guestXM – by Black Box Intelligence

How to Harness the Power of Customer Feedback Surveys

Let's take a closer look at the different types of customer feedback surveys and how you can use them to gain valuable insights into your customers and restaurant operations.

Understanding Why Customer Feedback Surveys are Essential to Boost Restaurant Operations & Customer Satisfaction

Customer feedback surveys serve as a powerful tool for uncovering shortcomings across customer interactions—from service-related issues to concerns about atmosphere, food quality, or perceived value, all of which significantly impact a guest’s decision to return.

Customers aren’t shy when it comes to expressing their opinions, highlighting their desire to be heard. Beyond being a mere shout into the void, for them, leaving an online review satisfies the human desire for self-expression, the ability to influence others, and a sense of contributing to a community. And by conducting customer feedback surveys, you can potentially reduce the likelihood of negative online reviews.

Today, most businesses are monitoring core indicators of brand and location health through Net Promoter Scores (NPSs), Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Scores, Customer Effort Scores (CESs), and other methods. Top brands are also including surveys to customers of their delivery and takeout platforms to better manage the experience of this crucial, growing segment.

Let’s take a closer look at the different types of customer feedback surveys and how you can use them to gain valuable insights into your customers and restaurant operations.

Net Promoter Score Survey

An NPS survey is a tool used to measure customer loyalty and satisfaction.

The Net Promoter Score survey typically consists of a single question: “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our service/company to friends, family, or colleagues?” Based on their responses, respondents are categorized into three groups:

  • Promoters (score 9-10): These are customers who are highly satisfied and are likely to recommend your brand to others.

  • Passives (score 7-8): These customers are satisfied but not enthusiastic. They are unlikely to actively promote your brand.

  • Detractors (score 0-6): These customers are dissatisfied and may potentially harm your brand reputation by expressing their discontent.

An NPS is then calculated by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters. The resulting score can range from -100 to +100. A higher NPS is generally considered positive, indicating a higher level of customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Furthermore, an NPS can also be combined with a Net Sentiment Score(NSS) to provide a more comprehensive view of customer satisfaction.

NSS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of negative online mentions from the percentage of positive online mentions for a brand. These mentions are pulled from major social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and also include feedback gathered from online surveys.

NSS gives restaurant brands insights into how customers perceive the quality of food, service, ambiance, etc., giving them more actionable data they can use to improve operations and increase customer satisfaction.

Customer Satisfaction Survey

A CSAT survey measures how satisfied customers are with your brand.

Unlike the NPS survey, CSAT surveys are more general and typically ask customers to rate their satisfaction on a scale.

The most common CSAT question is framed like this: “How satisfied are you with our restaurant?” Respondents are then asked to select a rating from a scale, often ranging from 1 to 5 or 1 to 10, with options like “Very Satisfied,” “Satisfied,” “Neutral,” “Dissatisfied,” and “Very Dissatisfied.”

CSAT surveys are versatile and can be used for various interactions or touchpoints, such as after a dine-in, delivery, or takeout experience. They provide a quantitative measure of customer satisfaction and help organizations identify areas for improvement.

The CSAT score is typically calculated by taking the sum of all positive responses (e.g., “Very Satisfied” and “Satisfied”) and dividing it by the total number of responses. The result is often expressed as a percentage. A higher CSAT score indicates higher customer satisfaction.

Customer Effort Score Survey

The CES is a metric used to assess how much effort a customer has to achieve a particular goal, resolve an issue, or complete a transaction with a company.

The CES survey is designed to measure the perceived ease of the customer experience.

The typical question in a CES survey is formulated as follows:

“On a scale from [low effort] to [high effort], how much effort did you personally have to put forth to handle your request?”

Customers are then asked to choose a rating that reflects their perceived level of effort, with options often ranging from “Very Easy” to “Very Difficult.”

Key points about the Customer Effort Score:

  • Low Score Indicates Better Performance: In the CES metric, a lower score is considered better. If customers perceive that they had to exert less effort to accomplish their goals, it is generally seen as a positive outcome.

  • Focus on Reducing Customer Effort: The goal for businesses is to identify areas where customers might encounter unnecessary obstacles or challenges and work to reduce friction, streamline processes, and enhance the overall experience.

  • Predictive of Loyalty: There is a correlation between low customer effort and customer loyalty. Customers who find interactions easy and efficient are more likely to remain loyal to a brand.

The CES survey is particularly useful in understanding the customer experience, especially in scenarios where simplicity and efficiency are crucial, such as customer support interactions or online ordering.

Putting Insights to Use

To understand the underlying reasons for certain responses, restaurants can employ several strategies to gather more detailed feedback and insights.

To take action on your CX feedback involves including open-ended questions in surveys that ask customers to provide additional comments or reasons for their responses and/or reach out to them and request to conduct brief interviews to delve deeper into their experiences. This provides an opportunity to gather qualitative insights.

After you have collected and analyzed the results from the surveys you’ve conducted, you must put those insights to use:

  • Identify Areas for Improvement: Focus on feedback from dissatisfied customers. What issues are causing dissatisfaction? Is it the quality of food, service, or something else? Analyze comments and patterns to pinpoint specific problem areas.

  • Enhance Customer Experience: Address issues raised by customers and create solutions. Train staff to provide better service, and monitor the employee experience to pinpoint any shortcomings.

  • Engage with Satisfied Customers: Recognize and appreciate loyal customers. Consider loyalty programs or special offers to encourage repeat business.

  • Monitor Changes Over Time: Regularly conduct surveys to track changes in customer sentiment. Assess the impact of implemented changes.

  • Promote Positive Feedback: Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews on online platforms. Leverage positive feedback for marketing purposes.

If you would like to learn more about how you can operationalize the feedback you receive from your customers, download our ebook here: Turn Data into Results: Detailed Examples of Operationalizing Your Customer Feedback.

Streamline Feedback Management

The process of developing, administering, and evaluating customer feedback surveys can be laborious.

Consider investing in a solution that helps your team easily build and distribute post-dining surveys, usually via QR code, email, or Wi-Fi access; automate various actions, like task assignments or notifications, based on survey scores or customer feedback; evaluate comments by leveraging AI-powered Natural Language Processor (NLP) to understand what customers are talking about at scale; and so forth.

Using a comprehensive solution to streamline surveys allows for simplified tasks and a rapid collection of insights, ultimately saving precious time. This means you can prioritize what truly matters—constantly enhancing the customer experience.

Want to learn how you can create the perfect customer surveys? Read more here.

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