What Happens When You Listen to Your Customers (and How to Do This Better)
In multi-unit restaurants, operators can see, hear, and interact with their customers each time they visit. Customer feedback comes in a variety of forms–they have the opportunity to fill out experience surveys, leave star-rated reviews, and even share insta-worthy photos of their meals. Successful operators extract customer feedback and weave it into their Brand DNA to provide consistently great experiences.
The Crunchtime platform is designed on this same premise–to support the unique needs of the restaurant and foodservice industries. But instead of getting feedback via star ratings and food-quality comments, we watch and listen to customers talk about the daily operational challenges that come with running a multi-unit operation, and use this feedback to create valuable, intuitive, satisfying products.
So how can you more effectively listen to your customers, and what benefits can it bring? Let’s break it down.
Conventional methods of listening to customers include conducting market research and gathering feedback through surveys and product strategy meetings. While these methods can provide valuable insights, they can also be limited in their ability to fully understand a customer's experience because of the lack of empathy for being in their shoes.
On the flip side, there is the Product Design approach of Field Research, which provides a more holistic view of your customer’s interactions with your product because you are observing them in their natural environment. A key benefit of field research is the opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your customers. By listening to their feedback, you can show that you value their input and are committed to improving their experience. This can foster a sense of trust and loyalty between your brand and the customer. The insights from this work can be directed into product design decision-making and process improvement so that value can be delivered faster to the customer.
Interested in conducting field research with your customers? To get started, here are 8 steps that stem from Product Design methodology:
- Schedule sessions with interested customers who are willing to participate in research.
- Take field researchers onsite to observe customers using your product.
- Take detailed notes and pictures of the interactions and any potential pain points or areas for improvement.
- Reconvene with your team to do analysis and synthesis of the findings.
- Present your findings internally and discuss potential solutions with leadership and development teams.
- Build and implement the best ideas based on the research findings.
- Take the updated product back to the customers you visited for further feedback and testing.
- Send customers thank-you gifts for their participation and valuable insights.
Field research can also be a learning experience for both you and your customers. By observing their interactions with your product or service, you may gain a deeper understanding of their needs and challenges. Another advantage of field research is the ability to observe the unspoken–things you may not have thought to include in a survey or focus group. For example, you may notice that a customer is using a workaround to complete a task, indicating a design element that potentially needs to be addressed.
By conducting field research, you can truly listen to your customers and create a product that meets their needs and exceeds their expectations, and hear clear validation for your business strategy. And by involving customers in the design process, they can learn about the thought process behind design decisions and feel more invested in the final product.
At Crunchtime, we’re constantly enhancing our products based on real client feedback. We use it to build our roadmap and make improvements that matter to our customers. To learn more about how our products help our customers achieve ops excellence visit crunchtime.com/ops-excellence.