Q: As a pub, restaurant or hospitality business, what’s the purpose of obtaining guest feedback?
A: To improve the guest experience in order to meet business objectives including:
- Improve the operation
- Drive customer loyalty
- Increase footfall
- Strengthen brand awareness
Clearly, listening to the guest is fundamental in improving the guest experience. However getting your guest to give you feedback presents challenges.
1. Keep it short
You know it: Time is precious. People are busy and more impatient than ever. You need to work harder than ever to get a slot in the hectic lifestyle of your guest. Simply put: respect your customer’s time by keeping your survey short. If you keep it long, guests will hit any button just to get it done. Keep it short and you’ll get a greater number of responses giving you enough input to see what needs to improve.
2. Make it mobile friendly and easily accessible
It’s an obvious one in this smartphone era, but a surprisingly large number of websites are not mobile friendly! Ensure your survey can be accessed easily from whatever device your guests choose. The benefit is; you will get a much higher volume of responses and have made the experience pain-free for your loyal customer. Consider that your guest may, or may not want to give feedback in these ways:
- On their way home
- In the restaurant, at the table
- At a fixed terminal in your venue
- Via email, the next day
- By accessing your website at a time that suits them
3. Make it sharp
Get to the point. Challenge the validity of each and every question within your survey. Ask yourself:
- What does this tell me?
- What can I do with this information?
If you can’t fully justify the answers to these questions – don’t include it in your survey. It’s a waste of your time, and your guests’ time.
4. Personalise the survey
Get smart and figure out ways to personalise the survey to pinpoint exactly where the customer journey need to improve.
To get the utmost from your guest feedback system, link the survey questions to the guests’ actual visit. This can only really be achieved by integrating the survey with real-time EPOS data and is something that is unique about Feed It Back’s system. With this, you can be confident that each survey is completely tailored to the guests’ visit giving you answers to specific questions to help find out faster where to improve the guest experience.
5. Be on brand
Use the correct tone of voice that is not only aligned to your brand, but uses the appropriate sympathetic or excited quality when presenting the question. Colours, formats, tone of voice etc should absolutely be bang on brand.
6. Vary the questions
If you have followed the advice above you should be on your way to getting a good number of responses. Only if you have achieved a good volume, should you consider the these steps, otherwise you are in danger of not having enough data to reliably inform you.
Keep your survey experience fresh by offering different rewards and by asking different questions. Get feedback on menu changes, refurbishments, other marketing related items that all contribute to meeting your goals. If you are EPOS linked, target questions based on what day the guest visited, how busy it was, how much they spent etc. Most importantly, if the guest states during the survey that something was poor e.g. service, you should absolutely ask why.
7. Ask frequently (approach with caution!)
Consider this: How often do your guests visit? Depending on your venue type, guests may visit repeatedly during the week. Should you ask a guest to complete feedback every time they visit? Or, are you in danger of over-surveying? Each guest visit is unique and every piece of feedback is valid based on that unique guest experience. If you lost a loyal customer after several years due to one lousy experience, surely you would want to know why? If you don’t ask your loyal customers for their feedback then you will never know. But there is a real danger you could completely alienate a customer with pushing it too far.
However, if the feedback experience differs and is made interesting for the guest each time they experience it, and can ask specific questions on the actual visit, then surely it has a tone reason to be included each time? A word of caution though, if you are not prepared to vary questions or make your survey engaging and fun then this is a big risk!
With this advice you should be able to obtain specific and relevant feedback in high volumes which can help you pinpoint areas within the operation that require improvement, enabling you to realise your business objectives. Go do it.