Get Returning Customers, By Getting Their Feedback

If you’re posting to Instagram, and it’s not creating more $$$$ for your business, it is because you don’t understand your customers well enough

When you do understand your customers well enough, you regularly get Instagram messages like the one below.

An Instagram Message from a Happy Customer

The Solution

The solution to this problem is to get your customers to share their deepest thoughts with you. In this post, we will provide instructions on how you can do that.

Identify Your Different Types of Customers

Now that you know how to contact customers, you need to figure out the types of customer to reach out to. There are 2 types of customers you need to reach out to, as suggested below:
  1. One-time Customers – These customers will help you understand why they never come back.
    • As you read this, you have no way to contact your one-time customers.  To solve the problem, you can get their contact information, by always asking them to sign up for your email list or following your social media account. Both give you direct access to reach out to them for feedback.
  2. Repeat Customers – These customers will help you understand what you’re doing right.
In terms of how many customers to reach out to, we recommend reaching out to a high volume of customers, on a regular basis.
We suggest reaching out to at least 10% of your customers, each month. That means if your restaurant services 5000 customers per month, you need to have at least 500 customer conversations, so approximately 17 customers per day. A high-volume of feedback will help you better understand which problems are the most widespread for your restaurant.
There are many ways to communicate with your customers. For example, you can email them, send them a direct message on Instagram, pick up the phone and call them, or talk to them in person. We find that customers are most responsive, through their Instagram inbox.

How to Talk To Customers

Now that you understand how many customers to reach out to, let’s walk you through what messages to your customers can look like.
Below is an example of what you can tell your customers, when you reach out:

“Hey XYZ, I wanted to thank you for your continued support. I am reaching out because I want your honest feedback on how your experiences have been. Do you have a few minutes to share feedback?” Most of the time, people are happy to share feedback, so assuming the customer says Yes, follow up with the following questions: “What has been the highlight of your experiences so far? Is it the food, the environment, or something else? "

Responding to Customer Feedback

Once they give you an answer, dive deeper into their answer. For example, if they say they “like your burger”, ask something like this:

“What specifically about the burger, makes it a positive experience for you?”

 Once they answer that, then find out what your restaurant can do better by asking a question like the one below:

“What is one thing we can do, to make the food or experience better?”

 If they answer with an improvement opportunity or an issue, ask some follow up questions to get them to provide feedback that is actionable enough, for you to immediately act on it. 
For instance, if they say that your “fries tasted too burnt”, then ask for exact date and time of the incident. That information will help you better troubleshoot the improvement opportunity.

Closing the Customer Feedback Loop

 If in a customer conversation, you tell a customer that you will act on the feedback, then you’ll also need to follow up with the customer later. 
Specifically , you’ll need to let them know once the feedback is implemented. This follow-up will not only be kind, but it will also turn that customer into a more loyal customer.
At the end of each interview, document the feedback a spreadsheet. You can get a spreadsheet template for documenting feedback here.
All of the above is a walkthrough of how to execute a full customer interview loop, for a single customer. To see results, you’ll need to do this hundreds, if not thousands, of times.
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