Filed under: Surveys | Tags: customer service surveys, ipad surveys, iPhone surveys, ipod surveys, mobile surveys, real-time survey reporting, Survey On The Spot
There is a tendency among businesses that collect customer feedback to not properly take advantage of the information. Many businesses collect comment cards, but when it comes time to enter the data into a system, there isn’t the budget to pay the administrative staff to do data entry. The only thing worse than not mining your customers for insights is going through the heavy lifting of getting them to complete a survey and then not doing anything with it.
Being able to obtain complete customer participation in experience surveys will not help at all if you never read what your clients have to say. If you are not using your customer feedback to the fullest, you can take some comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Unfortunately, getting data from comment cards is a resource-intensive process that does not always make it to the top of the priorities list in a busy workplace.
The obstacles to analysis of customer comment cards are many, even after your clients have shared their opinions. The cards, once distributed, completed, and collected, must then be reviewed and input by administrative staff. This data entry, though elementary, is a tedious task that uses valuable administrative time. Administrative tasks like data entry also leave ample opportunity for human error, potentially skewing results and negating the value of the survey. Double-checking data entry is another time-consuming task. Depending on your software programs, you may find yourself reviewing the data input manually to extrapolate themes and trends from your data.
Composing the perfect survey takes time and effort. Making the survey accessible to customers and then convincing them to complete it takes time, money, and creative thinking. If you are putting in the resources to develop and promote your survey, why would you want to waste it all on a lack of follow-through? The only thing worse than not mining your customers for insights is failing to take timely action on the learning that is at your fingertips.
Is there an easier approach? Of course there is! Businesses can put aside the pencils and note cards and fast-forward their survey materials to the 21st century. Consider using iPad or iPod touch portable devices so your customers can input survey data in real time. This allows your business to identify specific time frames for responses, pick up on trends, and stay abreast of customer satisfaction as it happens. This method eliminates much of the human error associated with data entry and also cuts down on wasted time for your employees. Allowing your staff to serve customers instead of being hidden away copying responses into a computer means more one-on-one customer service, a better client experience, and happier customers. Meanwhile, you reap the profits.
Filed under: Case Study | Tags: customer service surveys, hospital surveys, iPhone surveys, mobile restaurant surveys, Survey On The Spot
Need to know how your organization is operating — straight from the operating room? At hospitals and medical centers, patients are always the top priority. Tift Regional Medical Center in Tifton, Georgia has improved care and satisfied patients in the Emergency Care facility by offering real-time patient experience surveys.
Surveying patients in real time improves hospital functions from top to bottom.
For patients, accessibility is key. iPods with the surveys are given to patients by hospital volunteers, providing convenience and mobility as patients are sent to other parts of the medical center. Easy-to-use technology allows patients to answer survey questions quickly and easily, communicating the most accurate recollection of their experience in the emergency facility. Tift Regional Medical Center can identify key points in the patient experience without weighing down patients with piles of paperwork. iPods make survey taking seem exciting for users new to the technology. It also creates a visible communication focus, highlighting to patients the hospital’s dedication to improving patient experience and responding to patient concerns.
Clear answers make healthier patients. Patients can input relevant information that is quickly documented. Physicians can call up survey feedback, past and present, easily and promptly. Better communication means enhanced physician understanding, necessary for moving toward better patient care.
The hospital benefits from this new technology extend beyond patient interaction. Being able to express their concerns instantly encourages accurate feedback from the patients, giving hospitals a clearer understanding of the patient experience. Digitized responses are easily stored and survey results require no data entry or administrative delays, improving documentation and speeding up analysis for hospitals to make necessary reform. Hospital accountability is enhanced and treatment is improved.
From the data-collection and communication enhancements to the accountability and patient experience benefits, real-time surveys are a means for hospitals and medical centers to improve patient care and safety.
Filed under: Survey Feedback | Tags: customer service surveys, mobile restaurant surveys, mobile surveys, restaurant surveys, Survey On The Spot
Using real-time guest satisfaction surveys can provide a business with an honest evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of how well your staff serves your customers. Ongoing evaluations of guest satisfaction and your service performance are essential for recognizing patterns in performance and adjusting negative service patterns as necessary. By constantly revisiting guest feedback and your service actions, a business will be able to determine specific areas of progress and a set of established action plans to address opportunities for improvement.
