The “voice of guest” (VOG) for restaurants refers to capturing, understanding, and incorporating guest feedback, experiences, and preferences into restaurant operations, management, and decision-making.
This can include monitoring online reviews, social media comments, direct feedback and surveys, and guest behavior data to identify trends, patterns, and areas for improvement.
By paying attention to the VOG, restaurants can make data-driven decisions to enhance guest satisfaction, improve their products and services, and ultimately increase customer loyalty and improve brand reputation.
In today’s competitive restaurant landscape, the most impactful marketing tool is the VOG. By empowering guests to share their experiences and capitalizing on their feedback and data, restaurants can foster a loyal community engaged in the restaurant’s success.
Understanding the Voice of the Guest
VOG encompasses all forms of feedback, opinions, testimonials, demographics, and behavior data from guests, shared on social media, online review platforms, POS and reservation systems, or directly with the restaurant. The VOG is authentic, personal, and often more influential than traditional advertising data, offering four primary benefits:
1. Boosts Credibility and Trust: With 92% of consumers trusting recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising (Nielsen), positive guest experiences build credibility and trust with potential customers.
Likewise, by listening to and acting on feedback, fostering a sense of community, and maintaining high standards, restaurants can foster long-lasting relationships with their patrons.
2. Increases Online Visibility: A 2021 BrightLocal survey found that 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses. Online reviews help spread the word about your restaurant, increasing visibility on search engines and review platforms like Yelp, Google, Facebook, and TripAdvisor.
3. Enhances Guest Loyalty: Actively engaging with guests and responding to their feedback demonstrates that you value their opinion, fostering lasting connections and enhancing guest loyalty.
4. Drives Innovation and Improvement: Guest feedback provides valuable insights to help you improve your restaurant’s operations, menu offerings, and guest experience, driving innovation and building a stronger competitive advantage.
Strategies for Amplifying the Voice of the Guest
By adopting these strategies, restaurants can effectively amplify the voice of the guest, fostering credibility, trust, and loyalty, and attracting new customers through authentic and relatable experiences.
- Leverage Social Media: Engage with guests on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Share their positive experiences, photos, or testimonials with your followers, and use relevant hashtags to reach a broader audience.
- Create a Testimonial Wall: Display positive guest reviews and testimonials prominently in your restaurant or on your website, showcasing the authentic experiences of your guests and building credibility.
- Implement a Loyalty Program: Develop a loyalty program that rewards guests for their continued patronage and encourages them to share their experiences with friends and family.
- Utilize Email Marketing: Send regular newsletters or promotional emails that include guest testimonials or stories. Encourage subscribers to share their experiences and forward the email to their network.
- Host Events and Collaborations: Organize special events, workshops, or collaborations with influencers to create buzz around your restaurant. Encourage participants to share their experiences, which can amplify the voice of the guest and attract new customers.
- Respond to Feedback: Publicly address both positive and negative feedback in a timely and professional manner. Show appreciation for compliments, and address any issues or concerns by outlining the steps you’re taking to improve. This demonstrates your commitment to guest satisfaction.
- Showcase Guest Content: Create a user-generated content (UGC) campaign, inviting guests to share their experiences, photos, or videos using a specific hashtag. Feature the best content on your website or social media channels.
- Train Staff to Collect Feedback: Encourage your staff to engage with guests during their visit, solicit feedback, and provide avenues for guests to voice their opinions. This can help identify areas for improvement and foster stronger relationships with your patrons.
- Measure and Analyze: Regularly track, measure, and analyze guest feedback to identify trends and areas of improvement. Use these insights to enhance the guest experience and continuously amplify their voices.
Discovering and amplifying the voice of the guest is a critical aspect of success for restaurants. By actively engaging with patrons, encouraging them to share their experiences, and being responsive to their feedback, restaurants can foster trust, credibility, and loyalty.
This approach not only attracts new guests but also strengthens relationships with existing patrons.
The insights gained enable restaurants to identify areas for improvement and demonstrate their commitment to providing exceptional service and quality.
Ultimately, embracing the voice of the guest paves the way for a more successful, customer-centric business that thrives on genuine connections and shared experiences.
Automate Data Collection and Discover VOG with Bloom Intelligence
Bloom Intelligence is an AI-powered restaurant marketing platform that includes a powerful customer data platform, WiFi marketing, and reputation management tools.
Guest data is collected from many different sources and aggregated into one single platform, making it simple and easy to analyze and realize your restaurant’s true VOG.
Bloom makes guest data collection effortless, allowing you to quickly execute the strategies listed above, saving you time, increasing customer lifetime values, attracting new guests, improving your reputation, and boosting your bottom line.