Clover Food Lab, a Boston-based food truck, believes it has discovered a key aspect to customer loyalty – giving them the opportunity to communicate with the company and offer feedback. Essentially, Clover has created customer exposure through the use of social media and taking their concerns and opinions to heart.
As reported in a BBC news article, a Clover chef used the company's Twitter feed to ask for customer feedback on a particular sandwich that had received poor reviews. After taking in suggestions on how to improve the sandwich flavors he tinkered it to perfection per consumer input.
Ayr Muir, Clover president and founder, said that such responses help improve not only the company's food, but their relationship with customers overall.
"When you ask people for help, you deepen the relationship you have with the person," Muir said.
In addition to direct suggestions, Muir added that social media gives Clover the opportunity to "eavesdrop" on its customers. For example, the company spent less than $200 on advertising last year, due in large part to using Twitter to alert customers on early closings and new products.
According to Muir, Clover's marketing happens first with customer interactions and then with bulletin boards on websites that announce menu items.
In addition to positive feedback though, companies should also be willing to respond to negative feedback, said Rusty Shelton, president and chief executive of a digital marketing agency. Specifically, Shelton said that while the one angry customer may never come back, others will be watching to see how the company responds to a negative critique.
Working with a live answering service is another good way to interact with customers and receive valuable feedback on what's working and what can be improved upon within the company. Whether it's through phone, email or text messaging services, a kind and courteous professional will be working with any consumer who wants to give their opinion or receive an answer to a question.