While social media platforms like Twitter have become useful tools in promoting a business, the medium is increasingly being used to shape it too according to marketing directors taking part in a round table discussion on the subject of gathering feedback in London last month.
Rebecca Bryson, brand consistency and standards director at IHG said Holiday Inn’s Open Lobby concept, which saw lobbies become flexible environments for guests to eat, drink, work, relax and socialise in, was created after listening to what guests had to say about the business on Twitter.
“The customer feedback about our food and beverage space was that it needed to be different.
“The ability to take what you’ve heard and enhance your brand is enormous.”
“Often you think it’s the expensive things that need changing, but sometimes it’s the little things,” added Sara Fussey, head of marketing at Best Western.
“There can be some crazy ideas you’d never have thought of mentioning in a survey to elicit feedback, but they can be suggested on social media.
Like Mexican street-food restaurant chain Wahaca, who asked for feedback via Twitter and Instagram on its new summer menu, La Tasca and Busaba Eathai have used Twitter to get views on current and future dishes.
Operators at the discussion, hosted by BigHospitality and in association with InMoment, said they liked the immediacy of social media for gathering views.
“We launched a new menu a week ago and we’ve already had feedback on it,” said Joel Falconer, development director at Busaba Eathai.
“Actually, for immediate feedback, nothing is better than social media, apart from actually asking the customer what they think.”
Steve Raher, head of business development at InMoment, said operators who gathered feedback from all avenues would gain the most.
“Every piece of feedback is valuable, whether it’s a complaint or praise via social media or through a survey, the key is to bring it all together so you can understand the relative impact of all the pieces of feedback,” he said.
“Yes, social media is important, but part of the bigger picture is understanding all elements of customer feedback. That’s why it’s important to have a real time feedback system so you can react instantly to both positive and negative feedback.”
To read the full discussion: How to listen to your customers - overcoming the challenge of gathering customer feedback in a fast-paced world, click here.