When we started Allow Me in 2016 the Australian hospitality industry was in the throes of a delivery app boom. Customer Experience (CX) insights were definitely not the flavour of the month.
A common response we ran into from restaurant owners was:
“I have my online reviews, why do I need this?”
It made no sense to us. How could scanning through pages and pages of online reviews in the form of a single 1-5 rating and free-text comment be an efficient way to extract insights to grow your business?
It was as though the online reviews had been positioned as some form of business intelligence platform when in reality their marketing business model serves a completely different purpose.
But the online reviews from the various platforms your business is listed on, do have one thing going for them...quantity. The swathe of customers tapping away either out of frustration or adulation represents a significant sample size. Meaning they represent the Macro in terms of CX insights.
The alternative is a platform like Allow Me. When we send qualified, trained individuals into your restaurant to assess your marketing strategies, service standards, revenue opportunities, and more. They represent the Micro in terms of uncovering the finely detailed improvements that can be made to improve your business.
There was a time we ultimately thought this all came down to a battle of Quantity (online reviews) vs Quality (us). But digging a little deeper and employing some more development via our free benchmarking tool, we soon found that the two can complement each other.
We came to this conclusion by looking at online reviews in more detail and asking our customers the right questions:
What is the downside of looking for CX insights in your online reviews?
If you assume that all of your customers who leave a review of your venue are honest, objective citizens who are leaving constructive feedback in order to genuinely help you improve your business then there is no downside!
But that’s not a reality.
What’s the upside?
If you can assume that 50% of your customers who leave a review carry at least some of the above traits and leave a score or comment that reflects an honest point of view, then in the best case you’ll have an action point and at a bare minimum, they’ll be contributing to some form of a benchmark score.
The benchmark score is the link between a qualitative platform like Allow Me and your online reviews.
And it’s the reason we shifted our business model from a 1-10 scoring system applied to a 30+ question customised survey, to a 1-5 scoring system.
How does this work? One review platform is good, three is better. We built a free tool that aggregates Google, TripAdvisor and Zomatoe reviews which are built into the Allow Me platform.
By running mystery shopping campaigns and actioning the individual feedback points that our insights provide, your aggregated benchmarked score will give you a more realistic yardstick as to how you’re performing individually but also against your key competitors.