We’ve all heard the saying, “the customer is always right.” However, some customers are taking advantage of their high authority in today’s competitive digital environment.
But unfortunately, ignoring negative feedback and guest reviews is like buying a money plant and not watering it.
Nowadays, diners put a high emphasis on online reviews. In fact, if there are three or more negative business or restaurant reviews, the chance of losing customers jumps to 59.2%. Unfortunately, bad reviews during the COVID-19 pandemic can add even more insult to injury.
Sadly, receiving too many negative reviews without responding or seeking positive ones can put a restaurant out of business.
Additionally, these four statistics illustrate the importance of positive online reviews and customer outreach.
- Brands with excellent customer outreach bring in 5.7 times more revenue than other brands.
- 90% of CEOs believe customer opinions have the most significant impact on operation strategies.
- Just 23% of restaurants respond to customers who provide negative feedback.
- Content from customers significantly impacts a buyer’s decision, with 70% of baby boomers and 84% of millennials being influenced by it.
So, how can restaurant owners stop negative reviews before they happen? And then, what is the best way to respond to an unhappy customer?
Fortunately, Bloom Intelligence automates the review generation process from guests. When a guest visits, an automated email asks them about their experience before they have the opportunity to leave a review.
Then, if it’s a negative experience, restaurants can make it right by responding before the review gets onto popular online review sites. Additionally, an automated email can ask for their contact information to get in touch with the customer.
Alternatively, an automated negative feedback follow-up email can provide an offer (with one-time redemption) to win back their business.
However, if the review is positive, a follow-up automated email invites them to leave their review on influential sites such as Yelp and UrbanSpoon.
So, now you know how to automate your customer outreach to improve reviews and experiences. But then, why does customer outreach matter?
1. You can go beyond selling your menu items and dig into what your customer’s goals are.
Indeed, responding to customer feedback and comments should focus on listening and providing solutions.
However, there is a hidden value in the process of listening. You can learn about what customers need, what they want, and why.
With this data, you can focus on how you can improve experiences for every guest.
Then, even if a situation is blown out of proportion by a customer, gaining their feedback is paramount for better restaurant operations.
Additionally, transforming a positive review from a negative comment can provide valuable social proof to increase your customers.
Fortunately, the more positive reviews you have, the more other customers view them as proof that your restaurant is an excellent place to visit.
2. You can understand what your customers need.
Indeed, beyond merely improving your customer’s experience, you can gain insights into what they need.
Maybe they want to see a menu item that you do not currently offer. Perhaps your guest wants to see bundled course meals. Digging deeper and getting to know what your customers want and need is crucial.
3. You can tap into their emotions.
Also, connecting with customers and showing them that you care about their thoughts and feelings can tap into their emotions.
Then, if you can create a positive memory for a customer, you have a higher likelihood of gaining a customer for life.
4. You can grow.
Of course, a positive review will not only influence other guests to visit your restaurant.
But, it will ensure that the reviewer frequents your location multiple times and establishes loyalty.
Additionally, it can increase the dollar amount that your reviewer spends at your location. In fact, almost 90% of buyers are willing to pay more for improved customer service.
In fact, many restaurants focus on acquiring new customers so much that they forget about the value of existing customers. However, building a long-term relationship with a new customer is 16x more costly than building on an existing guest’s loyalty.
Of course, it’s never been easier with Bloom to establish a personal relationship with every single guest on autopilot.
But now, understanding why and how to respond to customers is an integral part of growing a restaurant’s reputation and loyalty.
With the right customer outreach program, a restaurant can bury negative reviews and gain lifelong relationships with customers.