We’ve waxed poetic many times about the importance of customer feedback in its many iterations--but instead of, or in addition to asking folks to rate their experience on third party sites, having your own official ‘Contact Us’ page is invaluable.
While it’s no substitute for good old face-to-face client interaction, the digital age is revolutionizing the way businesses gather data. It’s now easier than ever before to turn customer feedback data into action, using a variety of platforms and software, from data-driven, results-focused PLEY to mobile apps.
A Secret Shopper is just what it sounds like. At times the thrilling stuff of movies, an analytical person goes undercover to assess a business based on their individual experience. Other times, like with the mobile app Servy, it’s a frequenter of the food scene who is incentivized to provide honest feedback.
We talk a lot about utilizing customer feedback to enhance external quality factors of your business, but how do you manage the nitty gritty details that most people don’t even see? Sure, atmosphere, helpful staff, and user-friendly spaces keep patrons happy, but all of that hard work can break down faster than you can say “order up!” without an internal auditing program to keep the bare bones are in good condition.
Yes, we love tech. Yes, it’s the future. But you know what hasn’t gone out of style? Good businesses. The cast of Friends didn’t frequent Central Perk for it’s advanced technology, after all, and we’re not sure a mobile ordering app would’ve done more than those cozy couches.
We can’t say it enough--customers are actually doing youa favor by reviewing your services...so why not make the review process as easy as possible? Easy means providing patrons with a clear, simple tool for addressing and considering a wide range of aspects on which to provide feedback.
What a time to own a business! Now, more than ever before, there are ample, easily-accessible resources out there that can help you elevate your business. Hiring internal auditing teams, bringing in experienced business-people and restaurateurs, working with business consultants or financial planners. None of this is inconsequential. After all, you need a rock-solid backend before you can open your doors and delve into the client-facing side of business. You do the legwork, the research, and your doors are open. Already this is farther than many businesses make it. The trick is not only keeping your business afloat. It’s not only creating a successfulbusiness. It’s about creating a business that consumers value. Customer feedback has proven itself to be one of the most powerful tools that a company has at its disposal. And better yet, it’s often free and easily-accessed.
Real talk: No one likes to be criticized. I don’t care how thick-skinned you are-- (and we all know, you need a thick skin in the service industry) everyone cringes in the face of criticism from customer feedback. You’re out there hustling, doing your best to build your business, and sometimes it can be scary to be faced with the fact that hard work isn’t always enough to keep customers happy.
Incentivizing consumer feedback can be an effective way to ensure more thoughtful and detailed reporting, as well as re-affirming to customers how helpful their comments are to the integrity and quality of your business.
Work in the service or hospitality industry, and it seems like this comes up more often than we refill waters. Not only a mantra but rather a cornerstone for understanding the role of restaurant in the service model, this is a valuable thing to consider in it’s many forms while contemplating customer feedback and how to anticipate it or respond to it. In the age of increasingly public complaints on social media and sites like Yelp, the customer service game has completely changed--and it’s keep up, or lose your reputation.