Updated: Jun 21, 2020
As restaurant owners, our goal in this business is to bring our customers back again and again, and again. Seeking customers' feedback is one of the great ways to do that.
William Wilson gave Making Dough Show a chance to talk about this very significant topic. Wilson is the Founder and CEO of Bloom Intelligence.
His company specializes in the WiFi Marketing and Customer Intelligence platform. They help restaurant owners market their business, boost customer loyalty, and increase sales.
Their software allows restaurants to send promotions, and conduct surveys to customers. So Wilson had a lot to talk about the benefits of surveying and obtaining customers' feedback.
We have summarized our interview by highlighting some of these important questions that Wilson willingly gave answers to:
What are the benefits of surveying customers after their visit?
To get the food to the customers at the table as fast as we can. To provide the friendliest service, operations, marketing and all that.
As restaurant owners and managers, these are the things that we tend to focus more on. We don't have a strategy in place when it comes to what goes after that.
There are two basic things in the economics of the e-restaurant business.
First, it ciphers to keep current customers and to get a new one. Second is that most customers who have a bad experience leave. They don't rate you and never come back.
So you must create tools so you can actually get customer's sentiment after they leave. What you want to catch is their thoughts after they visit and the key to that is to have the right mechanism in place.
You must ask yourself if it is a good review, how do I maximize that exposure? If it's a negative review, how do I respond that in a timely way?
The timeliness of your response matters.
If someone has a bad experience and take the time to leave a negative review or comment online, how do you react to it?
How do you make it positive? How do you make a path forward so that it shows to other people who see it that you are taking care of them and that you care?
By the time customers leave a negative review online, it is too late. They felt so bad that they decided to figure out Yelp, it may even be their first time to open an account.
They get pissed even more because they are wasting time over this. If only we had a system in place where we get all our customers' feedback, we could have turned things different.
We may not know the percentage of people who have a poor experience and leave bad reviews. We could only assume that many don't actually go leave a review or don't come back.
So, if we have a system in place to get in touch with them and show that we do care, that is valuable.
What is Restaurant Customer Comment Cards?
(What are there pros and cons?)
A comment card is a card that you see that the server leaves after they give you your check. Most of the time, you see it on the table topper, saying, "Leave us a review" or "Give us some feedback about your experience."
In general, the concept is something that every restaurant needs to do. That is to measure customers' feedback on a more personal level. It is vital to be in touch with them to know how they feel about your restaurant in many ways.
As a restaurant owner, you want to find out not only the positive things but also where your weak points are. You need to know where you can improve on, and that's how you build a strong operation.
Leaving a comment card out and giving them the ability to create a feedback mechanism is very basic. Most restaurant owners are keen about keeping their customers center of their operation.
There are more methods to do it. You can do the traditional way where you print them out and ask specific questions.
But then you didn't create mechanisms on the back end, how do you pull the stats into one centralized area? How do you make a way that you can analyze it?
You need to make sure that you have a consistent process to respond to negative and positive reviews. This is about building a customer relationship at the end of the day.
So the basics of comment cards are printing them and coming up with relevant questions.
Sometimes we are going through a discovery process. We identify what type of questions we want.
Sometimes it is good to ask your customers like, "What are your concerns?" so we can jump into action. Ask questions, but you should not be afraid of the negative feedback. Keep in mind that everyone gets negative feedback.
The idea of doing the comment cards is so valuable. But, the logistics are hard to handle because folks are busy. Only a few customers take the time to fill them out.
Also, forms are expensive to print, it takes time to plan, execute, analyze, and work on them.
What are some specific questions we can include in the Comment Cards?
It all comes down to your customer's basis on what your product is.
You can go with a general question like "How's your experience today?"