April 13, 2009
Also, think through your policy for how you intend to respond. Any business owner who disparages a customer for speaking his or her mind, is likely to find it blowing up in their face. Smart business owners will understand that even the way they respond to negative complaints is being judged by consumers. They will use their response rights wisely.
If a review is inaccurate, keep the response fact based and unemotional. If the review is negative but accurate, use the feedback to improve the weak areas and set out to improve your ratings through better service and/or better products.
One thing is true for every consumer-facing small business — ignore reviews at your peril.
March 11, 2009
Just as there are multiple forms of expression, there should be multiple ways in which guests can reach out to restaurants. For many operators, this means allowing for a combination of comment cards, online feedback forms, phone calls, letters and personal conversations.
At Ivar’s Mukilteo Landing, general manager Michelle Dobaran uses a variety of data-collection points for customer feedback. Her staff is trained to gather feedback holistically by talking with guests in the restaurant’s dining room. Guests can send comments through Ivar’s Web site via a Web-based tool that is managed by a third party. And when a table receives its check at the end of a meal, guests also receive a paper comment card.
“I’m constantly amazed on how many people take the comment card with them when they leave, then spend the 42 cents to mail it back,” says Doboran, adding that she receives about 50 comment cards a day.
March 11, 2009
http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/lifestyle/chi-0305-commandments-vettelmar05,0,5943482.story by | Tribune critic firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Hearken to thy feedback. Worse than any service misstep is the sense that complaints are being ignored. If a customer has a valid complaint, own up to it, make amends and do whatever you can to turn this negative into a positive. And pay attention to other customer comments. “The best thing to happen to us is the customer comments from OpenTable.com,” says Alex Dana of the Rosebud Restaurants Group. “They send them in like you wouldn’t believe, and I hold my workers accountable.”
February 27, 2009
Mr. Tryder: What stands out is that customers are interested in engaging directly with the brand in a relevant and honest way.
We got a lot of great feedback in the conversations about the DDSMART menu items—and customers liked the fact that Stan was there answering questions.
Quite honestly, that’s not a big “Aha!” I mean, every brand wants to establish as close a relationship to its fans as it can—the question has always been how do you do that cost-effectively, in a meaningful way that doesn’t just look like more advertising?
This proved that we could do that.
February 27, 2009
What is the best cooking tip you can offer to home cooks? Be patient. Let the food cook. For example, meat needs a few minutes to sear in order to caramelize and lock in the juices before flipping.
What is the secret to your success? I have a passion for what I do and I enjoy meeting the diners and getting their feedback; it propels me to expand and be creative. I try to listen and respond to customer wants and needs.
February 12, 2009
But is Yelp also a shakedown racket for merchants? Some restaurant owners say the San Francisco company is unusually aggressive in trying to get businesses to pay hundreds of dollars in monthly “sponsorship” fees to improve their ranking in search results and to move their most positive review to the top of the page.
They also say paying Yelp is often the only way to counter negative reviews posted by rival eateries — a common digital-era practice, business owners say, in the highly competitive restaurant industry.
“We felt like we had no choice,” Jamie Inzunza, owner of Mamma’s Brick Oven Pizza in South Pasadena, said of the $350 she pays Yelp every month. “We decided that we had to spend all this money to protect ourselves once the bad reviews started appearing.”