Customer Comment Cards for Restaurant Marketing
In today’s competitive restaurant industry, owners and operators are trying everything they can to gain an upper hand on their competition. Restaurant marketing is quickly evolving into the tech space with tools like advanced POS systems and WiFi marketing & analytics platforms.
There is one traditional tool, however, that has stood the test of time. And it continues to be an important standard in the restaurant industry. As outdated as they might seem, restaurant customer comment cards can provide valuable feedback to help improve your business. Unfortunately, they also come with several drawbacks.
What Are Restaurant Customer Comment Cards?
Comment cards are physical documents that ask for a customer’s opinion on specific things. They are typically printed on card stock or small pieces of paper like old school loyalty cards. These are given to customers to fill out and return to you.
They typically ask specific restaurant survey questions related to the restaurant customer’s visit, such as:
- How was your food today?
- Was the service adequate?
- How would you rate the atmosphere?
- Would you recommend us to friends or family?
Some dining comment cards will also ask open-ended questions, such as, “What do you like the most about our restaurant?” Then space is given for the customer to write their answer.
Benefits and Uses of Restaurant Feedback Forms
Gathering and listening to your customer feedback is an integral part of running a restaurant. Not just when there is time to do so, but on an ongoing basis. You can gather the data by speaking with your customers face-to-face, by using social media, or by implementing a WiFi marketing and analytics solution. The most practical solution, other than using a WiFi marketing platform, has always been the restaurant customer comment card.
One of the most efficient ways to improve a restaurant’s bottom line is to listen to the opinions of customers. But these opinions must be genuinely taken to heart. It’s easy to form assumptions and ideas based on your own personal opinion, but that can be detrimental to your business and restaurant marketing strategies.
By collecting this valuable, personalized information, you’ll be able to see your establishment from the customer’s point of view. This will help you make more informed decisions with marketing messages, strategies and overall operations.
Plus, repeat customers are much less expensive than acquiring new ones. By using restaurant comment cards, you’ll not only have a way to gather their contact information, you’ll be able to quickly deal with any issues that a customer might have and make them happy. This type of customer service recovery can mitigate negative word-of-mouth and keep the customer’s issue inside your place of business.
While these are great things for your business, many restaurateurs find customer comment cards provide several drawbacks.
Drawbacks of Using Restaurant Customer Comment Cards
For restaurant owners and operators, the biggest disadvantage with customer comment cards is the time it takes to plan, implement, analyze, and act on them. The restaurant feedback forms are expensive to print, and takes man power to input into your customer relationship database to track and analyze. For the cards to have any value, time and effort must be put into these steps.
At the same time, restaurant customer comment cards do not offer a great response rate. In general, only about 30% of customers take the time to fill them out. Additionally, the customers who do fill them out are typically at one end of the spectrum – either very happy, or very unhappy. This skews the insights you receive because you’re not getting enough data from the average customer, and enough data to make the customer’s feedback statistically relevant to your restaurant operation.
Another issue that transpires is not establishing specific goals of the comment card campaign and creating the cards with questions that do not give you the data you ultimately wanted. So, changing the cards involves more unnecessary cost and time.
In addition, when collecting and reviewing the cards, any issues you need to resolve will be after-the-fact. Great customer service involves recognizing an issue right away and resolving it as soon as possible, ideally before the customer leaves. Comment cards do not allow you to do this.
Then there is the issue of the time it takes to analyze the cards and find patterns in the responses. This can be difficult, and many times the handwriting is rushed and not legible.
So, how can you gain the benefits of customer feedback and ratings without the drawbacks?
Using a WiFi Marketing Platform for Sending Surveys & Collecting Customer Feedback
Since customer feedback is crucial for a business to thrive, it doesn’t make business sense not to collect it. But most owners and operators simply do not have the time for restaurant customer comment cards.
The answer lies in your guest WiFi.
Using a WiFi marketing and analytics platform like Bloom Intelligence, you can passively collect clean and verified customer contact information without lifting a finger.
How It Works
The Bloom customer analytics platform creates clean, actionable customer behavior insight. Bloom employs multiple machine learning algorithms. They remove employees and outliers from the data. This provides multi-location operators true insight into their customer behavior and locations’ health.
After that, the Bloom big data stack processes these customer data points through multiple advanced algorithm sets to create insight, build customer profiles, and to trigger email marketing campaigns that are based upon the behavior of your customers.
Not only will you be collecting clean, verified customer data, you’ll have the ability to automatically send customer surveys, ratings requests, messages, offers and questionnaires for your restaurant to your customers. Results are organized in one easy-to-use dashboard.
When sending ratings requests to your customers, you can configure the system to respond based upon your restaurants customers rating. For instance, if they give a rating of only 2 stars, the system can send them an apology message with an incentive to get the customer back through your door and give you another chance, and provide your management with an instant notification so they can react to the customer issue in real time. Or, if the customer leaves a 5-star rating or positive feedback, you can respond with a thank you message that includes links to your page or restaurant feedback form on Yelp or Google, or any other major online ratings website. Asking your restaurant customers to leave a review after they give you positive feedback will grow the number of positive ratings you have online. This ultimately leads to more traffic from new customers to your restaurant.
Truly Understand Who Your Customers Are
You’ll immediately begin seeing patterns emerge. Plus, you’ll have the ability to sort your customer profiles in a way to begin defining your ideal customers. This is referred to as customer segmentation. Then, you can send targeted, personalized marketing messages to each of your customer groups.
With a quality WiFi marketing and analytics platform like Bloom Intelligence, you can not only gather information that is acquired through traditional restaurant customer comment cards, you can use the data for any number of marketing campaigns. You’ll see result in real-time, react to reviews automatically and you’ll finally be able to apply tangible data to your restaurant marketing efforts. This will all be done in the background, automatically, with very little set up time by you. Now that is just a smart restaurant customer feedback strategy.
It’s time to start utilizing your guest WiFi and customer data to build customer profiles, gather customer insights, and gain a competitive edge. Then watch your profits grow. Leverage the power of Bloom Intelligence growth tools in our WiFi marketing and analytics platform at your single or multi-unit locations to power your growth.
Amazing analytics tools.
“This is an integral part of our local store marketing program. We use the e-mails we collect to tell our existing customers about various promotions, specials and discounts, and the analytics tools are amazing at capturing and displaying smart device activity in and around our store.”
~ Ron Murray
Atlanta Bread Company