Recognizing Patterns of Feedback
Let’s use a restaurant as an example: Restaurant management may see a pattern of positive guest feedback on the beginning days of the week with a decline on Friday and Saturday. From this standpoint, the management can step back and determine what the whole team can do differently to change this performance declination on the weekend.
The management can also look at consistencies in specific complaints: were most negative reviews about wait time, quality of food, or maybe server attentiveness? Looking for patterns in guest feedback and relaying them to your staff will allow you to focus on specific problems and improve weaker areas. Building action plans with your teams improves their commitment and engagement to long-term improvement.
Attributing Feedback to Specific Team Members and Giving Recognition
Guest satisfaction surveys can also allow the management to see which members of the team are contributing to a positive guest experience, and which ones need help. Survey feedback patterns can report overall performance of the business, but there will be specific differences across the team that allow you to praise or correct the efforts of a specific employee.
Say a week of surveys totaled 30 negative responses with 20 of them coming from a particular employee’s guests. Instead of focusing on the negative responses and applying them to the whole team, management may want to talk specifically with the employee to determine the problem and facilitate a solution. On the same note, if an employee is receiving particularly positive feedback, find out what they are doing right and relay these strengths to the rest of the team.
Part 2 will cover evaluation and real time tracking of performance.
Filed under: Survey Feedback | Tags: customer feedback, customer service surveys, mobile restaurant surveys, mobile surveys, restaurant surveys, Survey On The Spot
4. Avoid leading questions, or questions which aren’t relevant to specific areas of your guest service.
Filed under: Survey Feedback | Tags: ipod surveys, mobile surveys, restaurants surveys, Survey On The Spot, survey reward program
Encouraging customers to complete your guest satisfaction surveys can be successfully accomplished through a well-designed rewards program. Your rewards program should be generous enough to encourage guests to complete your surveys, spread the word about your program to friends, and increase repeat customers, however shouldn’t be so generous as to put you in a bind if it gets too popular or if a guest tries to redeem a reward on more than one occassion. Designing rewards carefully means calculating the financial impact it will have on your business as compared to the revenues it generates. Generally speaking, a reward that gets a cutomer to choose your restaurant ahead of someone else is a good thing. You should also take measures to make it difficult to duplicate rewards, such as using a virtual rewards system or using unique codes or signatures on the rewards.
Benefits of a Rewards Program
Happy clients, increased survey results, and repeat business are major benefits of a reward program. Not only will you get repeat business from those that have reward points they feel compelled to use, but they may be enthusiastic to pass along the benefits of the program by word-of-mouth to their friends, family and coworkers. In addition to getting more complete survey results, you can also get an instant increase in business followed by more word-of-mouth to family and friends from satisfied customers. A good rewards program can be an investment which leads to increased revenue. Offering discounts or conditional rewards, (i.e. free appetizers with two main courses, stay three nights get a free massage, etc) helps make sure you are earning more with the rewards than you spend on them.
Designing Rewards Carefully
Depending on the rewards you offer, your business may take a bit of a cut in profit on whatever discount or freebie you’re offering. This should be considered an investment if it leads to increasingly happy clients and repeat business, and can also be minimal when compared to the business it generates. Make sure that the rewards are affordable over time so you don’t get your business in a financial jam. Minimize the risk of someone figuring out how to fraudulently duplicate your rewards by having unique numbers, signatures, or codes. Creating virtual rewards can also help reduce this risk. In the event someone figures out how to fraudulently duplicate a reward – make sure you can still offer the reward without too great a financial impact. Keep evolving the rewards so you know which ones are most efficient and effective.
Disclaimers and Disputes
Your should have a clearly-written disclaimer in place in case a dispute arises. The disclaimer needs to outline the specifics of the rewards, such as the general terms and conditions, services or goods that may not be included and when the rewards expire. Putting an expiration date on the rewards prompts people to more quickly take action for a return visit and it also ensures you won’t be stuck giving away a rewards years after you’ve ended those initiatives. Although be ware, the quickest way to lose a customer for life is to fail to honor a coupon that is ‘expired’. If it not an issue of blatant abuse, the best policy is to honor th coupon for someone who is obviously a repeat customer and thanks them for their business.
