Posts Tagged ‘customer feedback’

Building Restaurant Customer Loyalty by Learning to Really Listen

June 10, 2013

As a restaurateur, you already know how important it is to deliver an experience that your customers want if you hope to have them return to your establishment – let alone recommend your business to others. One of the simplest ways to ensure that you are meeting and exceeding their expectations is, quite simply, to ask for feedback. That said, just asking for general feedback isn’t enough – you’ve also got to ask the right questions, ask in the right way, and act on the information you get.

Ask Your Customers Questions that Really Matter

Learning to ask the right questions of your customers makes all the difference in the world when it comes to getting truly useful feedback about improving their customer experience. Many restaurants make the mistake of asking only questions that are designed to help them better understand their customers’ habits rather than questions that help them understand how they could improve their experience.

For example, while it may be useful to know how often your customers eat out or where they tend to go, it is more instructive to ask questions about how you could improve their experience with your establishment or what you could do to entice them to return more frequently.

Provide Multiple Avenues for Constructive Feedback

Not everyone is comfortable providing honest feedback on the spot. Therefore, it’s smart to provide multiple avenues for customers to tell you how they are feeling. Whether this comes in the form of feedback boxes on a customer’s check, social media pages where they can post their feelings, or simply hospitality ambassadors whose sole job is to make the rounds while people eat to make sure that everything is up to par, you want to provide multiple avenues for people to talk to you.

You want to encourage honesty and breed a constructive environment through which you can gain information. Rewarding your employees who get great feedback is a part of this process too – the more that people can see the tangible effects of their efforts, the more likely they are to continue their good work.

Close the Feedback Loop by Taking Action

Last but not least, you want to make sure that you actually take action on the feedback you have garnered. Going to the effort of collecting feedback from your customers but then not bothering to do anything with it can actually hurt your business more than if you didn’t ask for feedback at all! You want to encourage honest responses and demonstrate that you’re really listening by nurturing an attitude of ‘let’s fix it!’ This breeds a culture of respect and integrity that your customers will truly appreciate.  

Taking the time to gather genuine feedback from your customers has the dual effect of helping you create an establishment that truly exceeds peoples’ expectations while simultaneously building the loyalty of the customers who frequent your restaurant. There is always room for improvement and in today’s economic environment, it is more critical than ever to do everything within your power to ensure that your customers’ experience is as remarkable as it can be.

Obtaining Feedback and Putting It into Action

July 7, 2011

One of the most valuable resources for restaurants is customer feedback.  Surveys and questionnaires allow customers to give their opinion on how the restaurant performed, and the staff can use that information to enhance or maintain their service.


Technology has provided a way to shorten the time it takes between a customer providing his feedback and when the restaurant receives it.  In some cases, a restaurant may be able to respond to feedback almost instantaneously.


Some table side devices can not only display menus and other data to the customer but can also prompt him to take a survey right at the table.  This allows data to be gathered instantly while the experience is still fresh in the customer’s mind.


Further, using a paging system, a manager can be alerted when there is negative feedback.  This means that it is possible for a customer’s concerns to be dealt with before he leaves the restaurant.


Social media can also be a tool for gathering feedback, but it does come with its perils.  Often the data gathered on these sites are not tailored to allow restaurants to respond.  A person may use these sites to vent about a negative experience but may not provide where or when the incident occurred.


It can be vastly important to sift through the clutter and respond to negative feedback on these sites.  With comments and videos going “viral,” a restaurant can find their brand damaged by just one popular post.  So finding a way to locate and respond to such feedback before it spreads can be essential.


Learning and responding to customer’s concerns is an important aspect of the restaurant business.  A restaurant should show itself as a company a customer can trust and a company that cares.  Put in the effort to be such a brand, and customers will likely reward you with their business.