Nov 4, 2019

The Importance of Collecting Real-time Customer Feedback

Customer satisfaction surveys and net promoter scores aren’t new concepts in the restaurant world. Many brands today ask their guests to offer feedback so they can learn what is and isn’t working when it comes to the guest experience. This feedback is often used to gauge guest loyalty, improve service, and introduce new menu items that guests have asked for.

The problem with this approach is that the brand often doesn’t receive the feedback until after the guest has left the location — meaning management is losing out on valuable opportunities to recover at-risk guests and encourage ongoing guest loyalty. This is why it’s so important for restaurants to get real-time guest feedback so they can continue to enhance the guest experience. Here are 3 main reasons to collect feedback before your guests leave your restaurant. 

1 – Stop issues from affecting other guests

According to Huffington Post, 91 percent of guests who don’t complain to management about issues they’ve had with the guest experience end up taking their business elsewhere. This doesn’t leave brands with many opportunities to fix the issues before they affect future guests. After all, it’s impossible to address something when you don’t even know it exists. That’s why it’s important to solicit real-time guest feedback.

When you can see the issues in real time, it gives you the opportunity to not only resolve them for the guests who brought them up, but also all future guests who might have been affected by it. Continuously improving and enhancing operations and service will reflect positively on the guest experience.

2 – Manage online reputation

In many cases, restaurant management doesn’t hear about guest issues until well after the affected individuals have left the store. This happens for many reasons — because the guest didn’t fill out the survey until they got home, the guest wrote a negative review on Yelp, or the guest chose to complain on social media rather than speak with management directly. In all of these cases, the restaurant doesn’t have the opportunity to address the issue and win back the guest.

But when you are able to resolve a guest issue before they leave — or shortly after — with real-time guest feedback, it greatly reduces the chances that the guest will post something negative about your brand online. On the contrary, it increases the chances that the guest will write a favorable review instead.

3 – Improve guest loyalty

A recent study found that 80 percent of consumers who switch to a competitor say they feel the brand could have done something to retain their loyalty. That’s why it’s important to address it as soon as possible with real-time guest feedback. Satisfied guests are the ones who come back time and time again, and even tell their friends and family about their positive experiences.

If you show your guests you care by soliciting real-time guest feedback and actively working to address the issues they highlight, you will be more likely to win their long-term loyalty. Help Scout reported almost three-quarters of consumers will do business again with a brand that resolves a problem in their favor.

Ultimately, seeking customer feedback is a powerful way to show you care. Yes, you’re gaining valuable insights, but you’re also boosting loyalty and reminding guests of your primary goal: giving them the best possible experience at your Restaurant.