If you are the kind of person who mistakenly thinks that online reviews have no effect on your restaurant business, you need to think twice.
Online reviews are critical determinants of your online reputation in today’s digital world. If you get lots of positive reviews and manage your negative reviews properly, potential guests are more likely to choose you over the competition. Your restaurant will increasingly gain credibility and this will translate to more revenue.
That is not all, however, since it has also been proven that having better and more reviews actually plays a critical role in your online search visibility and improves your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Search engines love rewarding specifically the quality, number, and recency of reviews. It therefore means that you have to monitor and manage online reviews constantly and encourage guests to leave new ones.
Here are 5 tips for improving the quality of your online reviews before the competition does.
1. Ask Customers to Leave Reviews
Positive reviews are gold for your restaurant, which is why it is so important to chase them. The chances of a dissatisfied guest leaving a negative review might be high, but happy customers are far less likely to leave a review spontaneously, unless you ask them to do it. A survey by BrightLocal.com shows that 68 percent of guests will actually leave reviews when asked. So, why not do it?
2. Offer an Unforgettable Experience
Make sure that your guests have an unforgettable experience. Take ultimate care in meeting the needs of customers, talk to them, make sure that you have a good understating of what they need to expect from your service or product. If you offer exceptional customer service, getting positive reviews will be much easier.
Motivate your staff to increasingly do better, by sharing both negative and positive feedback with them. Even if the complaint doesn’t regard you personally, but rather, one of your employees, for instance, and try to remember that guests rely on you as the owner and face of the business.
3. Transform Negative Reviews into Positive Reviews
Positive reviews are obviously important, but never forget that negative reviews have a positive effect on your restaurant’s credibility. 95 percent of diners don’t take restaurants with only positive reviews seriously because they only get a to one-sided image of the restaurant. Reading negative reviews helps paint a more realistic picture in the minds of potential customers. Still, it doesn’t mean that they should not be addressed.
- Here are some tips for successfully transforming negative reviews into positive reviews:
- Focus your efforts on making the dissatisfied customer feel heard and considered. Address them politely and apologize for the negative experience.
- Apologies, however, are not enough. Show them that you really value their opinion by resolving the issue they raised.
- Always attempt to move the conversation to the private sphere so that it can be addressed via email or phone and what you both write are no longer visible to the public as review sites are.
- If the matter is resolved, kindly ask the customer to either remove or change the negative review.
- If you’re looking for more tips for review sites like yelp then this article by VelSEOity looks into a lot of what you need to know.
4. Avoid Being Pushy
It is perfectly okay to ask for reviews, but it is equally important to do it properly. Avoid mass emails, pop-ups, as well as any other impersonal approach. Try being genuine and authentic to your brand. The best way to request customers to leave reviews is by sending them a text message or email immediately after leaving your premises. It is when the customer is the happiest since the memory of the excellent service provided is still fresh in their mind. Add a call-to-action (for example, ‘How did we do?’, ‘Click here to leave your review’) with a direct link to your review page. It will be much faster and easier for them to leave positive feedback and your overall ranking will increase.
5. Use a Tool for Managing Reviews
Now you have at least a basic understanding of the importance of online reviews for your business. You also know that it is vital to constantly monitor and respond to reviews to keep your online reputation high. It is precisely due to this reason that we built Reviews for hospitality businesses. It lets you track and respond to all your reviews from a single platform. Imagine all your Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google, and many more reviews in a single, simple to use dashboard. The review request process is completely automated thus letting you save a lot of time.