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In association with Real-time feedback means happier customers

Simon Gaske, customer experience director at bar and club operator Novus Leisure, whose brands include Tiger Tiger, has worked with retail technology specialist Red Ant to create a real-time customer feedback app called Customer Experience Dashboard. It allows Novus to monitor social media comments about its venues, enabling staff to address problems in real-time, deliver better service and boost business. Staff in each venue monitor a dashboard via a smartphone or tablet. “It’s not in your face; the

customer doesn’t know,” explains Gaske. “If Twitter is alive with comments about a venue’s toilets, we go and fix that problem.” Results from trial venues

revealed that the system reduced social media response time from 12.25

site, the dashboard then triggers the need to respond. “We publicly respond. We

are not afraid of displaying to other customers how we handle situations,” says Gaske. “There is an investment,

hours to 90 minutes, while negative sentiment fell to 8% of all posts compared with 12% across all other sites. Features include gathering

instant updates of customer experiences; combining Twitter, Facebook posts and instant messaging into one feed so that staff can read, reply to and act on customer comments and enquiries; and the ability to post content to these social channels. By fixing a problem on the

spot, staff can head off any complaints and have happier customers. If anyone slips through the net onto a review

“And it isn’t necessarily generational. Face- book started with a younger crowd and that has expanded. My dad is now on Facebook. Millennials in particular are not worried. Some 75% who connect offer information.” Gomez adds: “One side we take seriously is that people don’t share what they don’t want to share. But in restaurants, a waiter writes

but it is like-for-like with the traditional systems,” says Gaske. “Our chief executive is customer-focused. He wants to ensure customers tell more people about us and spend more money with us.” Phase three will highlight

who is talking about the venue and enable the dashboard to marry with the tills to reveal in real-time how sales are affected by poor or good ‘conversations’. “Listening to the customer

through a variety of channels, for example Trip Advisor, is crucial – a way for us to grow our sales via repeat customers,” says Gaske

notes about guests to improve service the next time. Our system adds a superpower to a world that already wants to make a difference.”

MAKE IT PERSONAL So what results are businesses seeing? The pair claim that the opportunity to create a loyal customer is 10 times higher if that customer

registers with their product. And some 80% of registered customers use social credentials to provide a richer profile, which is a good sign of engagement. “We are enabling restaurants to learn about their customers and to recommend products. The point of sale shows what people are order- ing, but doesn’t offer much information about the customer. But now you can put a name to those transactions,” says Maseda. Another digital customer experience com-

pany, Airship, provides customer relationship management for casual-dining chains such as Living Ventures and Revolution, by taking cus- tomer data and creating a single customer view that clients use to drive recognition. “In layman’s terms, imagine a massive fun- nel that you pour all your raw data into,” says commercial director Dan Brookman. “We take that information and use a variety of tools to create customer profiles that allow you to see them in a whole new way. This means you can market to them better.” The company’s most recent innovation is Airship Milestones, a tool that measures cus- tomer engagement over time and against a set of 24 algorithms. Airship sends around a mil- lion emails a day to clients’ customers. These range from delivering loyalty rewards and sending birthday greetings to reminding a customer that it is time for another visit based on frequency or monetary triggers. “A customer should constantly benefit from giving their data to a brand, whether this is through more relevant and timely communi- cations, a better online experience or that when they visit your business they receive rec- ognition – not only if they swipe an app or card,” says Brookman. “And every piece of digital marketing should be measureable.” The initial cost can be substantial, as you are implementing a two- to three-year strategy, but Brookman says his clients work on between eight and 12 times return on investment.

ROOMS FOR IMPROVEMENT Personalising a guest’s visit need not be rocket science, however. Alastair Campbell, former customer and markets and strategy director at glh Hotels, has picked up several awards this year for his personalised room-booking initia- tive, Choose Your Own Room. Guests at GLH’s properties can use their

phone or computer to select the room they want. Every room has been photographed with 360-degree views so guests can see all aspects. “It is a massively under-met need,” says

And what business results are you hoping to achieve? We expect to improve the customer experience, which should bring us more sales. We think it will be easy to manage and will be useful and friendly to customers.

Campbell. “I can’t think of anything else that you pay £400 for before you see it. For instance, some guests don’t want to be near the lifts, others do. Neither is a majority, but they all have an intense preference and now they can personalise their stay.”

GLH has emulated the personal touch in other ways, too: “Mostly, chain hotel dynamics suck the management decisions away from hotel, and this includes the guest experience, but we reversed it. The customer relationship manager will call guests before they arrive, which creates a warmth. Rather than predict what they want, the hotel asks them.”

Technology Prospectus 2017 | 27

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