EVERYONE'S A CRITIC
by Morgan Thompson - Swipely Blog on January 20th, 2016


THREE WAYS TO RESPOND TO ONLINE REVIEWS
 

​"​Eighty-eight percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations."
With that level of trust in online reviews, it is crucial to make sure you’re keeping up with managing your reputation online. While it can seem overwhelming, all it takes is a simple, well-crafted response to make your customers feel heard and valued.

Here are a few tips that will help aid you in responding to the next online review you see on your restaurant.


1.   RESPOND TO ALL REVIEWS
 

A primary reason that online review sites are so popular is because they give each and every person a voice. Before the days of online reviews, you could only rave or vent about an experience to the people within your closest proximity. Now, the power to share an experience with the world is in the hands of your customers. Your customers’ online reviews will certainly shape expectations of prospective customers and their decision to try your restaurant. With that said, whether the review is exceptional or complaining, acknowledge their review.
​"​People want to know they are being heard, in fact 74% of people say it’s the main reason they contribute to online reviews."
Here are a few examples of how you can address both positive and negative reviews:

Positive:
General: “Hey there Max! Wow, we sure appreciate all the kind words. We love being able to give our guests a memorable experience, thanks for visiting.”
Specific: “The flippin' chicken tacos are the chef’s favorite. So glad to hear you enjoyed it too!

Negative:
Lauren, we’re so sorry to hear <insert complaint> didn’t exceed your expectations. We’ve contacted our manager from that night to make sure your issue is addressed and we’ll do our best to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
We’d love to have you back in so we can try to make it right.


​2.   SHARE HOW THEIR FEEDBACK IS BEING ADDRESSED,  AUTHENTICALLY.
 

Each review is unique, meaning your response should also be unique. Nothing is worse than getting a face-less, automatically generated response back. It makes the reviewer think you don’t truly value their feedback enough to write with genuine feedback. While time is of short supply, it is of the utmost importance to do this. For a negative review, vocalize that you hear their concern and use the feedback to identify the root of the problem.
Quick Tips:
  • Be personable, friendly sounding
  • Avoid sounding defensive
  • Keep it short and sweet
​​​The experience guests have online should be a continuation of the hospitality you show in the restaurant. Make sure the tone of voice used and words chosen reflect that.


3.   KNOW WHEN TO RESPOND AND WHEN IT'S TIME TO LET IT GO.
 

If after you attempt to provide a genuine response, and the customer is continuing to be rude or unrealistic, then it’s time to simply let it go. The truth is, some people just like to complain. At the end of the day all you can do is attempt to make the situation right. If you do that, it will be apparent to other users viewing the reviews.
 

BEYOND YELP AND TRIP ADVISOR

​Conversations are happening about your restaurant beyond online review sites. Don’t limit yourself to just looking at those, extend your listening to social media to see photos posted at your location on Instagram, the hashtag of your restaurant on Twitter, Facebook comments and reviews. Each post is an opportunity to continue to provide top notch customer service.

You have the power to:
  • Turn the negative reviews into future positive experiences
  • Build loyal fans among current customers
  • Entice prospective customers reading reviews to give you a try
​​Share this with your customers and
let me know how we can help them be more successful.


 THE COALESCENT HOSPITALITY TEAM



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