Mystery Dining & Guest Feedback

Janets Blog: 1st January 2014

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Are your customers missing the blindingly obvious?  

 

Silent Customers focus on delivering subjective narrative because it reflects a true and honest customer experience but as a consequence (and probably why many other mystery shopping companies don't do it) it sometimes upsets tenants and managers who find it hard to believe what the Silent Customers are saying.

Interestingly, there is much power in feedback that is assumed as incorrectly perceived as it is when the manager is coached to read between the lines that the proverbial light bulb is illuminated.

In short we all perceive and experience the world differently but few of us ever bother to step into someone else's shoes. We prefer to live in our own self-righteous existence and spend an awful lot of time and energy trying to persuade others to see things from our perspective.

I am a visual learner (more about that later) and very detailed based. I will spot clutter and mess in a pub from twenty paces but ask me to recall what music was playing or if I had noticed the flirtation between two of the staff I would be oblivious to it. Yet, ask my best friend (who I have known for twenty years and shared houses with on and off for nearly a decade) the same, and her recall would be the opposite. Once, when I went on a summer holiday for a week, when I came back my beautiful hanging baskets that she had walked past everyday were dead. She still didn't notice when I had replanted them with an entirely different colour and species of plant. So why is this? Why is it that something which is blindingly obvious to one person is completely off the radar of another? 

The answer is simply that we have grown up with different experiences that have shaped the way we learn, think and behave. We choose to remember the things that are important to us or make us happy. As we grow up we naturally gravitate to things we are good at rather than things that we struggle to master. By the time we are adults we have unconsciously chosen to disregard the things that have made little impact on our emotions good or bad.

Customers (Silent or otherwise) are no different. If you are a detailed based publican and put lots of little A4 posters up around the pub with tiny writing, advertising your events, chances are my friend Debbie (a kinaesthetic/auditory learner) and 33% of your other customers won't see them. Hand them a card as they leave with a cheery, verbal invitation and you will get their attention. It may seem strange or even feel wrong and unnatural to you to do this but these customers experience the world differently to you and by stepping into their shoes you will maximize your marketing efforts.           

The point is that you will lean toward being more visual, kinaesthetic or auditory (VAK) which, if you haven't considered this, may mean that a high percentage of customers may not be experiencing your pub the way you think they should be!

Try this quick fun test to find out if you are Visual, Kinaesthetic or Auditory click here