Feedback. There’s a lot of it out there. Trip advisor, Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Mystery Diners, the list goes on and it’s hard to keep track of. A lot of great businesses follows these channels rigorously, and respond to every single comment. But with so much to respond to, is this information actually of any use to your business?
After speaking to a number of company directors it seems that little of the social media feedback actually gets filtered down to the individual restaurant. The marketing department pretty much deals with the whole process. There also seems to be a view (not without validity) that many social media comments are not so much feedback, but more self-promotional statements. I was here, I did this, etc. Due to the public nature of social media, comments seem to swing from one extreme to the other, either hugely positive or intensively negative. It’s also difficult to work out which site a comment may be actually be referring to. Comments are useful tools to grow your brand online, but not so great to improve the customer experience on the floor.
Then there’s Mystery diners. They give useful feedback most of the time, but this is less than 0.0005% of most business trade. Though it has its floors it’s still seen as perhaps the best barometer of service.
Feedback forms; another tool that are being employed by some big chains now. But these are usually filled in quite a long time after the event and again only represent a tiny percentage of your customers.
Taking a wholistic view, there seems to be so much information out there, but when we break it down, there’s really not much that’s actually that useful to improve the customer experience.
If you really want to know what your customers think of your service you can tell instantly by looking at them. Yes it is that simple. But how do you do that on a larger scale?
Train your managers and staff to be aware of the emotional state of your guests, teach them how to emotionally nourish your guests. Teach them to spot the tiny signs of dissatisfaction. If your teams can do that the results will be evident in the atmosphere of your site, your team, and ultimately your sales. Your guests are giving you feedback all the time, you just need to know how to spot it. A guests smile, frown or “thank you” will tell you far more about the experience your providing than twitter ever can. Interested to find out more just give us a call.