and immediately, is that you have the opportunity to right a situation before any review or rating is made publicly.

The best strategy is to keep it simple. And to perhaps entice guests with a percentage off, a free app or drink, or a contest. Make it easy and fun for guests to participate as well. Sending a text link at the end of a dining experience is a great way to ensure their answers come when your experience is top-of-mind for them. Also, limit the survey to a few questions. If the survey is long or complicated, a guest could click, see that it will take too much time, and not participate. You should also make it easy for your customers to respond. You may want to allow diners to provide open-ended feedback if they like, but you’ll see more participation if they can respond by clicking a number on a range or an emoji that represents their satisfaction with elements of your business.

Must-Have Feedback Solution Features

It’s also important to make collecting feedback as simple as possible for you and your team. Remember, you won’t use only one survey. Depending on your objectives, you may ask questions about service, pricing or value, your menu, or dining experiences in general, such as whether the customer would recommend your restaurant to family or friends. The customer feedback solution you use needs to be flexible enough to allow you to configure surveys easily.

The tech should also provide you with real-time alerts so you can respond quickly to feedback. Research by ReviewTrackers reveals that 53 percent of consumers expect a response within a week, and about one-third are looking for a response within three days or less. Moreover, research shows faster response times are linked to a more positive brand reputation, and more positive brand experiences overall. Beyond that, responding to online reviews especially can negate the effect a negative review would otherwise have while you work with the guest to make-good their experience, if their review is legitimate.

Your customer feedback solution should analyze the data it collects, comparing it to customer impressions from last month, last quarter, and last year. This will provide you with a more complete picture of your business’ specific and overall experiences from your customers’ perspectives and trends that may need your attention.

Amplify the Voice of the Customer

Most importantly, when you hear the voice of the customer, listen to it. Factoring insights from customer feedback data into your decisions will help you craft experiences that will delight your guests, shape your brand in a way that responds to guests' wants and needs, and manage your business more effectively overall.

Lastly, when you receive great feedback, share those results. Congratulate your team and recognize them for a job well done and encourage them to continue processes and practices that are working well. You can also make the fact that your restaurant receives good feedback known by sharing comments anonymously on social media or your website – or letting people know that 80, 85, 90 percent or more of your customers would recommend your restaurant. A customer feedback solution will provide the data you need to ensure that the world knows that a guest at your restaurant almost always falls in love.

To learn more about effectively collecting customer feedback and factoring the voice of the customer into your decision making, contact Tabit.