Collecting customer feedback is key. According to a recent study, the closer the link between restaurants and customers through reviews, the greater the positive effects on business. For example, restaurants with a high rating can sell tables 19 percent more frequently during peak periods. So it’s time to start collecting feedback and act on it!
In this guide, we will walk you through how you can collect feedback from customers and how it can effectively inform your customer marketing strategy.
1. When and how to collect feedback
Being able to collect feedback from customers is one of the most critical factors of success for any business, especially when it comes to hospitality. Your goal is to delight your customers, and you need to ensure that you succeed.
So first off, how can you collect feedback? There are several ways for you to collect feedback, some that you can control more than others. You will be able to get customer feedback from the usual review websites like Google, Yelp!, or TripAdvisor but you have limited control over them because they are already public when you can start addressing complaints. Alternatively, you can collect feedback within your customer experience with ordering and payment solutions, like ChatFood, for online and dine-in orders. Using conversational feedback collection like ChatFood (supported by SMS or WhatsApp) is a great way to get feedback and engage with customers at the same time. By doing so, you can reach out to unhappy customers before they go public.
Secondly, when should you collect feedback? Timing matters. You will want to ensure that collecting feedback is fully part of your customer experience and that you can hear from customers after they tasted your food and drinks and experienced your venue and service.
2. What do I do with unhappy customers?
Once you start collecting feedback, you need to act on it, starting with negative reviews. You might have some negative feedback, but the most important is to make unhappy customers feel heard and offer them a resolution. Access your reviews, and try to understand what happened. Reach out to your unhappy customers personally and ask for more details or explain the situation to them. We also recommend including a voucher for the next customer’s visit. Customers will feel understood and it will also incentivize them to visit your venue again. Acting quickly will also most likely help to solve these issues privately rather than having negative public reviews.
3. Turn your happy customers into advocates
Have you got positive feedback? That’s great, but your work doesn’t end here. Happy customers are more likely to become repeat customers and brand advocates. You will want these customers to be as vocal about their experience as possible. Send them a personalized message via SMS, WhatsApp, or email to thank them for being loyal customers. If you have a loyalty program, which we highly recommend, remind them of their loyalty balance to incentivize them to visit you again. In your message, include a link to your preferred public review website and ask them to leave a review.
4. What else can I do with my customer reviews?
Reviews can effectively inform your business strategy. Reviews are an invaluable source of information, ideas, and data that can help you stay ahead of your competition. You can use customer feedback to adapt your menu, improve your experience (for kids or people with disabilities for example), and understand if you are able to provide a consistent level of service or what your staff might need to be trained on.