Restaurant Articles

Collecting and Learning from Customer Feedback

By July 26, 2016 No Comments

Your customer experience can always stand to be improved. What are the best methods to collect and analyze customer feedback?

 Implementing new technologies can be daunting, especially for long-standing and successful quick service restaurants (QSRs) whose customers don’t always want them to change. But the fact is that the world is changing and if your customer base is significantly older than your competitors, they may not always be around to voice their complaints. Many quick-service brands are flat-out bailing on traditional market research in favor of advanced new technologies to gather real-time customer feedback, and that’s business intelligence that can be invaluable in bringing your products to market.

Using Social Media

In today’s social media-saturated universe, customers have the right to expect that their voices will be heard, and quickly. Many long-standing brands, ranging from air travel providers to beloved food brands, have found themselves putting out major media firestorms because a customer or two with significant influence fired off an angry tweet. But you can still take advantage of this change by breaking off from outdated market research strategies like focus groups and surveys and utilizing advanced technology to solicit customer feedback from their most valuable customers in real time.

Specialty Software

Whether operators invest in sophisticated customer feedback management software that integrates with their point-of-sale systems or capitalize on popular social media outlets to give their best customers a voice, the goal is the same: use these new technologies to gather feedback while simultaneously offering great customer service and improving the business without resorting to interruptive or intrusive marketing strategies.


Whether operators invest in sophisticated customer-feedback-management software through their POS systems or in-store kiosks, use video-game-like virtual worlds to test changes, or capitalize on popular social media outlets to hear from customers, the goal is the same: use technology to gather feedback and improve the business in real time.

One of the big differences in this approach is that social technology provides an open forum where customers are comfortable sharing thoughts and opinions when they are not solicited, and so they provide a more organic reaction. Advanced technologies allow people to react in the moment, which provides a real representation of what they are thinking.

Video Analytics

Gathering customer reactions can also be a completely noninvasive process by implementing systems that integrate advanced video surveillance and business analytics. Customers know that they are being recorded when they are in a quick service restaurant. It’s a part of the age of surveillance and it’s an essential part of running a restaurant that is safe, risk-averse, and cost-efficient. But that video data can also tell you a lot about your customers without having to solicit reactions from them. It can tell you what they’re ordering, how often they are coming in, when their order was mistaken, and how they move through your restaurant. By examining customer behavior virtually via video analytics, QSR operators can make a lot of changes very quickly without having to wait for analysis and conceptualization.

Have you found a best way to collect customer feedback for your restaurants? Tell us about your experience in the comments!