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Restaurant / QSR Blog

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Can Social Intelligence Help Your Restaurant?

Business intelligence can give customers deep insights into their operations, but is it time to merge this with social intelligence?  We’re talking about gaining insights into customer behavior by diving into their actions on social media. Let’s take a closer look at social media’s influence over Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) and see what it reveals in terms of actionable intelligence.

Listening is Key

The new tier of QSR owners and managers understand that data is one of their most important assets in terms of making decisions. These visionaries recognize that all forms of data, especially when consolidated, help to inform and drive their decisions. These owners and managers are going to define the rapidly changing landscape of fast food in America and emerge as the leading contenders among the many, many choices that consumers make every day.

If you’ve built a solid strategy for social intelligence, you’re already aggregating and analyzing social media to inform your managers and improve your restaurant’s buzz, reputation in the community, authentic engagement, and sales. Listening to customers of your QSR can create actionable intelligence that can improve your bottom line. Maybe you find out from social listening that people love your new product. Take that intelligence to the next level and create an online ad campaign across the spectrum of social networks that takes real comments from across your social media sphere and collective audience insights and celebrate them. Track positive viewer sentiment and keep releasing and responding to social media as the conversation spreads. You’re likely to find that your bottom line increases solely on the power of aligning your marketing activities based on your social discoveries.

It’s easy for busy restaurant owners and franchisees to dismiss the power of social intelligence. Don’t. Real work is getting done when you’re having authentic conversations with your customers, just as surely as the floors are getting mopped and sandwiches are flying out the door. Begin with passive activities like monitoring and listening. Even this simple step will help you gain insight into customer product preferences, customer service issues, and the overall mood that customers experience in your QSR. Whether you find that customers are mostly frequenting your store for time and convenience or it’s one of the major comforts of a hard working week, you will have learned something critical that you can then apply to customer service training, marketing, operations, or other critical areas of your QSR’s model.

Integrating Other Types of Data

When you start to lay other types of data into your social intelligence mix, the results can be powerful. For example, by integrating advanced video surveillance packages with onboard video analytics, you can create a robust demand model by investigating psychological issues like impulse buys and up-sells by your employees. You can also manage inventory much more intelligently and discover process failures that can be improved to boost your bottom line. The most powerful social intelligence platforms don’t just get their insights from social but combine that data with intelligence gained from other platforms in order to make better decisions.

About the Author — Christie Acker

Christie is responsible for helping Envysion’s enterprise clients in the retail and restaurant spaces understand the best ways to use video-based business intelligence to deliver on their brand promise and drive profitability. With over 15 years experience in building and supporting world-class sales organizations, Christie is an accomplished and tenured leader in the enterprise software sales market. An avid traveler, she has visited over 60 countries and uses her diverse experiences to help understand clients' needs to design and implement solutions to help achieve their goals. Christie holds a Bachelors degree in Economics from Vanderbilt University.

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