In the foodservice industry, online reviews are some of the most influential. In fact, 85% of consumers trust reviews as much as word promotion from family and friends. Owning an operation that has overwhelmingly positive reviews means more sales and a bright future. However, on the other hand, online review sites that are peppered with negative reviews of your restaurant will have the opposite results.
Consumers put a great deal of weight on online reviews when researching a restaurant. Among all organizations, reviews of restaurants are the most widely read.
Handling a negative review requires responding quickly and professionally. Replying to a negative review is the most important step for damage control a restaurant can employ. The infographic below is a helpful guide for crafting your responses. Keep in mind when drafting your response potential customers will be reviewing your response just as carefully as the negative review written. Make sure to respond professionally no matter how unfair the review strikes you. Apologize and taking responsibility is a good first step in improving the situation. Making things rights for a disappointed customer can even win them back to becoming a repeating customer.
Responding quickly must also require researching review sites regularly so you can discover potential negative reviews. Assigning a person to spot-check every so often is usually not good enough or fast enough. Savvy restaurant managers and owners will monitor both major reviews and minor or even local reviews.
Customer problems never get better with age. A badly delayed response is sure to inflame the problem further and give review site users the impression you either inattentive or don’t operate efficiently when it comes to acting on complaints. However, with a brief and polite response, you can win customers back and even show new customers that your restaurant or bar is a responsive and committed business. After finishing your response, consider using their issue or problem to help improve your restaurant operations. Make sure to check out the infographic below for more information on handling a negative online review.
Infographic created by TouchBistro, a provider of digital menu boards