• Ratings and Reviews

Why Customer Ratings and Reviews Matter

by: Ron Zvagelsky On: September 2, 2020
4 min read

Restaurant and retail marketing is truly complex. It is driven by seemingly countless digital marketing channels and even more tactics and strategies.

And then there are the offline campaigns – radio, television, proximity and WiFi marketing.

There’s certainly a lot going on, and marketing professionals are constantly under the gun to keep their advertising costs at a minimum.

In the midst of this marketing mayhem, there’s one often overlooked channel that can provide a huge bang for your buck, and restaurateurs may not be using to its full advantage – customer ratings sites.

Customer ratings and reviews can literally make or break your restaurant business. 

If you’re not paying attention to your online ratings and reviews, or you’re not working to improve them, you’re leaving money on the table. 

Why Are Customer Ratings Important

More and more, consumers are turning to the internet to help them make their dining decisions.

Ratings websites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google receive millions upon millions of visitors every single day, and these sites can be one your restaurant’s most powerful and relatively inexpensive marketing commodities.

Obviously, positive reviews are a great thing, while negative customer reviews are somewhat of a bad thing.

The more positive ratings you receive, the more consumers will trust that they will have a pleasurable experience at your establishment.

But the truth comes in the research that has been done around these ratings sites and the potential effects that restaurant ratings have on your overall bottom line.

Positive Customer Ratings Improve Foot Traffic

A study performed by Michael Anderson and Jeremy Magruder, professors at the University of California, Berkeley, concluded that positive reviews have a direct correlation to increases in foot traffic during peak times.

They found that a ½-star rating increase resulted in a 30-40 percent increase in the number of 7 pm bookings.

Based on this study, although online rating websites may not generate attributable financial returns, they can certainly play a role in your restaurant’s success, driving more foot traffic and overall revenue.

At your next lunch or dinner peak time, think about what a 30-40 percent increase in bookings would look like at your restaurant.

Positive Customer Ratings Increase Revenue

Another study conducted by Professor Michael Luca at the Harvard Business School sought a correlation between online ratings and actual revenue.

The study found that a rating improvement of one star led to an increase in revenue of between 5 and 9 percent.

Interestingly, Luca also found that the star rating of restaurants played a much higher role in consumer decision-making, finding that website visitors were often overwhelmed by the number of written reviews.

Luca concluded, “Online consumer review websites improve the information available about product quality. The impact of this information is larger for products of relatively unknown quality…On the consumer side, simplifying heuristics and signals of reviewer quality seem to increase the impact of quality information.”

Why Customer Ratings and Reviews Matter

There are many more studies about the effects of positive customer ratings and reviews.

In 2017, websitebuilder.org collected data and statistics about the effects of good and bad user reviews.

As you read through the statistics below, think about current foot traffic and revenue at your establishment and you’ll further realize how important and valuable positive user ratings can be.

Among the data, here are some interesting facts they found:

  • 72% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more.
  • 61% of consumers have read online restaurant reviews, more than any other type of business.
  • 53% of 18-to-34-year-olds report that online reviews factor into their dining decisions, as do 47% of frequent full-service customers.
  • 34% of diners choose a restaurant based on information provided on a peer review website.
  • Consumers are likely to spend 31% more on a business with excellent reviews.

It’s plain to see that receiving more and better customer ratings is key to growing your customer base, increasing revenue, and driving down costs – and this is expected to remain the case for quite some time.

Therefore, you should be doing everything you can and being proactive in improving your ratings across all the major review sites.

This includes leveraging your customer WiFi access to ask for a rating after a customer visits your establishment.

If the rating is good, you can send them a convenient link to the ratings website of your choice.

If the rating is bad, you can apologize, offer to resolve any issues, and give them an incentive to come back and re-rate your restaurant.

Click here to see how Bloom intelligence can automate that process for you. Look for the Ratings Feedback Loop section.

