Small business owners (including doctors) have strong linkages between their personal identity and the business’ identity, but doctors often take negative patient reviews even more personally than most business owners.
Patients’ reviews can be highly emotional due to the circumstances the reviewer is going through due to their medical treatment: health-related stress, worry about family, and financial burdens of treatment.
Restaurant customers can tell if a steak is overcooked or a plate is dirty, but patients can’t judge the quality of medical advice or treatment. Doctors often complain that patients lack the medical expertise to evaluate whether the doctor gave sound medical advice.
You want to listen to your customers, but how do you get them to initiate the conversation? We’ve all seen the sticker on the back of semi trucks that says, “How’s my driving?” Some of us have even called that number, and I’m willing to bet the majority of those calls were due to something negative.
You see, that’s what we’ve been trained to do, give feedback when something has gone wrong. In fact, many of us have even grown accustom to the word ‘feedback’ being a negative thing. When someone wants to give you feedback, you almost feel like you’re in trouble.
Businesses are finding that the reviews and complaints on Yelp are fertile ground on finding ways to improve their businesses.
Ellis Island, a Las Vegas casino, once closed its craps tables on weekend nights, but after a guest complained about the policy in an online review, Ellis Island re-evaluated the situation and decided to keep the tables open until at least midnight.
We spend so much time creating comment cards, and coming up with survey questions so that we can better understand what our customers want. Try googling “comment card templates” and see how many hundreds of websites pop up promising to help you create the most effective questions. But what do we really learn from customers answering our questions? Well… we get the answers to our questions, but that’s not what customer feedback is all about.
We’ve always asked for feedback after the fact. How was your meal? Did you enjoy your stay? This is a great way to improve future visits from future guests.
But nowadays, after the fact is too late. With so many choices available to consumers, customer acquisition costs have skyrocketed, so you really should be worrying about customer retention. And the last thing you want to do is provide a less than expected customer experience. Go ahead, hand that not-perfectly-satisfied customer a comment card, or ask them to take your online survey. Just don’t be surprised when you’re left with a blank slate, because there are much BIGGER places to vent, and customers know it.
These are simple because simplicity is key. For instance, making sure your wait staff introduces themselves can increase their tips by over 8%. How hard is that? Here’s 3 quick tips that can increase the feedback you’re receiving from customers.
We all deal with them almost every day. Whether we’re researching a new product we’re interested in, Googling a new Thai restaurant in town, or even just carousing our favorite social media sites, everywhere we turn we are faced with online reviews.
Anyone heard that question before? Not the most fun to answer, but we’re not going to start by talking about what you answered (we’ll get back to that), but more about how you answered. When your friend came out of the dressing room, did they hand you a comment card with this question? How about a survey? Were there bubbles to fill in representing a 1-5 rating scale?
You don’t give out comment cards during someone’s meal, you give it to them with their check. The same is true with reviews. Filter systems on sites such as Yelp only allow customers to give feedback once they’ve left. They do this to try to reduce fraudulent reviews. This way managers cannot offer free meals or deals in exchange for positive reviews.