Social Media: A New Tool to Measure Satisfaction
Dr. Bill Donohue, professor and director of sales communication at Michigan State University, has come up with a creative way to use social media for free to monitor end user perceptions. He suggests starting a Facebook page for a vending machine and inviting all the end users to become friends.
The page should be for a specific machine at a specific location. Write things on the Facebook page that give the machine personality, suggests Donohue. “We live in an interactive world,” he said. Allowing consumers to interact with the vending machine is essential, whether it’s requesting products or responding to posts like “The importance of bottled water.” The vending machine can even ask questions about how it’s doing with service or apologize for inconveniences.
Whether the operator does the postings daily himself or has someone else do it, the Facebook page is sure to generate interest.
“Vending operators need to generate excitement about their business,” said Donohue. “They are competing with c-stores…who have a name and face at the checkout.”
Customer Review Sites
Ike’s Place, a California sandwich shop, is surveying customers on its Website for satisfaction and the possibility of moving into food vending. The company uses a consumer critic site called “Yelp” to market it sandwiches.
Posted on Ike’s homepage is “People love us on Yelp! Check out our 1500+ reviews!” It’s linked to the reviews so visitors can read them easily.