Category Archives: Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Do Tech Advances Result in a Better Restaurant Experience?

With the food service sector set to be worth £56.3bn by 2019 Source: there is clear evidence that our changing lifestyles and increasing availability of free time is allowing us to sample a greater range of food experiences than ever before.

Combine that with the growth of food-to-go/quick service restaurants and we’re beginning to see how our high streets can change for the better.

Using technology to drive success

For those working at forefront of food service delivery in customer facing roles, creating simple in-restaurant processes combined with a personal service is key. New tools are helping to improve operational efficiency of restaurants, allowing communications between waiting staff and the kitchen to drive up the quality of the customer dining experience.

Click and Collect Food Orders

Click and Collect Food Ordering is on the increase.

Whether it’s customers using a pre-order app on their phone, click and collect service  or intermediary website services like Deliveroo and Just Eat. new tech is also allowing food service operators to communicate and deliver to a wider consumer audience. From initial pop-up restaurants placed in convenient London locations @Londonpopups our restaurant entrepreneurs are using technology to help put themselves on the map, generate custom,  improve service and gain further investment and growth.

London Popup Restaurants

What’s the future for bars, cafes and restaurants?

Todays’ Pop-ups show the future for emerging brands. The recent purchase of up and coming food chains like GBK  by ‘Famous Brands’ shows that the marketplace will invest in brands which it thinks can have a broader market appeal. Even big players like McDonalds  recognise the need to adapt to these challengers, our changing consumer tastes and ordering methods. Healthier options are now present on all of its menus. McDonalds fast food competitor Pret a Manager has recorded 16% increase in sales growth 2016 and has recently trialled a vegetarian only food outlet. Source: IGD Research

The UK probably offers the most diverse range of food-to-go and restaurant options available anywhere in the world.  Thai and Japanese restaurants in the UK have reported an 18% growth in the last five years. Source:

This trend in consumers seemingly willing to try new cuisines will undoubtedly mean that our High Street will continue to see more new restaurants and restaurant themes develop.

How to measure restaurant service levels

Keeping an eye on the service levels in newly opened establishments requires more than just diligent monitoring. With multiple purchase and service routes now available, using mystery diners  can help aid operational and regional management teams to keep an eye on the overall experience.  For large scale food service providers measuring the operational effectiveness will drive up profits and customer  NPS Scores, in turn helping to prevent those negative online reviews before they even happen.


8 Mystery Shopping KPIs to Understand Business Performance

Key Performance Indicators

Mystery Shopping Key Performance Indicators

How do you find out if your store customer service is living up to expectations?

The answer can lie with key performance indicators – Mystery Shopping KPIs

There are a number mystery shopping KPIs you can use to measure customer service and the success of your customer service strategy.

Different measures will make more sense for different types of business. The benefit to mystery shopping KPIs is that they can be used in addition to or alongside existing customer satisfaction surveys, allowing you to ask the questions which can’t be answered using this method alone.

Unlike customer satisfaction surveys you’re guaranteed to get a response to the questions you need an answer to. Below is a list of different KPI measures your business might consider using when conducting mystery shopping.

1. Customer approach / acknowledgment

When you first walk into a store are you acknowledged? It’s amazing how this key fundamental first step into building a good rapport with the customer is so often left too late or not even done at all. Now we may not necessarily expect to be greeted on the door, however a timely nod to the fact that we exist counts for a lot. Even if your service proposition is more self service in nature, it is still good to build a rapport with customers. Remembering that ongoing improvements in staffing and store efficiency doesn’t need to mean the end for friendly service.

2. Rapport building with the customer

When you build a good rapport with customers you’re giving yourself the opportunity to both sell and upsell. By asking questions, showing empathy and successfully establishing the customer needs you will not only end up giving them the product they want, you will also give yourself the opportunity to present them with associated items to increase the transaction value.

Your best employees really know how to engage with customers. Make sure this attribute becomes common practice within your organisation, whether that’s selling the customer the product they need or handling objections effectively.

3. Product Knowledge

Customers buy from individuals who are clearly knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the service or product they offer. By testing the gaps in your staff product knowledge you’re able to organise training programmes to fill those gaps. If you work within a regulated environment like financial services the focus on compliant selling of products becomes even more important. Research also shows us that compliant selling practice can be directly linked to our level of customer satisfaction.

4. Closing the sale

After someone from your service team interacts with a customer, how likely are they to make a purchase or take some other kind of action? If you acknowledge your customer, build rapport and introduce the right products, a good result will be very easy to achieve.

Measuring the Sales Closure

Measuring the sales process

Mystery shopping can allow you to correlate sales performance directly back to the level of customer service.

5. Average response times

Part of good customer service is resolving issues speedily. If you can respond to customers and also answer queries quickly they are more likely to be satisfied with the overall service level.

6. Net Promoter Score

And customers who are very happy with your customer service are likely to even go a step further and recommend your company to others. Your company’s Net Promoter Score, or rate of people who would recommend your business to others can be a good indication of customer service standards  and another way to measure customer service levels.

7. Competitor comparison

Even customers who love your brand might not choose you over your competitors for all purchases. So while measurement methods above are good metrics on which to measure potential success, it’s still important to see how your company stacks up against your peers. This is where competitor mystery shopping can allow you to not only benchmark your service performance, it will also allow you to check pricing and the product offer. Helping you to plug the gaps and to revise the offer.

8. Overall service measurement

By performing regular audits, you can gauge how your customers are being treated. The higher your score the greater the number of the key components of your overall customer journey processes are being met.

Other mystery shopping links you may find useful

There are a number of mystery shopping methods you can use for reporting KPIs . Whether you decide to use a standard written survey backed up with video mystery shopping, or you’re looking to measure the online customer  journey through to fulfilment.

