Reviews Signal The Change Needed

You have to know what’s wrong to fix it. That sounds simple enough but during COVID-19 with change and adaptation almost daily it can be difficult to find the signal through all of the noise. Here is another use case on how we are helping businesses during COVID-19 learn, adapt, and succeed.

restaurant masks and gloves

We recently came across a client of GatherUp who leveraged our feature set to discover they had an issue with the consistency of their staff using masks, gloves, and social distancing contrary to their customer’s expectations. It was resulting in low review ratings, disappointment and most importantly customers feeling unsafe.

The business where this took place is a ~100 location fast-casual restaurant franchise. We’ve opted not to name them but they did share some of their insight and comments about what took place to help other businesses understand how they discovered and solved their issues using GatherUp.

Net Promoter Score – The Canary In The Coal Mine

The first tip-off came when their Net Promoter Score (NPS) went down 11 points during the start of COVID-19. This change, in a usually steady NPS rating, caused the team to start looking into the “why.”

Net promoter Score drop

“We noticed a dip in our NPS score by a few points during COVID and we wanted to get to the bottom of the issue. We had seen a lot of reviews coming in mentioning staff members not wearing masks (the local mandate was not requiring masks at this point) and we had our suspicions that these reviews were dragging us down,” shared their team.

Tracking And Reporting On Your Review Content

After forming a quick hypothesis that masks and other Coronavirus hygiene guidelines might be an issue the team took action to use other GatherUp features to dig deeper and analyze their reviews for what was happening.

Step one was to create an Auto-tag for the keywords of masks and gloves to isolate these terms for tracking and analysis. The Auto-tag feature allowed them to create a list of keywords that GatherUp automatically detected and then tagged those reviews that matched the criteria so that they could track their occurrences.

Step two was to use the Insights Report powered by IBM Watson to understand the impact this was having on the customer experience.

The team stated “After setting up a ‘Mask’ tag we used the Insights Report on GatherUp to see where those reviews fell on the spectrum when compared to other KPI tags. Turns out, our “Mask” tag fell right next to our “Bad Service” tag (tracking the keywords: angry, bad, bad service, mad, rude, terrible, unhappy) – not good! This was one of the deciding factors in issuing a policy for all stores nationwide to wear masks.” 

Below is the Impact Chart from their GatherUp Insights Report outlining that reviews mentioning “masks” or “gloves” showed up in 234 reviews and those reviews averaged a 3.0 rating. As they shared, only the tag “Bad service” has a lower average with a 2.8 rating in 357 reviews. Both of these are well below the brand’s average review rating of 4.6, dragging down their reputation.

We also wanted to share some insight into how this client acquired this extremely valuable customer experience data.

182 of the 234 reviews receiving the “mask” tag were 1st-party reviews. Just 52 were 3rd-party reviews on Google, Facebook, and Yelp. This accentuates a point we often raise that 1st-party reviews are the real key to listening to your customers. Without the volume of 1st-party reviews and NPS as the first signal, this business’s learning would have been much slower or they possibly might not even been aware that this was a big issue. You can’t risk that.

For the well run business, reviews are the end point of the customer path deriving from multiple entry points that are both proactive and passive. Leading the way as an entry point was their website that uses our feedback locator. Customers, in their frustration, felt the need to seek out how to talk to the business directly to be heard. Without that channel, they might have gone straight to Google or Facebook to share their concerns and causing increased damage to their online reputation.

These three points are key and core:

  1. Listening to your customers is more important than where they post it.
  2. Make talking to your business easy. Proactively ask for feedback and make it simple for customers to find how they can talk to you.
  3. Read #1 and #2 again until you fully accomplish this.

Taking Action Thanks To Data

This quick case study outlines the importance to have the right tools to turn hunches into data and then into action. By leveraging Net Promoter Score, review monitoring, auto-tagging, and reporting this business was able to quickly identify and take action to correct an issue.

These quick cycles of listen, learn and adapt have been key for so many GatherUp clients during the pandemic.

“During COVID we had to react quickly to what was happening in the restaurant world. How can we make the experience better for guests who are still coming in and supporting us? Is there something holding them back from visiting that we were missing? The ability to tag and filter all reviews from different platforms and get a quick snapshot of where guest sentiment is trending is very valuable” shared their team.

As the client so aptly noted: “Information is power, and in a few minutes you can see what your guests are saying about you and use that feedback to generate positive change.” .

We agree and love seeing our platform help turn losses into wins.

About The Author

Aaron Weiche is the CEO of GatherUp, a customer feedback and online review platform. Aaron is a digital marketing veteran of over 20 years growing digital agencies in executive roles. Aaron helped found MnSearch, is a partner at Local University, speaks internationally on reviews, search marketing, web design and mobile.

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