Why you need to respond to your customer’s feedback

It’s never fun reading bad reviews about your own establishment, but responding to them quickly and in the correct manner can save your establishment’s image. To react to good feedback also makes your customer feel as if you are taking personal interest in them. Whether good or bad, your customer wants to know their feedback is recognised. Travelling Mystery Guest takes a look at why this is important:

Laptop

  1. To avoid future complaints

Customers always name the specific thing that made them unhappy during their previous encounter. Take notice of this, because if this is a problem to one customer, it might be a problem to others as well. To respond to your customer and to take action on what they complained about, can eliminate similar complaints in the future. Also, when a customer is considering a place to stay or dine by looking at online reviews and they notice that complaints are being repeated, it’s clear to them that the establishment is not attentive to complaints.

  1. To build loyalty with your customers

It is really rewarding when a customer is satisfied, especially when they made the effort to write a good review. This is something that prospective customers notice, which means your loyal customers promotes your business for you. Why not thank them? It’s minimal effort and this may result in a long-term relationship with your customer. This will actually have a “seal the deal” effect: You’ve already satisfied your customer and now you are just taking the final steps to ensure that they return.

  1. To avoid bad word of mouth

Too many times have customers taken the time to complain on some sort of platform only to be ignored by the establishment.  With people on social media being quite ruthless, a bad review can snowball into a conversation that can do a lot of damage to your establishment’s image. Even if it is a fussy customer who complains about everything, Shep Hyken says: “The customer may not always be right, but they are always the customer. So, let the customer be wrong with dignity and respect.” It’s not always easy, but this is what we deal with in the hospitality industry.

  1. Essential to improve

It’s always a good idea to initiate customer feedback. If you are planning on making some changes or improvements in your establishment, why not ask your customers’ opinion? You are, in fact, implementing these changes to satisfy your customer. Post a questionnaire online and ask willing customers to give you their feedback. This will decrease the risk of wasting money on things your customers do not need, because you’re working with the feedback that your current, or even potential customers have given you.

  1. It’s a way to check up on your employees

As a manager, you might not always be present on site, due to numerous responsibilities. If you are dealing with a customer complaint, find out what the exact time of their visit was and verify the situation with your employees. Always apologise to your customer. You might not always believe that their specific problem could occur at your establishment, but try to see the complaint as an opportunity to ensure that the problem is resolved and that it doesn’t happen again.

Written by: Alicia Redelinghuys

Anywhere is an adventure

Some people are born with wanderlust and they will explore all the places on this beautiful earth before a single grey hair appears on their head.  Other people are afraid to take the risk of experiencing the unknown abroad. Being any one of these two people is perfectly fine. Adventure can be found anywhere. Travelling Mystery Guest assists hotels, lodges, guesthouses and even restaurants to identify the type of people to attract.

Adventure is defined as an unusual and exciting or daring experience. But a customer doesn’t always have to go to the ends of the earth to awaken the joy of discovering the unknown. Something new and interesting can be found right around the corner of where they are. Taking only South Africa into consideration, the Northern Cape and the Western Cape lies right next to each other on a map but they present a traveller with two different worlds.

There is not a place on this planet not worth exploring. Every new destination they visit and everything you do for your customer can change them. People get caught up in work and routine and sometimes they forget to look up and enjoy their surroundings. Unexpected places and people can provide us with a new experience.

The cultures of the world can now be found almost everywhere. Different restaurants provide entirely unique experiences. Guests tend to create bucket lists of things they would like to do and see. Destinations must find ways to become one of the top 10 attractions customers want to experience. Identify methods through which your destination can offer customers trendy food experiences or exciting events that they would like to add to their calendars.

Set up a list of local places and visit a different one each month. Join events that are presented in your location, especially if it is something you wouldn’t normally do, like going to acoustic music concert or a book reading, to learn what your guests will be experiencing when visiting there.

There is a certain magic that happens when the earth awakens. Getting up early and watching the sun rise holds the promise of a new day. Guide your guests to put on their adventure goggles and break your routine. Encourage them to eat ice cream for lunch just because they can. Do something out of the ordinary to make yourself also realize there’s more to life than just living.

Customers  don’t need a reason to go anywhere. You need to create the need. Be the one thing they need to see before they head back to their home. Create memories that will make them want to come back.

 

Word of Mouth – Get them to talk about you

Did you know that, according to referralcandy.com, customers attained through word-of-mouth spend 200% more than the typical customer? They also make double the referrals than your usual client.

Mark Zuckerberg, chairman, chief executive and co-founder of Facebook, said:

“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.”

This is why review platforms, like TripAdvisor, are doing so well in the tourism and hospitality industry: People influence people. Before making any purchases, customers search for reviews and referrals related to products and services they are interested in, in order to make a calculated decision on what to purchase.

