How much are your customers worth to you? Restaurant technology can be a game changer in improving your overall customer experience and image in the marketplace.
What is more important in today’s world than reputation for a restaurant or bar? Reputation can be the difference between having a full restaurant, and going out of business. It’s a slippery slope that if not actively managed can lead to your ultimate demise.
It’s no longer enough to build an amazing atmosphere, deliver consistent quality food and drinks, and provide attentive and personalized service. Managing our customer expectations is about having genuine care for our customers and having your finger on the pulse of your business by being present and “in” the business. We know it begins with creating trust and knowing our guests. But it’s not just about the feedback you know about. The danger is the ones you don’t know about.
Bad news travels much faster than good news, but today, with social media it’s at light speed. People have unprecedented access to sharing their opinions and experiences both good and bad, right or wrong to the entire world in a matter of seconds. To control what’s said about us we must be obsessive about obtaining feedback and ensuring areas for improvement are always being addressed, corrected, and followed up on.
Businesses must ensure they have a solid process of collection of information from our customers. Tracking and monitoring of feedback, communicating with customers and staff, following up on corrective actions, and training so that these glitches can be effectively rectified.
For most customers, a bad experience is only an issue if they feel they are not being heard or no one cares about their experience. The key is making it as easy as possible for customers to provide their feedback in real-time and give your business a chance to address and correct the issues before they decide to post a poor experience online for the world to see.
A physical guest comment card is cumbersome and antiquated. It requires more work from everyone to write and record information and you may not see the information in time to correct it until the guest has left the building. Some guests are more comfortable not having a face to face confrontation or may even send feedback when they are at home. Obviously strong management and service teams who are on top of this can nip complaints in the bud immediately, although it becomes more challenging when busy or if a guest is not willing to share their experiences openly in person.
Restaurant technology & reputation management
How are we supposed to manage this critical piece of our business? Technology is at the forefront.
Reputation management systems become crucial in managing customer sentiment by searching all social media posts to make sure we are aware of everything being said about us. There are also many customized technology platforms that collect feedback and manage the customer experience for us. These help track common recurring issues and analyze trends so we can make better decisions and prioritize corrective actions, and even provide action plans with the training required by team members. They can also be effective in providing performance feedback to managers and staff.
Some mistakes will always slip through the cracks. However, reputation is built upon the consistency of our customers’ experience. Having a seamless technology based automated system that helps manage the process from the first contact to solution resolution undoubtedly makes it more efficient, less time consuming and easier for restaurant and bar operations to catch the vast majority of complaints and manage their reputation effectively.
Reputation management technology is remarkably cost-effective when you consider the alternative of losing a customer.