Feed It Back, the leading customer feedback and online reputation specialists, has analysed data from May to November 2018 to identify the impact special occasions, such as birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, and other celebrations, have on driving positive and negative reviews.
The statistics, which were taken from thousands of social reviews across the restaurant, quick service restaurant and pub industries, demonstrate that special occasions in general generate positive reviews, but have the propensity to drive extremely negative reviews if dealt with badly.
Reviews referencing graduation had the most positive results, in particular on Google Reviews where 78% of reviews received the top five-star rating, compared to 64% for anniversaries and only 52% for birthdays.
Birthday reviews were more polarised on Google Reviews, where almost a fifth of reviews received the minimum one out of five stars, while 52% of reviews scored the maximum five-star rating.
Anniversaries received the lowest score overall, with a fifth of reviews scoring the minimum rating possible on both Google Reviews and Facebook.
Digging deeper into what was impacting negative scores, the data revealed that guests are particularly upset when they have flagged a special occasion at the time of booking but feel ignored or let down on arrival.
In contrast, analysis of the positive reviews indicate that customers are happier when the booking process has been smooth and information or special requests have been taken on board. Staff going the extra mile and taking some of the stress away from the organiser were also cited as contributing factors to positive reviews.
Commenting on the figures, Carlo Platia, CEO of Feed It Back said: “The data clearly shows these special occasions are make or break moments for operators where they can create loyal brand advocates or disgruntled customers, who then turn to social channels, feedback platforms and friends and family to vent frustration or share enjoyment.
“Interestingly, the main drivers behind positive and negative reviews are not related to food and drink, but rather the smoothness of the booking process and recognition of a special occasion. With this information, operators should focus on introducing systems to identify when customers are booking a special occasion and treat them accordingly upon arrival.
“Tracking, understanding and action on the levers impacting the customer experience is imperative to remaining competitive in today’s challenging market, and operators are increasingly approaching us to understand how our technology can help with this.”