Getting useful customer feedback is an age-old problem for restauranteurs. They operative word here is “useful.” Every restaurant has grumpy customers who love to complain and make their opinions heard, and these days these diners trumpet their criticisms on Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor, and OpenTable.
While you can’t ignore these detractors, you need a more comprehensive view of how patrons are experiencing your restaurant. So, how can you get inside your customers’ heads to know what’s working and what isn’t? Here are three easy steps you can implement to know what your customers are thinking.
1. Ask customers to text you their feedback
Your customers have opinions about what you’re serving up, and they want to be heard. But, are you getting the message?
Receiving feedback via text is one of the best ways to interact with your patrons. Consider this: Research shows that 92% of people will stop visiting a restaurant after just one bad dining experience, but 90% say they’ll return to that restaurant if they are able to speak with management.
That’s where texting can come into play. It gives your patrons the unique opportunity to converse with you directly, which means they’re more likely to tell you exactly how they feel—the good and the bad—so you can improve the customer experience.
Pro tip: You can use Womply Customer Feedback to start anonymous two-way texting with customers. Read about how Lenny Piazza uses Customer Feedback to improve online ratings for his Colorado gun cleaning shop.
2. Ask customers to write online reviews
Online reviews can make or break a restaurant. In fact, research shows that 95% of people look at review sites when choosing a place to dine. Basically, online review sites are your new homepage if you run a local restaurant.
Online reviews are great sources of customer feedback, and the more you have the more likely it is that new diners will find your business. And, as we’ve written before, recent reviews are vital, so you need to find a way to encourage customers to share their feedback about your restaurant online. If you don’t have reviews, start taking matters into your own hands. Research shows that 70% of people will leave an online review if asked — so, ask!
Pro tip: You can keep negative feedback private and easily encourage your happiest customers to post positive reviews with Womply Get Reviews. Read about how Mardo Cigars used Get Reviews to see amazing results, fast.
3. Ask customers to complete a satisfaction survey
If you want to delve a little deeper inside of your customers’ minds, creating a restaurant feedback survey is the way to go. Conducting a survey gives you the opportunity to pick a specific area that you want to examine—your customer service, your menu, etc.—and ask your customers questions about it.
Surveys are also a great way to discover customer trends that you can use in marketing material and to help you make strategic changes. But, it’s not always easy getting customers to complete surveys. Here are a three keys to consider:
- Make it short and sweet. No one wants to spend more than a few minutes responding, so make the survey short and easy to complete.
- Make it accessible. Provide a link to the survey on receipts, the menu, your website—put it everywhere. You can also send out an email or include a feedback box on your website or app.
- Offer incentives. Everyone likes a free drink or dessert. Offer your customers a special treat if they complete the survey, and they’ll be more likely to do it.
In the end, customers want to be heard. If you pay attention to what they’re saying, you can improve your business and build a loyal customer base. If you want to see how Womply can help you set up a restaurant feedback system, request a demo.