Friday, March 17th, 2017 | 6 min read
There are two undeniable truths in this world: data is the key to improving customer experience, and tacos are the most delightful snack of all time.
Customer reviews are more important than ever, and as a result, even Austin’s most vaunted taco spots depend on more than just flavor. Customer experience, the combination of all interactions that a customer has with a brand, is one of the most important factors for all brands today – and the big players in Taco Town, TX are no exception.
We turned on Location Intelligence and Core Listening to help you find the best tacos in Austin based on customer experience.
The month’s worth of data that we collected shows that the Torchy’s at 1311 South 1st St pulled in the most reviews. A quick Google or social search will tell you that Torchy’s is a beloved Austin establishment, and this location is one of their more popular spots.
Diving deeper into the data tells a different story – while the Torchy’s at 1311 South 1st St has the most customer reviews, they may not be providing the best customer experiences. In the past four months, their negative reviews include mentions of inconvenient parking, long lines, and slow service. This might explain the discrepancy in that location’s performance between number of reviews, star rating, and experience score.
Diving into the data about their brick-and-mortar locations would allow an establishment like Torchy’s (or a much larger company) to differentiate between the experiences at each of their locations, find the weak points, and fix them.
The Torchy’s at 2809 South 1st St, for example, had the highest star rating from Yelp and TripAdvisor of the surveyed taco spots. The high star rating comes from the fact that customers here, simply put, have no complaints. Their experience as a whole is positive – frictionless even.
Long wait time at one Torchy’s location but not another is an example of the differences between sites that can make customer experience sing (or not). Recognizing them is the first step to making changes that customers will love.
While it’s awesome when a customer takes the time to select one of five options that indicate how they feel about you – there’s more to the story here as well.
A customer reading a four star review (not bad) that includes mentions of a grumpy staff member, could immediately be turned off and decide not to come to your restaurant – the four stars alone won’t capture the nuances of human emotions and experiences like deep text analysis will.
Pueblo Viejo beat out the other restaurants in terms of Experience Score (calculated by Sprinklr’s proprietary text analytics engine that is able to extract deep sentiment and industry-specific categorization (in this case, Food and Bev), at scale). It knows that the words “long” and “wait” in the same sentence are negative in the context of the restaurant industry, and can take a block of text and turn it into analyzable data.
Reviews for Pueblo Viejo mention time and again that the tacos here are huge, filling, and “the price is right.” Their “amazing sauce” is mentioned all over Yelp – some have even called it “life changing.” Their customers are passionate about their experience in the best way, and they’re ready to tell the world about it. These strong, positive words can tell a company more about the experience that a customer’s had than a four or five star rating ever could.
When people take the time to post about a restaurant on social (#tacotuesday), not only are they incorporating the company into their personal brand, they also loved their experience so much that they’re knowingly advertising for you – for free.
So combining ratings and reviews with a layer of social data gives us the most complete picture of the taco scene in Austin.
The traditional heavy hitters Tacodeli, Taco Xpress, and Torchy’s were the most talked about restaurants on social.
In order to get the most complete picture of how people feel about the various taco places in Austin, we combined the data from social conversation with insights from ratings and reviews.
We manually added data from each section and calculated a simple, weighted mean comprised of number of reviews, Experience Score, average star rating, and the amount of social mentions. 50% more weight was given to Experience Score and star rating than review and social counts, as they factor in customer sentiment.
The final product brings together the power of each type of customer data, and levels the playing field for brands that might not have a ton of social mentions, but an incredible experience score.
Typically, a global brand would use Location Intelligence to monitor the performance of each of their brick-and-mortar locations.
If they noticed a spike in reviews on one area of the map, they could dive deeper and see why that’s the case. They could zoom in and out to uncover trends (good or bad) at the national, regional, and city level – they could even zoom in on two stores that are within a few blocks of one another.
Such powerful and manipulable insights could allow brands to improve their services as a whole, or focus their efforts on underperforming stores. Furthermore, taking a holistic approach will allow brands to understand how customers really feel, and what they’ll need to change in order to make their customer experience soar.