It seems like everywhere you go, people rely on technology more and more. And this includes deciding on where to shop and eat. The data backs this up: 98% of people read online reviews for local businesses. Having a strong internet presence is no longer just a nice-to-have. It’s crucial to the growth of your business — and quality customer reviews help you build and strengthen that presence.
But you might be wondering, “How do you get good reviews in the first place?”
This article will explain how, starting with why customer reviews are so important and finishing with how to respond to negative Google reviews.
If you think that online customer reviews aren’t that important — think again. In this day and age where the average internet user is online for 6 hours and 41 minutes a day, online reviews are more important than ever.
Online customer reviews are important for several reasons:
In the restaurant world, competition can often be fierce. Accumulating positive Google reviews can help your restaurant stand out from the rest, while also showing that you have a good reputation amongst the general public. Here are five ways that you can encourage customers to write positive Google reviews for your restaurant.
The best way to encourage positive restaurant reviews on Google is by giving your guests a great and memorable dining experience. Offering delicious food with generous portions, providing exceptional service, creating an inviting atmosphere, and going above and beyond are just a few ways you can enhance the customer experience. For restaurants with multiple locations, focus on making the customer experience consistently great no matter which location they visit. Remember that when guests are happy, it makes it easier and more likely for them to leave a positive online review for your restaurant.
Highlighting and featuring positive reviews on your business’ social media, website, and even on a wall inside your restaurant can have a domino effect on customer reviews. Showcasing these reviews will increase the chances of potential, new, and returning customers seeing them. This acts as social proof and builds trust. On top of that, when other customers see these positive comments, it shows them that your business appreciates its customers. This makes it more likely that customers will want to reciprocate that appreciation, and will take time to write your restaurant a review.
Instead of waiting for positive reviews, why not just ask? There’s no harm in simply asking customers to leave you a review online.
There are a few ways to tactfully request customer reviews:
Using social media marketing for your restaurant can increase your online presence and widen your business’ reach. The same applies when using your social media accounts to encourage online reviews. By promoting your Google Business Profile on social media, you can target your follower base and ask them to leave your restaurant a review. Chances are, you might have some followers who had great experiences at your restaurant but never thought to leave a review.
Taking the time to respond to all reviews, whether positive or negative, shows that you value customer feedback and are committed to providing customers with a great dining experience. Not only will customers feel heard and appreciated, but you can use this feedback as a valuable tool for improvement. When it comes to negative reviews, responding can give you the opportunity to show your willingness to address their concerns and to try to make it right. Responding to all reviews creates more open communication between you and your customers, making them feel motivated to write an honest review.
As great as it would be if all customer reviews were positive, it’s not always all sunshine and rainbows. Once in a while, you may get the odd negative review, and that’s okay. The key here is how you approach and respond to them.
It’s important to be prompt when responding to reviews to show customers that you’re regularly monitoring them. Ideally, respond within 24 hours, but if that’s not possible, then aim for within a week. Next, even if the feedback isn’t what you wanted to hear, you should thank the customer for taking the time to leave a review. Be specific and professional when addressing customer concerns without getting argumentative or defensive. If it’s within your power, offer the customer a direct solution to try to resolve the issue. Being thoughtful and heartfelt in your response, as well as providing a solution, can potentially inspire the customer to revise their review to reflect a more positive experience — and maybe even give you a second chance in the future!
Getting more restaurant reviews on Google doesn’t have to be difficult. Although there are a variety of ways that you can generate positive reviews, it all starts with giving your customers an exceptional dining experience. If you get a negative review every now and then, don’t panic. When it comes to food, it can be hard to please everyone. Remember to always make customers feel appreciated for writing a review, and don’t take the negative reviews too personally. Having a Google Business Profile full of positive reviews doesn’t happen overnight, but with a little bit of patience and determination, you can easily boost your restaurant’s online presence and reputation.
When your online presence grows, so does your workforce. Let Push Operations help you keep up with your payroll and HR demands by streamlining all of it. Book a demo with us today to see how we can help.
“In the labor numbers, we were reporting about a $300 to $400 difference than what we were getting through Push!”
-Tara Hardie, ZZA Hospitality Group, 16 locations