3 Ways a Feedback Platform will Grow your Restaurant
Feedback holds a mirror to your business. And some people aren’t prepared for the ugly truth. 60% of independent cafes and restaurants fail in the first year, 10% above the usual business failure rate. And it’s not just the indies who are struggling. More than a third of the UK’s top 100 restaurant chains are now making a loss.
You can safeguard the profitability of your restaurant by listening to customers. You can grow your business by acting on the feedback they provide. Technology has made it quicker, easier and more accessible for businesses like yours to collect feedback and take action.
Utilise an online feedback platform to:
Build your online reputation
It’s never been more critical for your business to have an online presence. Much like your website and social media, your online review profile acts as a 24/7 brochure of your business. If it doesn’t say the right things it will deter potential customers before they’ve even stepped through the door. OpenTable found that over 60% of diners now check review sites before going out for a meal and 84% of people trust reviews as much as their friends’ recommendations.
To gain the highest amount of exposure you need to make sure your page ranks, and that means getting on the first page. Review sites such as TripAdvisor use algorithms to rank businesses. To get to the top you need:
Quantity: Lots of reviews show high customer engagement.
Quality: Good quality content and high scores boost rankings.
Recency: Newer reviews carry more weight than older ones.
Frequency: Regular contributions help with the quantity and recency scorings.
Consistency: Businesses regularly securing positive reviews rank highly.
Utilising a feedback platform allows you to easily identify who your happiest customers are. This group are your brand advocates and BrightLocal’s survey found more than 50% of them are willing to write an online review if you ask them. Embrace this technology to quickly and easily solicit reviews from your happiest customers. By starting a valuable dialogue with this group you can secure a regular stream of positive reviews that will see you climb those rankings in no time.
Make your marketing efforts more effective
If it’s a struggle to fill your restaurant throughout the week you’ve probably tried or considered marketing your business to boost visitor numbers. Unfortunately radio, print and online advertising costs can run into the thousands and there's no real way to measure how effective they’ve been. Collecting customer feedback allows you to build a comprehensive marketing list of customers already primed to buy from you, for free.
Using a feedback platform to collect your customer data ensures your marketing list is already segmented by customer happiness. This means you don’t waste time or money targeting customers who are disengaged and won’t buy, allowing you to focus on your happiest customers who will. Build a large email marketing list and invite your customers to visit and buy from you again and again.
The Direct Marketing Association found that email offers a return on investment of up to 122%, 4 times higher than other marketing formats, including social media, direct mail and paid search. The more feedback you collect the quicker your email list grows, allowing you to push promotions or dishes onto an actively happy audience who are already primed to buy.
Create a loyalty club
Bain & Company found that if you increase customer retention by 5% you can boost profits between 25-95%. How do you get customers to keep coming back regularly? Show that you value and appreciate their custom.
Creating an invite only loyalty club can help encourage desirable consumer behaviours, such as generating valuable word of mouth marketing and encouraging customers to visit in times of low footfall. This is an opportunity create a buzz about your business as people spread the word about the special treatment they’re getting whilst leaving prime booking slots open for new customers.
69% of people join loyalty clubs because they want to feel special. By making your club invite-only you create a sense of exclusivity that makes people feel like they’re getting a better deal. Extending exclusive offers and discounts to this group of customers will secure the loyal custom required to help your business grow.
The last word
Knowing your customer means understanding how they feel. This will help you spot opportunities to improve performance, build your online reputation and encourage repeat business all year round. Technology has made collecting and acting on feedback quicker, easier and more accessible than ever before. Embracing feedback creates a valuable opportunity that will help your business grow and safeguard it long into the future.
ActiveFeedback is the only feelings-led feedback platform to utilise the Customer Happiness Score ® and the Employee Happiness Score ®. The platform helps you spot what’s going right or wrong and to identify actionable changes for the betterment of your business. Build your online reputation, encourage repeat business and save time and money building meaningful relationships with your growing customer base.
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