Revel has added a dashboard for Yelp and Foursquare to its point of sale tablet, giving businesses a way to respond immediately to any complaints or praise posted to social media.

"There is an escalation of online and social reviews, and we want to make business staff aware of this data and make it contextual," says Patrick Donnelly, a director at the San Francisco-based Revel.

The service is aimed primarily at small businesses in the restaurant and hospitality businesses. When a customer checks in with a social app such as Foursquare or submits a review on Yelp, an icon will pop up on the Revel iPad-based point of sale terminal.

These notifications will give businesses insight into how consumers are engaging and how they view their experience. Since the feedback is in near-real time, staff can react quickly.  Merchants can additionally access the consumer's prior reviews.

"You can see stuff like customers complaining about their wait times or saying something about the food," Donnelly says. "With that knowledge, you can quickly get to their table, or offer a discount on a meal, etc."

Consumers have to opt in to the service and check into the restaurant or retailer, so their musings or reviews aren't being collected without their consent, Donnelly says.

The dashboard also enables businesses to pull data from customer relationship management platforms.  When a consumer uses Foursquare or Yelp, the Revel point of sale system searches the merchant's CRM database. If a match is found, the staff can view information such as the customer's order history and frequency of visits.

That can help the merchant distinguish between new and returning customers, and spot purchase patterns or a tendency to visit the businesses on certain days or times.

"You can find out if a customer comes in every Tuesday at noon, or if they order the same thing or two of three things off of the menu," Donnelly says. "You can also spot the customers that spend two hours in your restaurant and don't order much, so you get a view into how profitable certain consumers are."

Revel also plans to give the dashboard access to other social media check-in applications such as Facebook. The analysis of consumer activity that results can inform marketing campaigns or offers, Donnelly says.

The Yelp and Foursquare integration is free, and can be accessed from Revel's cloud-hosted point of sale system. While the integration can be used by a variety of merchants, Donnelly says it's particularly useful for restaurants, which are subject to the kinds of reviews, feedback and social conversation that fits well with the dashboard.

"Social media is playing an increasingly important role in customer servicing and many companies are trying to engage their customers or at least keep an eye on the customer sentiment via social media," says Zil Bareisis, a senior analyst at Celent.

Revel's new dashboard is the latest in a series of upgrades to Revel's point of sale system. The company has added PayPal acceptance, photo verification and the ability to accept payments during a loss of power or Internet connectivity.

Yelp has also partnered with Eat24, an online restaurant ordering system; while Foursquare's forays into the payments market includes a partnership with First Data to offer deals.

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