Customer feedback is, by far, the most valuable information that can help grow your food truck business. Communicating with your customers can appear to be a challenging sometimes. Customers may not always want to come straight out and tell you how they perceive your business, what they want, or how you can improve. Instead, you may need to find more creative ways to get and use feedback from your customers—and we have some suggestions on how to do that.

Determine What You Want to Know

Customer feedback is useful when you know what data you’re trying to get. If you are trying out new menu items, you can create small sample sizes of two or three options for a taste test outside of the truck while their food is being prepared. Have the person serving the samples use either a voice recorder or notepad to track the feedback. It narrows down the feedback for fast easy decisions that are on the spot.  Knowing what specific information that you are seeking will help you to create direct ways to get fast feedback.

Ask the Right Questions

The time you get in front of a customer is many times limited but always valuable.  Create a fast, easy way to get the feedback you need by asking the right questions.  The right questions are ones that are specific. For example, if you are looking for different festivals and activities that your regular customers and social media followers attend.  Then create an online survey of “what to do around town”.  Keep it simple by asking them what are their ‘top five places”, “top five activities” and “must attend annual festivals”.  You can use this data for discovering places to add to your food truck schedule.

Use open-ended questions when you’re trying to discover things you aren’t sure of the answers.  For example, help improve your marketing message by asking customers why they chose your food truck as a dining option.  While ringing up an order for a customer, just simply ask, “what brought you to choosing our truck today?” Quick and easy. It is open-ended to let them fill in the “why.” Their answers can deliver surprising marketing messages. If you hear “you were quick and convenient” consistently, then in your social media posts and text messages – be sure to use their words “find us for your quick, convenient and tasty lunch service in downtown….”. People identify with their own words.

Asking multiple-choice or sliding scale questions will give you more to work with when you are looking for a specific decisive answer. For example, if you are concerned about how long your customers are waiting for their food, ask a sliding scale question that rates the wait from one to ten. That type of information will tell you a lot more compared to a response that states that the wait was “fine.”

No matter how you collect the feedback, always keep a running tally. Our brains will think that something was more than another, but we forget to easily.  Have a system to measure the reality of the responses for better accuracy.

Analyze & Act on the Feedback Effectively

Once you have the data, don’t ignore it.  It is valuable.  If you ask online about top events, places and festivals, make note of the events that you were not aware of and how many people stated they went there. If there are two events or festivals running at the same time, you can place a photo both events side by side with an ‘A’ and a ‘B’ on each one. Let people choose which letter correlated with the event they were most likely to attend. If you are doing food tastings for new menu items, have the person ask what they liked about each and which they would prefer ordering.

Once you have the results, plan to implement them. Thank your customers and let them know their opinion mattered. Make announcements like, “Taste-test winner – New [insert new menu item] on special today”.

Concession Nation is a food truck builder who listens to their own customers’ feedback. They’ve built a five-star reputation working closely with their customers to build the food truck that fits their specific needs.  Are you ready to build your review-worthy food truck? Call us today!