5 Mobile Tools SMBs Can Use to Collect Guest Feedback

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The customer feedback cards that restaurants once placed on tabletops are are being replaced with digital platforms designed to solicit feedback from guests and find resolutions to problems — before they result in negative online reviews.

Not only are businesses promoting engagement and giving their customers a voice by encouraging them to communicate with managers in real-time, but they’re also generating important data that can be used in future marketing efforts. Studies by Constellation Research have found that an engaged customer is “three times more likely to recommend or advocate a product or service” than a customer who is not engaged, which means that mobile feedback tools could result in an increase in actual sales, as well.

Here are five tools that merchants can use to collect feedback from guests on their mobile devices.

1. Tello
Tello is a platform that businesses can use to gather data about their customers’ in-store experiences and respond to any issues or problems in real-time. Customers provide feedback to a business through Tello’s mobile site, iPhone app, or by sending a text message, and managers can respond immediately when complaints come in. Tello’s live ratings dashboard gives an overview of customer sentiment, and also provides managers with detailed analytics showing which employees are providing the best service and generating the most positive feedback. Tello’s Premium plan starts at $49 per business location, per month.

2. Venga
Billed as a “total guest management” platform, Venga uses POS integration to help restaurant owners spot trends, identify operational weaknesses, and learn more about their most frequent customers. Businesses can also use Venga to solicit feedback from guests through branded mobile websites, which encourage quality responses and help keep negative reviews off of popular sites like Yelp and UrbanSpoon. Venga charges merchants $99 to $399 per month, depending on the features they plan to use.

3. Seconds
Seconds is a tool that merchants can use to interact with customers through text messaging. Customers who have basic questions about things like daily specials can send messages to a business through their mobile phones, and business owners can respond to these queries using their tablets or desktop computers. Merchants can also set up quick-responses to go out when customers submit frequently asked questions, and track the lifetime spending habits of their most frequent customers. Seconds charges businesses $1 each month for each unique customer, and provides additional pricing options for larger businesses with unique needs.

4. Frequentr
Frequentr is a mobile customer service platform aimed at small to medium size businesses with brick-and-mortar outposts. Businesses that sign up for the platform can encourage their customers to send questions, provide feedback, and offer suggestions through private messages sent via their mobile phones. These messages are delivered immediately to a designated manager or employee, allowing businesses to respond directly to their customers’ issues in real-time. Frequentr charges $29 per month, per business location.

5. OpinionLab
Brick-and-mortar businesses, e-retailers, and global brands can use OpinionLab to solicit feedback from their customers. The company uses geolocation data from smartphones to pinpoint customers’ locations. It then invites customers to share their opinions with mobile comment cards that they can fill out the moment they leave a store. Customers are encouraged to attach photos and voice memos to their feedback, while OpinionLab alerts store managers to any guest trends or shifts in engagement as they’re happening in real time. OpinionLab offers custom pricing solutions for clients of all sizes.

Know of other mobile tools that businesses can use to collect guest feedback? Leave a description in the comments.

Stephanie Miles is an associate editor at Street Fight.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.