Emiliano’s Café was slammed.
It was the first night of Gainesville Restaurant Week 2013, and owner Diego Ibañez said the pan-Latin restaurant, located at 7 SE First Ave., was as busy as it would be on a fall day before a Gators game.
In the midst of the hubbub, Ibañez received a text message. It was an anonymous compliment from a customer who had been in the restaurant that night.
Using Quibble, a mobile application recently developed in Gainesville, Ibañez was able to get the feedback texted directly from a customer.
The purpose of the app is to allow managers to respond to “quibbles,” or “small, annoying little problems,” said Matthew Donovan, product manager for Quibble’s Gainesville-based parent company, Seventh Compass.
“It wasn’t built to address really bad problems at a business,” Donovan said.
Retailers, property management companies and restaurants could benefit the most from the app, he said.
“The customer experience is the most critical part,” he said. “A restaurateur wants to get that feedback about anything that is affecting that customer experience. We try to let that business owner know immediately.”
The direct, character-limited message gives immediate gratification that can diminish a customer’s need to share dissatisfaction with a particular business on social media or review sites, Donovan said.
“Suggestion boxes, comment cards — people don’t want to fill those out because it feels like you are giving the business your email address for promotions,” he said.
For the last six weeks, signs on the tables at Emiliano’s have featured the app, instructing customers how to share their comments digitally. Ibañez said he’d gotten more compliments than complaints.