Our service can help you to build the right kind of customer service KPI dashboard. Providing you with an independent of how your customers are being treated. See our report examples and sector coverage to see how we can support you.

Mystery shopping KPI measurement methods you could use today.

To find out how we can support your sector give us a call.


What is the Net Promoter Score?

What is the net promoter score?

Written by Gary Edwards – Managing Director – Linkedin Google+ 18/06/2014

NPS – A Basic Explanation of the Net Promoter Score

Often referred to as ‘The Ultimate Question’ Net Promoter Score (NPS)  has supplanted conventional customer satisfaction measurements in many organisations.  There’s good reason for this; it’s simple, effective and robust.

The NPS question is always the same, “How likely are you to recommend company/brand/product X to a friend or relative?”

The respondent is invited to grade their response on an 11 point scale (i.e. Zero to 10) with 10 being most likely.  Respondents are then framed into three categories, Promoters, Passives and Detractors.

This is done using the following metric;

Score of 0 to 6                   =             Detractor
Score of 7 to 8                   =             Passive
Score of 9 to 10                 =             Promoter

How do you measure a Net Promoter Score?

To arrive at the NPS, you simply detract the percentage of your Detractors from the Percentage of your Promoters.  Respondents who fall into the Passive category are disregarded.

The NPS is therefore described as an absolute number and not a percentage.  The number can be anywhere between +100 and -100.  Your own NPS needs to be taken in context of your industry and peer group but be aware, the range of NPS scores in a given sector are generally dynamic and can have a big range due to the calculation method.  A typical business may well generate a figure of -10 to +10 whereas sector leaders may generate a score of +60 or even more.

NPS though is essentially a tracking tool and so your initial score is effectively your own benchmark.  On this basis, where your NPS is going is arguably more important than where it started.  NPS scores generally do not flatter a business and are best suited to organisations serious about changing the customer experience rather than businesses that want to publish positive statistics.

Why should you use a Net Promoter Score?

Of course, when you have the answer to the ‘Ultimate Question’ you need to understand how you got there and what you can do about it.  The NPS system (developed by  Fred Reichheld of Bain & Company and now a trademark of Satmetrix Systems, Inc.) was never designed to be used in isolation.  To understand the motives of Detractors and Promoters, you will need to introduce further questions (multiple choice or text) to gain information that you can actually use to make changes and drive your score up.  Whether you want to make quick follow-up calls to your Detractors or work on moving more Passives into Promoters, a well thought out NPS survey/process will enable this.

Is the use of a Net Promoter System sufficient for measurement?

NPS has its own detractors.  It has been considered too simple for complex markets and some have commented that it is best used in markets where there is strong competition where customers have a greater tendency to ask friends and family for recommendations.

There is also the formula itself.  Many companies do not like the fact that respondents giving a score of 7 to 8 are disregarded especially when a business may well have congratulated itself in the past when a customer scored them 8 out of 10 (my own understanding of this is that customers giving a satisfaction rating of 7 to 8 are still in the zone of indifference and whilst generally satisfied, cannot be relied upon as ‘loyal’).

The formula also ignores score distribution in a way that would horrify many data analysts.  For example, if business A. has 60% Promoters and 20% Detractors and business B. has no Detractors and 40% Promoters then they both generate an NPS of +40.  Understanding score distribution and motives of those in each category is clearly essential if NPS tracking is going to generate any advantage.

In conclusion, NPS used in the right framework and with the appropriate sample size can be a highly effective tracking tool and can be used to drive change provided the basic question is backed-up with further fact finding and analysis.

For more information on different types of customer measurement techniques visit our pages on mystery shopping.

Do you really know how satisfied your customers are?

Customer Satisfaction Scoring

Written by Gary Edwards – Managing Director – Linkedin Google+ 12/06/2014

Is my customer satisfaction data reliable?

Reliability is everything in the world of data and gathering information on your customer experience is no different.  To develop your service model and build customer loyalty you need accurate reliable feedback on customer satisfaction levels.

Yesterday I was in the post office and as I left, a member of staff asked if I’d mind answering some questions. I was asked my opinion on a few things and the type of services I wanted from the post office. I was generally quite positive in my responses. Finally, I was asked the Net Promoter Score question. As I had waited 10 minutes to be served I gave an NPS response of 7. The member of staff hesitated and I looked down at where she was writing. She input an NPS of 10 then looked up and realised I had seen what she had done. There was an awkward silence while we just looked at each other and then she thanked me and I left.

So here is an exercise that is being conducted by a member of staff that has a vested interest in receiving a positive response. It’s a bit like when you have your car serviced and at the end, the service advisor hands you a feedback card then lays a guilt trip on you telling you how important it is that they get 5 out of 5.

Broadly speaking, these exercises are a waste of time and money. Worse still, they prevent the business from developing service and processes in line with genuine customer emotions and opinions.

So what customer feedback process do I use to stop this?

The answer is to employ feedback processes that allow customers to provide open and honest feedback at a time and place when they do not feel compelled to ‘please’ the person asking the questions.

It is also imperative to protect your surveys from false entries generated by staff members ‘gaming’ the system. There are many ways in which good technology can protect you from this and also broader approaches to the objective which can dramatically decrease the incentive to input false responses.

Achieve the best of both worlds

At Tern, we believe that customer experience measurement is best achieved by the intelligent combining of mystery shopping and customer satisfaction measurement. You can read a little bit more about this in my previous post Mystery Shopping vs Customer Satisfaction.  By understanding the culture of the client organisation and the end objectives, we can advise on how these services can be configured and blended to deliver best value.

You can also find out more about our services by visiting our page about mystery shopping.