Customer ‘Listening’ Is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It.

A friend tells you a restaurant has bad service and gave her food poisoning. Would you still go?

But what if that “friend” is actually just someone leaving a review on Yelp? For today’s always-online consumers, it’s all the same.

Reviews matter. Ninety-four percent of diners base their decisions on online reviews, and businesses who respond are seen as nearly two times more trustworthy than businesses who don’t. Responding to your customer reviews is essential to boosting multi-location businesses’ online reputations and increasing customer loyalty.

Also, a negative review is more fluid than you might think: Yelp users are 33 percent more likely to change a negative review to a neutral or positive one if they receive a prompt response.; And, 88 percent of diners are more likely to look past a negative review if they see the business has responded to it and adequately addressed the issue, and may be open to patronizing the business from there. If people perceive a brand to be authentic and conversational, they’ll be more inclined to love and recommend the restaurant to others.

Nobody likes being ignored – online or off. To actively influence online reputation, restaurants must see review responses as one side of an ongoing conversation. And it goes further than reviews. We live in an attention economy and your customers are interacting with you on more than just review platforms and in your stores. They’re also on social media accounts commenting on photos and videos, as well as posting their own.

Multi-location quick serve restaurants may be overwhelmed by this – thinking: “How can we possibly handle all the reviews coming in, monitor social media, and get customers their food safe and hot along the way? There’s no way we can do all this!”

With AI-powered reputation management, you can.

You can see all the online activity around your restaurant going on in real time and manage it efficiently. Not only can you see and respond to negative reviews, you can thank and reward customers who give positive feedback and take that feedback back to your employees and reward your employees too, which can keep your customer service in great shape and help grow your business in the future.

With 288,000 unanswered reviews in 2022, a well-known coffee QSR was in over their heads. Their CX team was only capturing insights via loyalty programs. But their lack of review responses was affecting search engine algorithms. After implementing AI-powered reputation management, in just 30 days, they were able to respond to up to 25,000 reviews a month.

But it’s not just reviews. It’s not just social media. There’s even more you can do with AI than you could have imagined.

Every year marketers spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on research, analyst reports, focus groups, and carefully crafted persona-inspired messages to improve CX and drive revenue.

But what if you could ask those survey questions in real time to real customers? What if you had thousands of customer voices at your fingertips? This wasn’t possible before AI because the data was unstructured,  i.e., the data on what people say about your brand in reviews, on social media, and in videos. AI can now analyze and summarize all of that unstructured data to provide the exact insight you need, while saving you hours of time reading reviews one by one.

For examle, A QSR restaurant launched a new salad dressing for its signature salad. By asking AI, “Do customers like the new dressing?” they were able to easily learn customers loved the new dressing — to dip their french fries in. Now, the team is adding it as an add-on for every french fry order and running a social media campaign just about the new sauce with french fries.

Want to know more about what your customers like and don’t like? All you have to do is ask AI.

Your customer experience rules customer loyalty and growth, and you can use AI to gas it up. AI is here to help you put your customers at the center of your CX to not only keep the ones you have, but get even more along the way. The AI-powered customer experience is here. Act now to start your business’ transformation.