In the hyper-competitive hospitality industry, customer experience is everything. Nail it, and your guests keep coming back and encourage others to do the same. But if you botch it? Your guests tell everyone they know — and the whole Internet, too. Fortunately, there are multiple ways you can serve up an unforgettable experience for each guest that walks through your doors. Curious what will make the greatest impact? Our PerformanceScope team digs into the details below.
What Does the Customer Experience Entail?
The customer experience involves anything and everything that matters to your guest. From the atmosphere in your dining area to the attentiveness of your staff, to food quality and even the melodies flowing from your speakers, each element contributes to the overall perception of your business.
From the moment your guests walk through your doors, they’re having an experience, and it’s up to you and your staff to deliver an exceptional one. At every customer touchpoint, your guests should feel engaged, connected, and delighted by the encounter.
What Elements Contribute To an Exceptional Customer Experience?
According to Deloitte, guests are looking for five distinct elements when they engage with a hospitality brand, no matter the size or scope of the business. Those elements are:
● Engagement. Guest want their interactions with your staff to be authentic, genuine, and friendly. They want to be treated as flesh-and-blood humans (no surprise there), not just an opportunity for another hefty tip.
● Empowerment. Your guests want to feel empowered to customize their own decisions when spending their hard-earned dollars at your establishment. They want to know their feedback matters and that when it’s received, appropriate action will follow.
● Active listening. Your guests want to be heard! They want your staff to actively acknowledge their needs and concerns and respond appropriately.
● Delight. No surprise here — your guests want a memorable, shareable experience that exceeds their expectations. They’re looking for personalization, not a one-size-fits-all approach to customer care.
● Proactivity. Your guests want to be known and seen. They want to know you care enough to remember their preferences and anticipate their needs as they continue to patronize your business.
If you can consistently deliver on each of the above elements, you’ll demonstrate a strong understanding of your guests’ deeper needs, thereby boosting their overall customer experience. Unfortunately though, less than half of restaurant guests report feeling satisfied in each of the above areas.
So here’s the real question: How do you learn, specifically, what your guests are looking for when they visit your business? And once you dig up the details, how do you translate that data into a better customer experience?
Customer Experience Surveys: The Key to Unlocking Your Guests’ Needs
For years, serving great food was the center point of a positive customer experience, but now, guests are growing more discerning by the day. While the cuisine is indeed essential to the experience, today’s guests are looking for more than just great food — they’re looking for an event.
With the advent of online reviews, the businesses with the greatest staying power are the ones who consistently deliver unforgettable experiences for their guests. But how do they do it? Do they review guest feedback online and respond accordingly? Nope. By the time a review hits Google, the damage may already be done. Instead, they operate proactively. They take the time to ask their guests what’s important to them and use that feedback to plan their operations.
How do they gather that data? Customer feedback surveys.
Customer feedback surveys offer any hospitality business an invaluable tool for improving their overall guest experience. The aim of the survey is to gather guest feedback about a wide variety of customer touchpoints immediately following the experience.
By gathering and analyzing this data, businesses receive valuable insights concerning their strengths and areas of opportunity. They can then adjust their training and operations to better accommodate guests’ needs, thereby boosting guest satisfaction, and ultimately, their bottom lines.
How Do Customer Experience Surveys Work?
Conducting guest experience surveys isn’t a novel practice, but it’s one that can pay in spades if you use the insights to your advantage. Here’s how the process works:
● Restaurants print a survey invitation on a percentage of random guest checks.
● The invitation extends an offer to visit a dedicated website where guests can complete the feedback survey.
● The survey follows the natural flow of the guest’s experience, from beginning to end. It covers an extensive list of guest touchpoints, including prompt service, staff attentiveness, cleanliness, food quality, overall satisfaction, and likelihood to return, among others. There is also an opportunity to add comments should the guest wish to provide additional details.
● After completing the survey, the guest receives an incentive to revisit the restaurant in the form of a one-time code, which offers a discount on their next purchase.
Each time a guest completes a survey, the business operator receives a notification, along with the guest’s contact information. This allows management to reach out to guests who may require further assistance or who were dissatisfied with their experience.
At the end of each month, operators receive a scorecard with their unique data. They can then use this information to benchmark internal performance over time or to compare their performance to industry standards.
Ready to Improve Your Customer Experience? Contact PerformanceScope Today
At PerformanceScope, we help hospitality operators improve their businesses through the power of data. As hospitality experts with decades of experience in the industry, we deeply understand what it takes to create an exceptional customer experience. More importantly, we’re here to help you develop that knowledge, too. Ready to learn more about how we can help you improve your customer experience and boost your bottom line? Contact our team today for more information, or fill out your information to try PerformanceScope for free!