Stacy Sherman: Yelp and SMS Turn Restaurant Experience from Mediocre to Great

This week’s post is from Stacy Sherman, a results-oriented Customer Experience (CX) and Digital Marketing professional with a proven track record increasing brand awareness, sales, and loyalty at B2C & B2B companies of all sizes and budgets. She’s worked on both the client side and agency environments leading projects for well-known Telcom companies (AT&T and Verizon) along with other reputable brands (Martha Stewart Crafts, American Girl, Perler Beads).  Throughout her 20+ career, Stacy has gained expertise in developing and launching revenue-producing marketing campaigns, Customer Experience (CX) programs, and Voice of Customer (VOC) initiatives, as well as maximizing conversions through proven optimization techniques. Stacy is currently Director of Customer Experience (CX) at a global company, Schindler Elevator Corporation. Stacy continues to infuse customer centricity in all initiatives to cultivate profitability along with “close the loop” processes for ongoing success.  Stacy’s contact information appears below her post. I highly recommend subscribing to her customer experience blog, Doing CX Right.  

 

How many times have you gone to a restaurant that does not take reservations and felt frustrated about the wait time? If you’re like me, it is too many to count.

While many companies tend to focus on customer experiences at the point people are actually using products and receiving services, brand perception and customer judgments occur much earlier in the customer journey. People don’t care if there are internal company process challenges. If expectations are not met, customers will go elsewhere.

With the advent of technology and mobile applications like Yelp, companies can improve customer experiences and proactively address common customer pain points before they occur. My recent restaurant experience provides a great example of this.

Using Yelp to Save Time
Egan & Sons does not take reservations. However, they told me when I called that I could save time using Yelp. The app displays an estimated wait time to help in deciding whether to go to the restaurant and a choice to “check-in” to join the waitlist before driving to the restaurant. Having never seen this before, and always looking to save time, I was delighted to have this option.

Making the Journey Easier
After filling out the Yelp online form, the app displayed how many parties were ahead of me. That information helped me determine when to drive to the restaurant. While there was only one other person joining me for dinner, I did notice a useful feature within the app to share the wait time with others. I like that capability and the overall usability. Moreover, I noticed how easy and pleasant my dining experience felt before I even sat down to eat.

Just before I arrived at the restaurant, I received an SMS text to my phone informing me that my table was ready and I should check-in with the host.  Within minutes, I was seated and ordering my dinner. Though my story pertains to the restaurant industry specifically, there are key lessons about DoingCXRight that apply to all companies:

Communication is an Important Driver of Customer Satisfaction
I really liked knowing how long my wait time was via the app and receiving a text notification that my table was ready.

Level of Effort is a Great Measurement of Customer Experience
It was EASY for me to request and get a table despite a large crowd. Without technology (both SMS and Yelp) I would have missed out on a great restaurant experience. And the restaurant would have missed out on my business. While I didn’t use the feature, the app allows people the option to leave the waitlist without difficulty (just a click of a button on my phone) making the entire experience simple. I will definitely use it again!

Employees Must Deliver on Promises 
Based on the SMS text I received, I had an expectation to be seated right away. Upon my arrival, the host followed through without any wait creating a satisfying, wow moment.

Personalization Improves Cautomer Experiences
The app knew it was my first time checking in and provided me relevant content. It showed “check out reviews while you wait” along with food recommendations from past visitors.  This is a great idea, especially because the restaurant has four stars and over 300 reviews.

Stacy Sherman
Twitter: https://twitter.com/stacysherman
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stacysherman
Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/doingcxright
Blog: http://www.doingcxright.com/

1 Comment

Filed under Customer Service

One response to “Stacy Sherman: Yelp and SMS Turn Restaurant Experience from Mediocre to Great

  1. Pingback: Stacy Sherman: Yelp and SMS Turn Restaurant Experience from Mediocre to Great | BILL QUISENG - ConorBradley - Web Services

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