Word of Mouth

Word of Mouth

Customers trust those suggesting certain products and services, as they know that no one will put their name on the line for a brand that won’t live up to the anticipated standards.

Referring customers may dub a hotel’s check-out process one of the most important touch points of the customer’s experience. A restaurant’s work is not necessarily done after the customer has paid the bill. Yes, post-purchase experiences can determine a customer’s brand preference just as much as any other touch point in the customer journey, encouraging or discouraging word-of-mouth marketing.

The question is: What is it that makes customers want to talk about your brand?

Word-of-mouth kicks in…

  • When a customer experiences something way beyond what was expected.
  • When the customer was impressed by a physical, non-verbal statement. It could be a unique architectural feature, a kinetic or educational experience or an act of generosity, like offering free dessert to buying customers. Like entrepreneur.com puts it: “Flour, butter and sugar are cheap advertising.” In comparison to all the other advertising options out there, I agree. Find something within your brand that sets you apart from the rest, even if it costs you a little extra flour, butter and sugar each month. Use it to your advantage.
  • When you prepare and budget to deliver a service that generates word-of-mouth. Sometimes we need to sacrifice one thing in order to gain another, i.e. Expanding your restaurant with a unique children’s playground might just get your customers talking.
  • When you trust and allow your customers to deliver the news about your brand to their friends. They won’t repeat what you say in your advertisements – give them the opportunity to do the marketing for you.
  • When it is something interesting to share with friends. There has to be a reason customers want to talk about your destination, isn’t there?
  • When it is easy. You need to help word-of-mouth along. Make it a simple, easy-to-share message – anything longer than a sentence is too long. Don’t just stick the message to a brochure or your website – make it portable with things like emails and social media.
  • When you make customers happy. Content customers are supreme promoters, so delight them, excite them and make them want to tell a friend.
  • When customers trust and respect you. Always be honourable and entwine ethics into what you do. Be good to your customers and satisfy their needs. Customers won’t talk about a company that might embarrass them by not living up to what others say about the brand.

Whether we like it or not, word-of-mouth is here to stay. As people, we want to have conversations and we want to share in each other’s joy. It’s part of our being. So get your ducks in a row, put on your brainstorming caps and create opportunities for customers to talk about you!

CUSTOMER JOURNEY MAPPING WORKSHOP

Travelling Mystery Guest

Travelling Mystery Guest (Pty) Ltd

Knowing your customer’s expectations is a difficult task. Often it seems almost impossible. It’s very rare to find two customers whose expectations are exactly the same. Still, there are certain expectations that are inherent to a customer’s experience, which is why a customer journey map is so ideal!

A customer journey map helps you to:

  • Think like a customer
  • Get to know the different customers
  • Understand the importance of interlinked departments
  • Look at things from both sides
  • Identify gaps in the customer’s experience
  • Fix the gaps in the customer’s experience
  • Identify additional ways to improve the customer’s experience
  • Stay on your toes
  • Motivate line staff

We offer customer journey mapping workshops all over South Africa (and even abroad) to assist hotels, guesthouses and restaurants to improve their customers’ journeys through your destination.

Interested? Contact us on (+27)82 336 1562 / enquire@travellingmystery.co.za and we’ll come to you!

CUSTOMER JOURNEY MAPPING WORKSHOP – Back by popular demand

We all dread it when customers confront us about a bad experience. Whether it is a mistake from our side or due to unforeseen circumstances, an unhappy customer is a customer we don’t want.
Travelling Mystery Guest’s workshop, Customer Journey Mapping, is back by popular demand and the company will be hosting another three of these workshops at different venues in South Africa before the end of the year. The first will take place in Pretoria on 2 September 2015 at the CSIR, just off the N1. On 21 October 2015 the workshop will be held in Johannesburg at Eagle’s View Guesthouse, followed by a visit in Bloemfontein at De Oude Kraal on 4 November 2015. Bookings can be made by contacting Renate de Villiers on 082 336 1562 or enquire@travellingmystery.co.za.

Customer Journey Mapping Workshop

Customer Journey Mapping Workshop

More about the workshop:
The workshop focuses on teaching delegates to create a map of the customer’s experience through their company, whether it is a restaurant, hotel or other service provider. Mapping out the customer’s journey assists line staff and managers to understand the customer’s way of thinking, eventually teaching employees to think like the customer. This leads to staff being able to think further than the here and now and encourages them to go the extra mile. It decreases customer frustrations, motivates staff and creates innovation within the workplace, because employees need to think out of the box in order to get into their customer’s shoes.

