The online world is used as a preview of the restaurants where customers “might” go to eat. You need to ensure that your presence across all platforms, be that your website, social media accounts, or on review sites, is not only uniform but that it also highlights your qualities as a business owner or manager.
Moreover, you need to ensure that when you’re engaging with customer feedback online that you’re doing in the best way possible; because 97% of customers read businesses’ responses to customers’ reviews. This is all so that potential customers who are browsing the online elements of your business can see that you are professional and passionate about the guest experience.
Review Sites are Home Pages
Most restaurants today will have themselves an online storefront in the form of a webpage. What many don’t realize is that having an excellent website is all well and good –and necessary– but they don’t consider how they’re appearing on review sites; and 82% of customers will read reviews on these sites before choosing where to eat. This means that you need to manage your information and presence on these platforms just as much as you manage your website and your social media.
If the vast majority of people are reading your answers to reviews then they’re obviously looking for something; they’re looking for signs of someone who cares. Therefore, it is imperative that you don’t just copy and paste the same “thank you we’re glad you enjoyed your time with us please come back soon!” onto every good review, and really don’t use the copy and paste tactic with bad reviews!
Instead take the time to craft a response this might be as simple as: “Thank you Chelsea for your review. We’re so happy that you enjoyed the evening’s market fish and that you and your fiancé had an excellent time. We look forward to welcoming you back soon as a happily married couple!” It only takes a few seconds, but this sort of personalization is exactly what someone reading through your review responses wants to see.
Restaurant owners and managers should be checking the review sites they’re present on every single day. If someone leaves a bad review and you don’t see it for a few days then you could’ve lost a lot of potential customers because they’ve seen it and noticed that you haven’t responded. Not only that, but customers don’t just leave reviews for other customers to see, they also leave reviews for you to see! So if you’re straight into the conversation with them then you’re making them feel more at ease and can potentially rectify the bad experience, turning a potentially lost customer and critic into, hopefully, a returning customer and advocate.
Feedback and To-Go Food
To-go food is all the rage now, but it’s very hard to get any feedback from many of these customers because they’re not dining inside your establishment. As a result, unless they review you online, you’ll never know if you’re creating repeat customers and advocates for your business or the opposite.
Feedback from to go guests can be super valuable, especially with this service on the rise, so you should make sure that you utilize these customers’ feedback to improve your offerings and service; whether that be more item availability or better to go containers which keep certain foods fresh and crisp.
Improving The Quality of The Feedback You Receive
One way to improve the quality of the feedback you receive is to send timely surveys to your guests. Sending such surveys allows you to gather more data points and really build a picture of what is, and what is not, satisfying your guests. Rather than waiting for reviews to appear, surveys are a proactive way to gather feedback and show the guest that you care. Doing this often means that you’ll catch bad experiences and rectify them before they become bad reviews online.
Restaurants, especially those in highly competitive areas can live and die by reviews. Being proactive about reading and personally responding to reviews, as well as ensuring that your page on review websites is up to scratch are the main ways you can help your business flourish. If you wish to take it a step further Tattle has partnered with Lunchbox to help restaurants send short surveys, composed of relevant questions, to your guests in a timely manner, ensuring that you get the most actionable data possible. Head to lunchbox.io to schedule a demo of our product and all the great extra features like Tattle!
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