Filed under: Survey Feedback | Tags: customer feedback, customer service surveys, mobile restaurant surveys, Problems with surveys, restaurant surveys, Survey On The Spot
Presenting guests with a well-crafted survey is an important step towards creating a better business, however is only as effective as the action you take based on the survey results. Mobile surveys give you real-time actionable information, so that you can fine tune your business according to customer wants and needs. Grouping and interpreting real-time survey results into higher-level insight helps you with overall service strategy, and implementing changes can be done faster and easier by making employees aware of guest feedback.
Target Specific Areas
Survey answers can be easily grouped. The closer you track customer responses to specific questions, the easier it will be come to target specific opportunities for your business. For example, you may note that guests frequently have comments about a specific menu item or service issues. Beyond fixing the problem in the short-term based on immediate feedback, you can use these collective complements or complaints to make larger-scale service decisions.
Grouping your survey questions to match larger-scale business decisions or service initiatives you are testing helps you gain specific insight into what you are doing well, and what needs to be changed. Address the issues guests bring up, and make sure to make long-term, strategic improvements based upon those areas that need work. Your customers will appreciate the fact that you know how to listen.
Employee Awareness is Crucial
Not only is it important to listen your guests, it’s also important to share these comments with your staff members. While it’s easy to tell employees what they are doing wrong, many employers never think about sharing positive comments or other insights based on guest feedback. Motivated employees can implement the necessary service changes both immediately and in long-term practice.
This is the best way to involve all of your staff to take part of creating a better atmosphere. Whether you want people to keep an eye on how food is presented or whether you want everyone to step up efforts with cleanliness, notifying your staff of guest survey results is essential.
Filed under: Surveys | Tags: customer feedback, customer service surveys, iPhone surveys, restaurant surveys, Survey On The Spot
Surveys that are too long actually disengage your guests. You can find out most of what you need to know with 10 questions or less. When a survey requires more than a few moments of attention, guests will become easily distracted, which can both reduce the number of guests who actually complete your survey, as well as potentially skewing the answers.
Here are a few ways to keep your surveys easy to read and even easier to complete:
1) Set a clear survey goal and build your survey questions around this goal. Goals can range from practical and operational to more higher-level and managerial. For example, determining which specials to feature in your restaurant each week, the overall satisfaction with your service, how guests feel about the restrooms, etc. This will help you frame the questions in your survey to be more lean and practical as it contributes to your managerial goals.
2) The way you organize your survey questions should be based on what type of information you’re looking for. Just because you are creating a survey, don’t feel you can ask all the questions that cross your mind. They should be relevant and action oriented. Ask them in a logical order that will make sense to your customer or guest. The benefit of using mobile surveys is you can easily edit and update your survey as you develop new goals, and instantly release newly edited surveys.
3) Avoid annoying your guests with lengthy surveys. There’s no doubt that the last thing you want to do is make your customers feel like they are working for you – keep surveys short (ten questions or less), and don’t ask guests for too much personal information. While larger market-research surveys can include redundancies to help you gain the most accurate information, mobile surveys are meant to provide you with faster and real-time feedback that is easy to act upon based on the immediate situation.
4) If you’re unsure about a question, chances are that you can cross that part of your survey out. Surveys can be an ideal way to collect guest information if they are composed intelligently and resonate with people. Ask someone you work with or a friend to complete the survey before you release it to guests.
Filed under: Surveys | Tags: customer service surveys, guest-services, ipad surveys, iPhone surveys, mobile restaurant surveys, restaurant surveys, Survey On The Spot
More often than not, people are happy to share an opinion. Whether good or bad, most customers will enjoy telling you exactly what they think on your guest satisfaction surveys. However with a survey that is too long or tedious to complete, not only can customers stop midway though, they may even leave with a negative impression.
