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Giving consumers a truly memorable experience, for all the right reasons, is vital in today’s competitive eating and drinking out sector, according to the latest GO Technology research by Zonal and CGA.

For those who give feedback, 78% do so after their visit, with 63% leaving it up to 48 hours later, which means leaving a lasting impression is important as people are relying on their memories. The offer of a discount or getting something for free on their next visit, are key incentives to driving feedback for 65%.

On receiving a negative experience, there are 19% of people for whom nothing can be done to win them back, with men being the most unforgiving. However, women (64%) are most likely to expect compensation after a bad experience. And handled well, a complaint voucher redemption offer is effective with 52% of vouchers issued as the result of a complaint redeemed (source: Feed It Back).

There are regional differences too, with people in the South West of England most likely to expect a refund (45%) after a poor experience and Scots least likely (32%).

Zonal’s sales and marketing director, Clive Consterdine, said: “Our latest GO Technology report, which polls 5,000 UK adult consumers, highlights the importance of brands to emotionally engage with their customer base. Delivering an average experience simply isn’t good enough. Although brand apathy might be the hardest experiential problem to address, it can lead to operational suicide.

“Our desires as consumers are constantly evolving, therefore, for hospitality businesses to keep up they need regular feedback to maintain a consistent stream of growth. That’s why offering sophisticated feedback platforms is essential and at Zonal we partner with specialists, such as Feed It Back, to aid and assist the process in a personal and rapid way to ensure quality data is received for businesses to act upon.”

Despite feedback being a key part of our dining out experience, with social media being the major platform for people to read or write reviews (64%) and TripAdvisor the most popular review site, with 37% of people using it, there are still a majority (59%) who have never given any form of feedback to a bar, pub or restaurant.

CGA’s retail and food director, Karl Chessell, said: “With a large part of the population not giving feedback, this could point to a lack of compulsion or availability in the brands they frequent. In order to engage this group, offering some form of discount on their next visit would encourage 40% to leave feedback were it available, or were they made aware of the opportunity.

“Our latest findings from GO Technology demonstrates that failure to actively engage with customers and take action as a result of the feedback they provide leaves brands open to competitor incursion and declining footfall.”

Working in partnership with Zonal and CGA, the GO Technology report tracks consumer attitudes and experiences with technology when eating and drinking out. The research is conducted quarterly to gain an insight over a period of time to measure consumer behaviour and trends, helping operators to keep one step ahead.


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