Marketing research

I just got a phone call from a survey company asking me if I was a customer of a local restaurant…

Turns out I was not and because I am in a marketing business they did not want to ask more questions…I asked them what kind of questions they were going to ask and basically it was along the lines of “why not?”…Prices too high?..Decor not attractive?..Menu too big or too small?..Etc. etc…

So it had me curious if folks here reach out to non customers and/or infrequent customers to ask them why…You can spend lots of $s marketing but if you are not hitting the right nerve it may be fruitless…Maybe this exercise will allow you to figure are where you are missing the mark…

It’s difficult to get some customers to tell you the truth. If most people aren’t happy, they don’t like the bother or inconvenience of complaining, even though some people absolutely LOVE IT and LIVE for it. So they will simply not complain, and not return, which is what I most often do, which is probably the worst thing for a restaurant owner where they don’t get the chance to fix the potential problem.

However, if someone had the money to spend to make these calls, and it would be a ton, people might appreciate the effort and come back or certainly try your place if they haven’t. But that’s a telemarketing department along with all the costs. Who can do that?

Probably the best idea is not really new, but it’s where you give them an incentive to give you feedback, such as x amount off next purchase etc…or even one free order if they were that unhappy. And as you do or offer this, you can quietly get their email address for future promotions.

I agree, royster13, that if you want to know what your customers want, ask them. Statistically, in the tens of thousands of surveys we’ve performed for our small business clients, the top answers have been, and in this order:

  1. Great / Friendly Service
  2. Consistency (of product, service, experience)
  3. Value (statistically, customers that value price will pay more if they have great service and consistency).

I agree with PizzaSoft in that for every 1 customer that complains, 26 will simply stay silent and never return (Source: White House Office of Consumer Affairs).

Probably the best idea is not really new, but it’s where you give them an incentive to give you feedback, such as x amount off next purchase etc…or even one free order if they were that unhappy. And as you do or offer this, you can quietly get their email address for future promotions.

We’ve found that when we send private follow-up surveys, and automatically incentivize them, we often get customers sharing the problems. It’s a great way to mitigate a frustrated customer from going to a third-party website and posting bad reviews, although it’s impossible to stop.