Like it or not, restaurant ratings sites can play a critical role in getting customers through your door. It is standard practice for tourists and locals alike to consult websites and apps such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Zomato when deciding where to eat. Those decisions could hinge on how well online reviews represent your business. But your restaurant’s reputation is not completely out of your hands. Here are three practical and powerful ways to make restaurant ratings sites work in your favor.
Start by monitoring the reviews your business receives on various sites. Checking manually is time-consuming, so to help ease the burden, create Google alerts and enroll in Yelp and TripAdvisor’s free notification services. Good or bad, it is imperative to gain a clear view of your business from the customer’s perspective. Consistent positive reviews can clue you in to what is working well; whereas trends in negative reviews can serve as red flags as to what aspects of service need improvement.
Responding to Reviews
Treat each customer review seriously. Promptly responding (within 48 hours) to negative feedback shows your customers that you care about their experiences. Take active steps to pin point each issue, improve your shortcomings, and explain those steps to your customer base. Listening and responding in a constructive way can effectively secure and retain loyal customers.
Actively Solicit Reviews
Acquiring new positive reviews is even more important than mitigating negative ones. TripAdvisor’s popularity ranking is based on the quantity, quality, and age of reviews. Other sites default to show the most recent reviews first, so a constant flow means the positive reviews stay at the top of the profile. Let your customers know that you are seeking feedback, and encourage them to rate your business.
According to a recent Harvard study, a one-star increase in a restaurant’s Yelp rating translated to a 5-9 percent increase in revenue. Don’t allow negative reviews to wreak havoc on your reputation. Contact us for more tools and tips for monitoring and improving your restaurant’s ratings.