The Customer Journey Mapping Workshop helps employees to think like a customer. It helps them to understand why customers often react in certain ways and provides employees with a tool to prevent certain gaps within the customer’s experience. It might also even instigate a few new ideas and standard operating procedures within the customer’s journey that could improve the customer’s experience.
Get to know your customers on a whole new level by attending this exciting workshop. For bookings and more information, contact Renate de Villiers on 082 336 1562 or enquire@travellingmystery.co.za.
IMPORTANT: These workshops can take a maximum of 15 delegates and therefore companies and individuals are urged to book well in advance to avoid disappointment.
Follow Travelling Mystery Guest on Facebook (facebook.com/TravellingMysteryGuest) and Twitter (@TravellingMG) to stay up to date with their latest workshops and travels.

Customer Journey Mapping Workshop – 1 July 2015 – Pretoria

Getting to know your customers is a challenging, yet enriching task. I call it a task, because it is. It is your responsibility to know who your customers are, where they are from, what they need and what they expect from your company. Journey mapping, or rather customer journey mapping, allows you to do just that and Travelling Mystery Guest would like to help you make the task easier!

 

Customer Journey Mapping Workshop Pretoria

Customer Journey Mapping Workshop Pretoria

Travelling Mystery Guest invites you to join in on the fun at the upcoming Customer Journey Mapping Workshop, taking place on 1 July 2015 at the HPC, University of Pretoria.
Delegates will get to have some fun while getting to know:

– the different types of customers,

– different customer behaviours and

– the process of mapping out your company’s customer journey in detail.

Why? Because having this information at hand allows you to train your employees to cater to your customer’s every need, it encourages new, innovative ideas on how you can “wow” your customer and it provides you with some information on possible service gaps that need your attention.
Would you like to join in on the fun? Contact Renate de Villiers on 082 336 1562 / enquire@travellingmystery.co.za for more information or book via Travelling Mystery Guest’s Travelling Mystery Guest on Facebook. Follow Travelling Mystery Guest on Twitter: Travelling Mystery Guest on Twitter
WORKSHOP INFORMATION:
Workshop: Customer Journey Mapping
For whom: Anyone who would like to improve their customer knowledge and who would like to expand and develop their company’s innovative, yet customer focused service.
When: 1 July 2015
Where: HPC, University of Pretoria
Time: 08:30 for 09:00 until 15:00
Cost: R1080.00 per person
Included: Snacks, coffee and tea, lunch, workshop booklet
What to bring: Laptop, pen and paper, thinking cap, creative ideas
BOOKINGS: Contact Renate de Villiers on enquire@travellingmystery.co.za / 082 336 1562

BOOKINGS CLOSE ON 25 JUNE 2015

Hospitality Trends for 2015:

Marketing Trends
– Personalised web experiences. Hotels are starting to use customer information found online to target customers based on their preferences and online behaviour.
– Mobile keeps growing.
– Mobile payments for mobile hotel bookings.
– Taking ownership of your brand’s voice on all the different channels, including social media, TripAdvisor, etc.
– Paying in order for content to be seen on social media platforms.
– Becoming more customer-centric (human-to-human) and tailoring products and services around customer personas, expectations and experiences.
– Growth in visual storytelling, allowing hotels and restaurants to develop a vibrant and engaged community.
– Content that creates excitement and stirs emotions.
– Targeting Baby Boomers, currently the wealthiest generation, as part of the marketing strategy.

 
Food Trends
Apparently there is a restless palate syndrome going around, especially among the millennials. Think bold, crazy flavours and you’ll be trending!
– Oysters
– Root vegetables, i.e. celery root, parsnips and kohlrabi

Kohlrabi (Image from: The Kitchn)

Kohlrabi (Image from: The Kitchn)

– Seaweed is now being used as packaged snacks, in seafood sauces and poaching broths and not only in sushi anymore.
– Sweet-spicy sauces, condiments, jams and jellies like piquant honey, jalapeno honey, ginger-citrus honey and more.
– Vegetable yoghurts. Haagen-Dazs in Japan even has two vegetable flavoured ice-creams!
– Hummus has “out-trended” salsas.
– Bacon is not a trend anymore. Rather think guanciale, pancetta, fried pork ears, pork cheeks and ‘ndjua, a spreadable, bold flavoured sausage from Calabria.
– Cocktails with beer, shareable punches and herbal liqueurs.

 
Consumer Trends
Customers in 2015…
– Share selfies and photos of experiences.
– Prefer smaller and more flexible dining portions.
– Are always connected
– Are opinionated and share it with their friends
– Consider trust as convenience
– Are value conscious
– Require immediacy
– Ignore advertisements
– Seek authenticity
– Follow rituals

 
Thanks to our sources:
AdWeek.com
Net Affinity
4Hotelliers.com
Lolsmg.com