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84% of consumers say they trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations. In this digital age, word of mouth has shifted to digital. It's more important than ever to maintain a pristine online presence.
Even if you're not interested in social media and digital review sites, a large portion of your customers relies on these services. Learn to navigate the ins and outs of managing your digital presence or risk an out-of-control reputation. You NEED to keep up with what people have to say about you in the digital world.
But how exactly do you go about managing your restaurant reviews? Can you do anything about negative ones?
Read on to find out how you can keep your restaurant's digital presence functional and pristine.
Claim Your Restaurants Online
If you haven't done so already, get online and claim your restaurants on review sites. They include:
If you don't do this, you risk other people fraudulently claiming your restaurant as their own. This issue can lead to some trouble with your digital presence. Also, unclaimed restaurants on these platforms attract fewer customers and give off an impression of lackluster ownership.
If a fraudulent individual has claimed your restaurant, you can always contact the website with evidence that you're the actual restaurant owner. This step should usually get you the account back. But you can avoid all this trouble if you claim your restaurant as soon as possible on these platforms.
Now that you're all set up on these review sites, use the following advice for maintaining an excellent online reputation.
Engage With Your Customers
It's easy to take your customers' positive reviews for granted. When you see patron after patron leaves you 5-star reviews, it's easy to become complacent and not respond with appreciation to these reviews. That's a huge mistake.
Customers like to be heard, so make sure you respond to as many reviews as you can. If they have a question or leave a funny comment, feel free to answer their inquiries, and even show a little wit yourself.
For example, Wendy's has earned a reputation for responding in a sassy manner to many Twitter users. They aren't afraid to be witty and bold, which has garnered them much digital attention.
Now, we're not saying you have to follow in Wendy's footsteps. But finding your brand voice and sticking with it online can be beneficial.
If responding to reviews seems out of your comfort zone, it may be worth hiring an external organization to maintain your social media and review platform accounts.
They can handle both positive and negative reviews in the best ways possible. It can also free up your time to take care of other restaurant needs.
Take Care of Fake Reviews Promptly
Unfortunately, individual competitors can sometimes resort to unscrupulous practices to undermine your success. It's effortless to create an anonymous online account on many review platforms and leave an undeservingly scathing review for your establishment.
If you believe someone's out to get you, you'll want to collect as much evidence as possible. Then, contact the platform with this evidence and see if you can have these fake reviews removed. In most cases, they'll do so, especially if you have a consistently stellar reputation already.
Use Negative Reviews as Opportunities to Display Great Customer Service
No matter how hard you try, there's bound to be one or two customers who aren't pleased with either your food and/or service. Try not to take it personally. You can't please everyone, after all. You should, however, use the opportunity to your restaurant's benefit.
Online reviews are permanent postings on the internet, meaning both current and future customers will see these negative reviews. At first glance, this may fill you with dread. If others see these comments, then surely your future business is ruined.
But not all is lost!
Use these negative reviews as opportunities to show what excellent customer service you're capable of. For example, never stoop to a negative reviewer's level; no matter what they say to you, always remain courteous and helpful. Apologize for the way they're feeling and ask what you can do to rectify the situation.
Sometimes, you can practice a little pushback, and that's ok. If customers outright dishonest, tactfully provide evidence without resorting to being rude or condescending.
If you can handle these negative reviews cases in a dignified manner, other platform users will see you're a dedicated restaurant owner. Show that your establishment goes above and beyond to provide customer satisfaction. These negative reviews can end up helping you!
Make Sure You Manage Your Restaurant Reviews Proactively
It's essential that you not only monitor your restaurant reviews but also engage with users and take care of any questions or concerns.
While much of your customer service is still front-facing, remember a lot of it needs to be digital as well. This space is where your customers are sharing their experiences, so ensure they receive the same kind of service online as they did offline.
Make sure your restaurant not only serves delicious food and provides impeccable service but also presents an immaculate dining space when patrons visit.
Pay attention to decor, flooring, tables, chairs, and dinnerware. Also, consider upgrading your windows and doors. The benefits are worth it!
Turn to Alco Windows & Doors as a trusted partner in impact window and door installations and retrofits - especially for restaurants. We'll provide expert guidance and top-notch services from start to finish.
Would you like to request service or get an estimate? Get in touch with us today!