After you have taken a deep breath and are ready to respond to customer feedback, what do you say?
This is an important question because Rewards Network data shows that customers who receive a response from a restaurant after providing feedback spend 14.4% more and visit 11.7% more often. Simply having a restaurant customer satisfaction survey doesn’t mean anything to your customers if you can’t respond to them and acknowledge their comments.
With thousands of interactions between restaurant owners and their customers through our proprietary Customer Management System, we have seen some remarkable examples of how best to respond to customer feedback. From a simple thank you to using a negative comment as an opportunity to mend relations, every customer interaction has the potential for great results, word of mouth and return visits.
Take a look at these examples which may give you just enough inspiration to really engage with your customers.
Take time to appreciate the positive.
A simple “thank you” to a customer for taking the time to share their experience is a great way to build rapport and create a loyal following of advocates. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to mention that new Happy Hour or upcoming special event (tastefully of course). How would you feel if you got a response on a comment you left? Sometimes, it really is the thought that counts.
Those wings are amazing, aren’t they? Thanks so much for coming by for Happy Hour! I really appreciate your review and hope to see you soon!
Thanks so much for your feedback. We are happy to hear that we made your night a special one. Please, come again anytime when you are in the mood for a martini and live music on Saturdays around 9 p.m.!
Remember that we are all human.
Be personable, genuine, and never forget that there is a person on the other end of the feedback. Personalize the response to reference the customer’s actual experience, especially if you are responding to a lot of feedback at once. Try not to use a canned response because it takes away from the sincerity of your message.
Oh no! I’m sorry we bused your table too soon. I hope you told someone – we would have replaced anything you wanted! Thank you for the review. We hope to see you soon. Please ask for a Manager if we do that again.
Ask for more details.
Vague comments can be frustrating but they are worth addressing. Asking for more details is a great way to show you care and collect information that may improve any operational deficiencies and customer perceptions. Be sure to provide your contact information so they can get back in touch with more information and keep the conversation going.
I am sorry to hear that. Can you give me more feedback? Did you sit in the bar or in the dining room? What did you try that you felt was mediocre? I would appreciate your feedback so we can improve.
Take responsibility and don’t be afraid to apologize.
We know. Apologizing can be painful, especially when you were there and know for a fact that the customer ate every morsel of the meatloaf that is now “dry” according to their review. Whether true or not, it’s the customer’s perception and you can’t be afraid to take responsibility and apologize. If your response is going to be publicly posted, you have an audience of people waiting to see how you handle the situation. This is when you have to channel a little bit of that inner peace to show that you can rise above the negativity and turn that customer’s frown upside down.
I’m very sorry to hear about your experience. My name is Andrew, I am the bar manager. Please try us again and ask for me. First-round will be on the house. Once again I apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your review.
We are very sorry for our lack of professionalism and, as the General Manager, will make sure to bring this information and experience to all my team member’s attention. We thank you for giving us a shot and are very sorry we did not give you a great experience. Thank you for your feedback; it is a tool I will use to improve myself and my staff.
Honesty really is the best policy.
Maybe your prices are a little higher but there is a good reason for that, such as you use local or organic products. Or maybe you know that the restaurant was understaffed last Saturday. Being honest with your customers goes a long way in understanding your story.
Just wanted to say thanks for making us a dinner choice for you. I’m happy that you could get some rewards for doing so. I know we’re not the cheapest place in town, but we truly value every dollar you spend with us & hope your experience will bring you back. Thanks again for visiting us, & taking the extra time to send us a few helpful words.
Having a restaurant customer satisfaction survey is a not only a great window into your customers’ experience, but it’s also a great opportunity to build a relationship with them. Be sure your tool allows you to respond directly to any feedback you receive because the data shows, it makes a difference..
Remember, the tone is everything. Keep it simple. Be genuine.
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