It’s true for any customer-oriented business that no matter how good you are, it’s impossible to make everyone happy. There’s simply no getting around it.
For example, restaurant customers are going to be unhappy, whether because the kitchen was slow, the server was rude, the wait was long, the restroom was dirty or someone put mayonnaise on their hamburger. In the hotel business, some customers will be unhappy about maid service, Wi-Fi connection wasn’t fast enough, or a lack of towels at the pool.
This is where the power of customer feedback comes in play. The question for you, as a business owner or manager in charge of the customer experience, is when – and from whom – do you want to hear about the negative experience?
The antiquated way of getting customer feedback involved filling out comment cards, telephone surveys or visiting a website listed on the bottom of a receipt.
Do you want to hear about it a few weeks later, when you have time to fish out a half-completed comment card out of a wooden box? What about hearing about it in a flaming email to company headquarters, long after the angry customer has left your business, probably for the last time?
Would you rather wait to hear from the telemarketing firm you hired to survey a random sample of customers? Or, maybe you’ll wait until a negative review pops up and gets circulated to thousands of people on social media?
The response rate for these methods is as low as 3-5 percent. And the people who would actually take the time to fill out a survey, either really loved the service, or really hated the service; there is no middle ground. There is no objectivity to the data and it doesn’t really help identify any problem areas in your business. In a world where everything is instantly available, collecting the data using these methods is too slow to really make a big difference.
Of course, all the above are lousy options that leave you, the business owner or manager, with too little information about what made the customer unhappy and little to no ability to win that customer back.
And, perhaps worst of all, none of those methods can help you fix whatever holes are in your customer service process in order to prevent others from having the same negative experience.
Real Time Answers with Survey Tablets
That’s why businesses are increasingly turning to that enables a real-time gauge on the customer experience.
Easy-to-use survey tablets with customizable questionnaires are handed to customers at the time of engagement so the experience is still fresh in their minds. Whether it is during a hotel checkout or at the table with a check, the response rate is as high as 75 percent – far higher than the 3-5 percent return rate in other methods. The responses come from a larger pool of participants, making the data more reliable and less one sided.
With any negative response, a manager can immediately view the result, giving him or her the opportunity to remedy the situation before the customer leaves. This is one advantage that highlights what traditional methods could not offer managers in any business.
More than that, survey tablets provide businesses with analytics and visibility into a broader landscape beyond the individual guest experience. Businesses can now see the bigger picture – patterns that might be hurting revenue or preventing growth.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll explore the many shortcomings of traditional survey methods and talk more about how today’s technology helps businesses grow by getting more in sync with what customers want.
Find Out More About Gathering Customer Feedback
Complete the form below to download the free eBook, The Power of Instant Customer Feedback, for more detail about why it matters what customers think about you.
Mai Lyn Ngo is a marketing coordinator at LRS and an ambassador for solutions that create a better guest experience.