Surveys provide an excellent way to reach out to your market and help you gain a loyal following. The feedback that you can gain from a simple survey is invaluable, and it’s important to keep a survey informative and simple rather than tedious and borderline annoying. The best way to do this is to create a concise survey that consists of no more than a few simple questions you’re interested in getting the answer to. Using a mobile survey platform allows you to edit survey questions whenever you’d like, so you can even change them day to day to gain more comprehensive insights without having one long and tedious survey.
These few questions should be to-the-point, logical, and pertinent to their experience at your place of business as opposed to overly-complicated and lengthy questions which try to dig too deep. Your clients are far more likely to go through a survey that consists of a few simple questions than they are to complete a survey with many complicated survey questions. The goal when creating a survey is to keep your clients happy and focused while also giving them the ability to tell you what they really think.
Time is another crucial factor when it comes to surveys. Looking at the results of a survey that was taken two months ago isn’t nearly as effective as reading the results shortly after a survey taken in real-time. Providing your clients with a way to respond to a survey through a mobile phone application is the fastest way to receive survey results. Efficient and direct, a short mobile phone survey is the modern way to gain feedback when you need it – instantly.
Filed under: Surveys | Tags: customer service surveys, ipad surveys, iPhone surveys, mobile surveys, Problems with surveys, restaurant survey app, restaurant survey apps, restaurant surveys, Restaurants, Survey On The Spot
We recently read a Boston Globe article about how text-based systems can be used for ordering and marketing, and felt compelled to right a response to the piece, as well as a number of the interesting reader comments. Below is Part 2 of this post. You can read Part 1 here.
Builds Relationships with Customers
By asking the customer questions on the mobile survey such as recommending menu items, other improvements they’d like to see, or enabling guests to submit photos of their experience at your restaurant, you can both build your relationship with your customers as well as gain much more valuable insight into what they want. Mobile surveys can also give the guest an option to opt-in to your email marketing list, or connect with your company through social media. When you give the customer the power to engage and make their own recommendations they play a great role in the experience of improving a restaurant, which can increase loyalty and positive buzz online.
Instant Management Alerts
Traditional customer satisfactions survey cards don’t give management the ability to fix a customer service issue before the customer leaves. This can lead to bad reviews online and to friends, and if the customer did fill out a comment card, you won’t know about the service issue until it’s too late. With real-time mobile feedback a customer can use their mobile device to send a complaint immediately, or right after a meal, so you can have the chance to quickly remedy the situation and help the customer leave happy and satisfied as well as make sure the problem doesn’t happen again. Management alerts can be sent right to your phone, immediately after the survey is submitted, while you’re out on the floor with a detailed summary of the problem.
With real-time guest feedback, restaurant managers can coach employees and make service changes on-the-fly. Employees can be rewarded for receiving positive feedback and you can more clearly see the factors which contribute to your guest satisfaction. You can coach employees to better serve customers based on the immediate mobile feedback each day, and sharing feedback with employees can help them perform better.
Filed under: Surveys | Tags: customer service surveys, ipad survey apps, ipod survey apps, Problems with surveys, restaurant survey apps, restaurant surveys, Survey On The Spot, Surveys
As discussed in the first part of this post – traditional surveys create a number of challenges, logistically and strategically. Highlighted below are more issues business often face when collecting data in regards to customer satisfaction.
Difficult to respond to service issues
The results are often not read and noted until the forms are compiled, which for many restaurants happens once a week or once a month, well after the customer has left the restaurant. This makes it nearly impossible for a restaurant manager to remedy any service issues with unhappy patrons, launch promotions, or reward employees in a timely manner based on positive feedback. The forms can’t be quickly revised or changed to suit the immediate survey needs of a restaurant, and have to be more generic in nature, which limits their overall effectiveness in gaining insights into specific service issues.
A challenge to build customer loyalty
Unless a customer leaves a business card or email address, building a relationship with customers is more challenging, and a restaurant’s email marketing list can’t grow as quickly. Unless customers are sharing personal details with you, it’s more challenging to maintain a lean survey while at the same time asking for detailed demographics. Restaurants often have to manually enter customer details into their email marketing software, rather than using simple mobile technology to have this done automatically.