Monitoring and responding to guest feedback is an essential component of a successful restaurant’s strategy. Thus, selecting a social media vendor you can trust is key to impacting overall performance. The market is saturated with products and solutions centered around social media monitoring and listening. Choosing who to work with is no easy feat. To help you filter through the noise, Black Box Intelligence compiled a list of questions for you to ask potential vendors to help you find the best solution for your brand.
Five Essential Questions to Ask Potential Social Media Vendors
1. What social platforms do you get data from and how do you get the data you’ll be providing? Are you scraping data?
Guests have numerous options when it comes to leaving online reviews. Make sure your social media vendor supports all of the networks that are most important to your business. Bonus points if your provider has true partnerships with these social networks, to ensure the integrity of your data.
2. Are they scraping data?
If your social media vendor is scraping data, be warned that this can be deemed malicious if done without a website owner’s permission, putting you at risk of being cut off from important insights. This process can also be cumbersome in terms of searching and filtering data, especially without an efficient infrastructure in place. And even with an efficient infrastructure, frequent adjustments will be required to keep up with any UI changes made by the website, which we know can happen quite often. This ultimately leads to incomplete data or system crashes.
3. Can you integrate survey data or outside data into your solution?
While restaurant operators share a lot of common needs, your business is unique. You may need to incorporate other data into your social media solution. Ask your vendor if their tool can integrate outside data, such as customer surveys.
Customer surveys are a vital source of information, providing key insight into the performance of your restaurant locations. A tool that allows you to integrate this data so you can compare it with your other data sources will save you a lot of time and energy by keeping it all in one place.
4. Tell me about your Natural Language Processing (NLP).
The nature of the human language is complex, and not easy for computers to automatically understand. A customer review may be nuanced, offering positive, negative, and neutral feedback in a single sentence. Natural Language Processing enables computers to utilize algorithms to collect essential language data and extract meaning. Find out what your social media vendor is doing to obtain these key insights into what your customers are truly thinking.
5. How often are guest comments and data updated?
A large part of shaping your online reputation requires the ability to respond swiftly to customer feedback, whether positive or negative. However, this feedback needs to be considered and evaluated internally first. Sorting through multiple networks and compiling reviews will add a considerable amount of time to your process. Filtering all of your guest comments into a central location in real-time enables any key internal stakeholders the opportunity to assess the feedback. Then you can determine the most appropriate way to respond as quickly and effectively as possible
Is your company an expert in the restaurant space? How long have you been working with restaurant brands and who do you work with?
There is no shortage of data solutions, but you need one that knows and understands your space, not just retail, travel, etc. Find out who your provider has worked with and if they are experienced with restaurant brands. Make sure they truly understand the nature of your business and can accommodate your needs.