Your students’ feedback is your only clear indicator of how well (or not) you’re performing, and you can never have too much of it. In a perfect world, you’d be able to hear the thoughts and suggestions from every student you serve. However, if you can settle for getting as much feedback as possible, the following six ways can give you plenty of food for thought.
Dartmouth College introduced Touchwork’s TxtandTell Solution at the end of 2016, and they are already seeing favorable results within 6 months. According to John Plodzik, Director of Dining Services, Campus Services “Students like the convenience of using their mobile phones and the instant validation that their voice has been heard. As a college, we are able to provide much better customer service to our students by creating an engaging culture with open communication with them. It’s a win-win all around.”
Your school’s dining hall is an informal gathering place for friends, a meeting place for clubs, an information hub, and a brief escape for busy students. And the more you can do to enhance your dining hall experience, the fewer seats you might find empty. Here are 10 creative ways to use digital signage in your dining hall that students will appreciate.
Getting feedback from the students that fuel your school’s purpose isn’t just a good idea – it’s absolutely essential to keep your school community thriving. But simply collecting periodic feedback isn’t enough to fuel your school’s beating heart, especially when that feedback begins to gather dust before it can be put to good use.
Customer feedback is the backbone of business growth, as it provides the most direct route to knowing what your customers really think of you and your product. And if you collect customer feedback the right way, you also become privy to deeper insights like what your customers expect, what they want, and how their needs are changing.
You’ve worked hard to create a great experience for your customers, but how do you know if you’ve met (or exceeded) their expectations? Would you benefit from finding out what customers like and dislike every time they visit one of your locations? How about addressing problems immediately and showing customers you’re listening and care about their concerns?
Here’s the good news: Getting in-the-moment real-time feedback from customers about their current experience isn’t that daunting. With the right software tools, you can easily manage the entire process on a daily basis—without a major effort or great cost.
Here’s a 7-step process that ensures every customer experience counts in a typical dining or retail environment.
1. Ask customers for feedback
Let customers know you want to hear from them and make it easy for them to provide on-the-spot feedback. Display brief instructions on a poster, napkin holder card, table tent or receipt. The simplest way is for them to send a single text message with their feedback; alternatively, they can enter a short URL into their browser or scan a QR code to access a web form. The survey must be short; the most important thing is to identify what they like or dislike about the current experience. We recommend three rating questions plus comments or comments only, and offering an incentive to encourage feedback.
2. Immediately thank customer
It’s important to immediately close the loop and acknowledge customers who provide feedback. They’ll appreciate knowing it’s been received. Send an automated text message reply within seconds using appropriate wording to thank customers. If an incentive is offered, the response can confirm it: they’ve been entered in a drawing or sent a coupon code along with details on how to redeem it. For example: “We thank you for your feedback and greatly appreciate your comments. You’ve been entered in our monthly drawing for an iPad!”
3. Alert staff by text or email
As soon as feedback is received, alert designated staff by sending a text message and/or an email with the details provided by the customer. Text message alerts are the best way to do this, as most people read texts as soon as they’re received. Emails can be sent to multiple people to keep them abreast of what’s going on. In the alert, include the ratings plus comments as well as the customer’s cell phone number. This enables staff to contact the customer directly if required, something that’s especially important if a health or safety issue is reported.
4. Act quickly to address problems
It’s critical to act immediately if problems are reported; this shows customers you’re listening and can turn a negative experience into a positive outcome. It also ensures that other customers don’t experience the same problems. Typical examples of problems reported include:
Food that’s under/overcooked, at the incorrect temperature, tastes bad, etc.
Staff that are rude, unhelpful, unkempt, etc.
Shortages of items, e.g., condiments, sugar, salad dressing, utensils, napkins, etc.
Dirty items, such as plates, utensils, eating surfaces, etc.
5. Communicate/thank customers personally
To show customers you’ve listened to them, send them a personal reply by text message. (Note this is in addition to the automated text message they’ve already received.) Thank them for their feedback and suggestions, answer any questions they’ve asked or tell them how/when any problem will be resolved. Include your name; this personal interaction is a great way to build relationships with your customers and show you care.
6. Share customer feedback on digital comment boards
Customers love to hear what others have to say about the products and services they experience. A great way to engage and communicate with them is to display customer comments and management responses on digital comment boards. Designated staff can select and publish customer comments and enter appropriate responses to overhead digital screens. This helps to share information and answer questions, and creates an interactive and dynamic environment that stimulates further feedback.
7. Review results regularly
Store all feedback and communications in a web portal. Review the feedback with your team on a daily/weekly/monthly basis to keep a finger on the pulse of what’s going on. This helps to:
Monitor the performance of your operations
Identify issues that need additional follow-up
Recognize staff members who were complimented
Identify the need for further training
Learn from and implement suggestions and recommendations
Reinforce the importance of customer service with staff
You may wonder how much effort it takes to do all this. The answer is not much if you use software tools to automate the entire process. All it takes is a minute or two to read the feedback alerts sent to your phone, tablet or PC; respond to the customer; and post the feedback to the comment boards. The most important thing is to act on the feedback and address problems immediately—something that goes without saying if you care about your customers.
To find out how you can make every experience count, we’d love to schedule an online demo.