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Rewarding Customers For Giving Feedback

29 September 2015

Do you offer your guests a reward in return for their feedback? Should you have to offer an incentive and if so should it be a small guaranteed reward or the chance to win something of a much higher value? How can rewarding your guest for their feedback benefit your business’s bottom line? Consumers don’t expect anything for free these days. Time is short and patience even shorter. Offering a reward grips the attention of your guest. Whether they go on to redeem any voucher or not is another matter but the enticement of offering a reward may have been the success factor just in getting your guest to complete the survey.

A prize draw to win an iPad or high value item is often used to attract guests to give feedback. But in reality, we have found that a small, guaranteed reward, a ‘thank you’ if you will, is more likely to encourage guests to complete the survey. Carefully thought out, these rewards can be used to not only incentivise the guest to provide feedback, but also to return quickly – perhaps during a quieter period – or to upsell them to a product they wouldn’t usually buy.

Of course any reward you offer needs to be ‘on brand’. Think about the way your business will be perceived if you suddenly start offering a percentage discount off their meal.

You also need to consider how easy it will be to ‘game’ the system. Prior to Nandos introducing their loyalty app they relied purely on paper-based cards with stamps. This opened themselves up to thousands in lost revenue as completed cards went for sale on eBay. You could even buy the Nandos loyalty stamper on the auction site.

(Of course, feedback systems can also be a target for ‘gamers’ trying to meet KPIs, so selecting a feedback provider that does everything possible to detect fraudulent feedback is essential. With Feed It Back’s EPOS-linked feedback you can be confident that 100% of the feedback is for real transactions.)

With all that said, in some cases guests are happy to give feedback where there is no financial incentive. And regardless of whether any reward is offered, the most important thing is to say ‘thank you’, and to demonstrate that you are listening. This could be a response to a TripAdvisor review, a simple email response to a piece of feedback, or a public sign of collective gratitude – along the lines of ‘You said… We did…’. Ultimately it could be a shift in policy or even making sure the loos are kept a little cleaner. After all, without closing the feedback loop, guests will never know how much you care.

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