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5 Pitfalls of Restaurant Review Management

By Avi Goren, Co-Founder & CEO, Marqii, for CommPro

In 2021, 94% of consumers surveyed by ReviewTrackers said that a bad review convinced them to avoid a business. Not only that, but according to Search Engine Land report, companies with more reviews generate 54% greater revenue.

Reviews can make or break a company. In the modern digital age, customers turn to online reviews to help them decide where to go on their meal, coffee stop, or happy hour. While it may seem tedious, monitoring and responding to your reviews are equally important to the reviews themselves.

Below are 5 pitfalls restaurants should avoid making when replying to online reviews:

Fail to respond 

Whether positive or negative, responding to reviews builds brand loyalty and shows your customers you appreciate their feedback. It also gives potential and existing customers a glimpse behind the curtain of how you handle customer relations and encourages business growth if done well. This makes it well worth the effort.

Not all reviews are helpful, and some may even be inaccurate, but they all impact your brand reputation. While it may seem pointless to respond to all reviews, not responding can cause greater damage. One way to tackle reviews – even unjustified ones – is to view them as an opportunity to strengthen customer relations and thank everyone who leaves feedback.

Only respond to positive (or negative) reviews

When considering the restaurant’s reputation, responding to customer reviews is as important as the reviews themselves. Sadly, many restaurant owners often make the mistake of focusing only on positive (or negative) reviews. While responding to positive five-star reviews feels great, especially after all your hard work, the negative reviews shouldn’t be ignored.

Reviews are a great way to engage with customers, build your restaurant’s reputation, and turn any hesitant guest into a loyal customer. Just think of a time when you saw companies’ responses to negative reviews. Did this make you more inclined to consider them over companies who did not respond?

When considering review responses, it’s vital to show your customers and potential customers that you value all feedback, whether positive or negative.

Respond too slowly

Responding quickly to online reviews demonstrates your restaurant’s commitment to providing an enjoyable customer experience. It also shows the customer that you take their praise or complaint seriously. Because of that, every review should receive a response within two to three days, if not the same day.

We understand that this may feel too daunting, especially when dealing with higher volumes of reviews. If that is the case, review management software can monitor and provide authentic, personalized responses to customer complaints and reviews for you.

Respond defensively 

Negative and low-star reviews can feel personal, especially if they unfairly attack your products or service. We’ve all seen those scathing reviews that attack everything about the company, sometimes using harsh word choices. While it can be tempting to fight the negative response with defensiveness, avoid this at all costs. Customers will look at how your company responds to a negative review, making your answer more influential than the review. Create an empathetic reply, own responsibility, and offer solutions to remedy the issue.

Because your response is public, potential customers will be able to see how you handled a scathing review for months to come. Therefore, think of these interactions as future customer investments. These responses can make or break the future reader’s decision of whether or not to dine at your establishment.  For more, click here.

Image by Nenad Maric from Pixabay

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