Getting More, Getting Better: Online Reviews
Whenever you’re looking to try out a new restaurant for a special occasion I’m willing to bet you check out the reviews first. Whether you head over to the business’s Facebook page or whether you check them out on Trip Advisor or Zomato, odds are you’re going to put at least a little stock in the opinions of the establishment’s former clientele. How then can your business go about securing more and better online reviews?
Make sure that you’ve set up profiles for your business on as many sites that allow or are purpose-built for online reviews as possible. Because it’s 2016 and everybody who’s somebody has a Facebook account, it’s a platform you shouldn’t forget to use to your advantage.
When somebody leaves you a bad review, don’t just ignore it and move on with your life – address the issue! Just last week I left a poor review on a restaurant’s Facebook page after experiencing terrible service and they immediately invited me back for a meal on the house to prove to me that what I experienced there was well below their accepted standard of operation; that’s the way you handle consumer complaints! I went back, had the free meal, received wonderful service, and updated my online review accordingly; I’m willing to bet most consumers would follow suit.
The easiest way to get more online business reviews is simply to ask! If you’re feeling generous you may even incentivise leaving reviews on social media sites such as Facebook by offering all clients who left a review a 5% discount on their next purchase or a free cup of coffee upon their next visit and so on. That being said: don’t buy your online reviews – it needs to be clear that the reward is for leaving any review; and you’re not trying to buy a good review.
Think outside the box:
A good review doesn’t need to be measured in stars – a post on social media sites such as Instagram and Snapchat can be just as effective an endorsement as 5 stars on a site younger people are less likely to check out before visiting an establishment. Encourage your patrons to Instagram their food, take selfies in front of a promotional backdrop in order to stand a chance to win a prize, create a special hashtag that refers directly to your business, have them tag your business Instagram account in the image and watch the customers and referrals roll in.