As I’ve discussed many times before, these days it seems like many brands are fearful of social media and the potential for it to be a channel for consumers to quickly share negative experiences, or one-off incidents of bad employee behavior. Nobody wants to be associated with the next viral video of employee bad behavior or a viral story of product quality issues. You could argue that some of this stems from the general cynicism that seems to have taken over much of the world since we entered this great recession. Lately though, I’ve been noticing an interesting trend of more good news than bad in my social streams. Perhaps people tweeting and sharing more good news than bad is a sign that the economy may finally be pulling out of this never-ending recession.
A case in point is a fantastic story that recently went viral about a simple good deed done by a manager of a Red Robin restaurant.
You can read about it here.
For those of you who may not be familiar with this story, here is the short version.
- An obviously pregnant woman visited a Red Robin location for dinner
- The manager noticed her pregnancy and gave her a free meal along with a nice message attached to the receipt wishing her good luck.
A simple gesture, but a gesture that created a story worth telling, and more importantly a story worth sharing.
The reality is that, in the restaurant world, incidents like this happen every day. The nature of dining out is that every restaurant visit should be a special occasion. Whether for the sake of not having to cook on a hectic weeknight, or to celebrate a special occasion such as a birthday, brands need to be able to make every dining experience feel special.
One of the challenges that local restaurant managers have is that with the hustle and bustle of day to day operations it’s difficult to stay on top of staff to ensure they are doing all the little things that make a difference all the time. That’s where the action driving capabilities of today’s CEM solutions can come in to play. These action driving tools are designed to be coaching tools rather than the reporting tools of the past. By providing not only a snapshot of current team performance, but also proactively suggesting the small front line actions that can add up to better guest experiences, these tools go from simply being reactive reporting, to proactive performance improvers.
When they are successful in providing all the little touches that can make these occasions feel so special, such as was done by the Red Robin manager, then it’s become increasingly important for restaurants to provide these happy customers with an easy way to share their stories with their friends.
Again, this is where a well thought out CEM solution can come into play. By their very nature, these solutions will be able to help you identify and filter out your happiest customers. By taking that as a starting point, and providing those same happy customers with an easy way to share great experiences, CEM can become an ideal platform to generate the type of positive social sentiment that most brands deserve, but unfortunately don’t get.
You should get credit for your efforts! After all, you work hard every day with the hope that your guests will share their great experience.