There will always be the occasional poor review, that’s just the nature of the internet. Remember that dealing with poor customer reviews the right way can actually have a positive impact on business.

At the end of the day, you should always be doing your best to provide quality service, excellent food and drink, and the best atmosphere possible.

If you do that, good ratings and reviews will naturally follow.

This will turn your restaurant’s pages on the ratings websites into a revenue generator, and one of the most powerful marketing tools in your arsenal.

Restaurant Marketing FAQs

What is Restaurant Marketing?

Restaurant marketing is the process of getting people to visit your restaurants. Restaurant marketing creates loyalty, provides data to research, analytics, and allows restaurants to gain a better understanding of their ideal customer profile. It utilizes all customer channels: guest WiFi, website, social, rating sites, mobile apps, email, text, and advertising.

Learn More About Restaurant Marketing Here

What is WiFi Marketing?

WiFi marketing is a marketing technique that uses guest WiFi to collect & clean customer data such as names, emails, phone numbers, customer behavior, and demographics. This data is used to personalize marketing campaigns to increase customer loyalty, build online reviews, and save at-risk customers. The performance of every campaign can be tracked down to the tangible ROI of a customer walking back in your door.

Learn More About WiFi Marketing Here

What is Restaurant Reputation Management?

Restaurant reputation management is the process for restaurants to manage customer feedback and creating systems to improve customer experiences, passively build positive online reviews, and save at-risk customers. It is a very important aspect of running a successful restaurant business.

Learn More About Restaurant Reputation Management Here

How Does Bloom Identify and Bring Back Lost Customers?

Bloom Intelligence uses machine learning to identify at-risk customers. When one is recognized, the system will send them a message with an incentive to get them to return and re-establish their visit pattern. Bloom users are seeing up to 37% of churning customers return.

Learn More About Saving At-Risk Customers Here

SAVE TIME, INCREASE CUSTOMER LIFETIME VALUES, CREATE NEW CUSTOMERS

What our happy customers
are saying

Austin Eggleston
Bob Cross, Vice President of Operations
Ron Murray
Matt Thompson, Managing Partner
Jacqueline Martin

“I highly recommend restaurants, dental/medical offices, and other businesses look into Bloom Intelligence as 1) their marketing technology is very powerful and 2) their team is AWESOME. As a marketing agency, Bloom has helped several of our clients grow their businesses via building their database and re-targeting them at the right time. Thanks Again!”

Austin Eggleston

“We’re extremely pleased with the wealth of customer data that we’re able to gather, at a very attractive price.  In addition, we’re able to communicate our new product promotions by using  the landing page as a digital billboard.  A “no-brainer” for anyone working with limited Marketing $$.”

Bob Cross, Vice President of Operations

Atlanta Bread Company

“This is an integral part of our local store marketing program. We use the e-mails we collect to tell our existing customers about various promotions, specials and discounts, and the analytics tools are amazing at capturing and displaying smart device activity in and around our store.”

Ron Murray

Atlanta Bread Company

“They have always been attentive through whatever needs and questions we have.

They go above and beyond to make sure our team and customers stay connected while helping us with our marketing efforts.”

Matt Thompson, Managing Partner

Madison Social

“I am currently working with Bloom Intelligence with Matt Ronay and Edward Kennedy. They are great to work with, respond quickly, and provide great support for noth my company and my clients. I have used other WiFi platforms but never received this level of service. I was looking for a service that would make it easy for me to sell WiFi lead generation and analytics to my clients without a lot of problems. They have provided this above and beyond. I highly recommend them to any agency looking to add this type of program to your services.”

Jacqueline Martin

Subscribe Here for the Latest Updates

Never miss a post! We'll keep you up-to-date on the latest restaurant and retail WiFi marketing information.

Drop us a line!

We would love to hear from you! If you have any questions, comments or ideas about our blog, drop us a line and let us know.

Or call us at 727-877-8181.

Contact Us