Restaurant Reputation Management
Restaurant reputation management platform to automate the process of managing guest feedback, building positive online reviews, and saving your at-risk guests.
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What is Restaurant Reputation Management?
Restaurant reputation management is the process of managing guest feedback and creating systems to improve guest experiences, grow positive online ratings and reviews, and save at-risk guests. Learn how here.
It is a very important aspect of running a successful restaurant business in such a competitive marketplace.
Your reputation, online or offline, can literally make – or break – your restaurant business. It can make the difference between a packed front-of-house with a line to get in, or a sparse dining room with too many empty seats.
This is why actively managing your restaurant reputation is crucial to sustaining a profitable, growing business.
Of course, it is important to grow a more positive reputation. However, it is just as important to manage any poor guest experiences effectively.
This can lead to turning a poor experience into a loyal, happy patron ready to spread the good word.
A very large part of reputation management is monitoring and improving your online customer ratings and reviews.
According to Modern Restaurant Management, an increase of just one star can give a business an approximate 5-9% increase in revenue. And an increase of just one-half star would likely fill your seats during peak business times.
They also reported that 34% of diners choose a restaurant based on peer-review websites.
And 53% of 18-to-34- year-olds reported that online ratings and reviews factored into their dining decisions.
Restaurant Reputation Management 101: Managing Online Ratings and Reviews
According to a Time.com article, customer ratings are dominated by 5’s and 1’s and largely lack anything in the middle.
This happens because most customers who take the time to leave a review either had an amazing experience or a terrible one.
Customers who had a realistic or ordinary experience are just not motivated to leave any kind of review at all.
The study also showed that responding to these ratings and reviews is more important than ever.
Responding to Poor Ratings and Reviews
A study by TNS NIPO researched over 2,000 negative online customer ratings and concluded that, overall 70 percent of complainants hope to receive a response, while just 38% receive one. According to TNS NIPO, the success of the response is determined by 3 factors:
- The speed of the customer review response time.
- The quality of the solution provided to the customer.
- How the response is provided, and how genuine the response is perceived.
Likewise, the willingness of consumers to consequently recommend the brand again can be doubled (3.4 to 7.2) by combining these three factors effectively.
Your first thought after seeing a bad rating or review may be to fire back and defend yourself. However, this could actually damage your reputation even more.
Instead, embrace the feedback. Try to understand where the customer is coming from and respond with TACT.
- Thank them
- Continue the conversation offline
- Treat them
Thanking the customer will let them know that you care about your customers and reputation.
Remember that your response will be seen not only by the reviewer but by everyone else who reads the review.
When apologizing, be as sincere as possible. Apologize for either the condition, or for their experience as a result of the condition.
Continuing the conversation offline is important, but make sure to request this in the initial response. Offer your business email address or phone number.
That will let the public know that you want to work with the reviewer to make things right.
Finally, offer the guest an incentive to return to your restaurant and give you another chance.
Responding to Positive Ratings and Reviews for Restaurant Reputation Management
Responding to positive reviews can greatly improve the reputation of your restaurant.
Most business owners will simply leave positive reviews alone. However, responding to them can greatly boost the effectiveness of that review.
Make sure to respond to these reviews in TIME.
- Thank them
- Identify your business or location
- Market (just a little)
- Engage them
With any review, you should always thank the customer for taking their time to review your business.
In addition, you want to describe your business or location. For example, you can include a sentence like, “As downtown’s oldest premier Italian restaurant…”
Likewise, you should include some kind of marketing statement, such as how you provide a free drink or dessert for customers on their birthday. Make sure not to be too salesy or promotional.
Finally, it is important to engage the customer with a question, an invitation to come back, or asking them to share the word with friends and family.
The upside to responding to negative and positive ratings and reviews can make a huge difference in customer loyalty, customer service recovery, and new customer acquisition.
Ratings and reviews are just one item to focus on for effective restaurant reputation management. Here are some other things to keep in mind.
Use Templates to Respond Quickly and Easily
With the Bloom Intelligence platform, you can create templates for your responses. The templates are easy to create and allow you to give them any name so you can quickly identify which one to use for each response.
You simply click on the “respond” button and choose your template. You can edit the template in any way before sending it.
With all of your Google, Facebook, and Bloom reviews in one platform, and being able to use the template system, imagine the time and effort you can save to focus on other areas of your business and guest experience.
Bloom Intelligence’s reply templates make it easier for restaurant owners to quickly and effectively respond to guest reviews – whether good or bad.
By having preset responses at your fingertips, you can spend less time crafting individual replies and more time focusing on your restaurants.
Automate Review Responses
To save even more time, Bloom allows you to configure specific rules that will send review responses for you automatically based on the rules you set.
In the Reputation Management section of your platform, you will see a new tab called Automation.
Here you will be able to create rules as to which templates will be used when specific criteria are met.
For instance, when a guest leaves a response greater than or equal to 4 stars, you can select which review response template will be sent automatically after a specific amount of time. If you choose more than one template for the rule, the system will rotate between the templates you choose for that particular rule.
There is no limit to the number of templates you can create.
By automating the response process, you’ll not only save valuable time and resources, but also help enhance guest engagement, ensure brand consistency, and foster guest loyalty.
Save Time and Money with Marketing Automation
With Bloom, you can have the additional power of artificial intelligence and marketing automation to further boost your reputation, all while saving time and driving down costs.
Marketing automation is the process of using technology to engage with your guests automatically, without manual intervention.
Bloom allows you to create marketing messaging that will automatically be sent to guests a certain amount of time after they leave your establishment or order online.
The message can contain a first-party survey asking the guest to rate their experience from 1 – 5 stars. There is also a field where they can enter a comment about their experience.
This allows you to continuously keep an eye on what your guests are experiencing, without having to manually send out message after message.
Then, using rating thresholds, users can automatically send out follow-up messages when ratings fall below a certain level.
For instance, if the threshold is set at 2 ½ stars or lower, you could apologize and offer an incentive to get them back through your door for another chance.
This encourages guests who may be dissatisfied with their experience to give you a second try instead of raising concerns online. If they know their issue is being addressed in a friendly and positive manner, they will most likely refrain from complaining online.
Improve Efficiency with Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence has made significant strides in recent years, transforming the way restaurants operate and streamline their processes.
By offering tailored, automated response suggestions for restaurant reviews, AI-powered systems like Bloom can save restaurants time and effort while enhancing the overall guest experience.
AI-generated response suggestions is the first step in revolutionizing restaurant review management, helping establishments maintain a strong brand presence, improve their reputation, and foster lasting guest relationships.
When responding to these reviews manually, you will see an icon above the response field. When you click on the icon, several AI-generated responses will become available for you to choose from.
You simply choose the response that works best, edit if you wish, and click Reply.
Our AI-powered system analyzes each review and suggests personalized responses based on the context and sentiment of each review. You can either accept any of the suggested responses or modify any one of them to better suit your needs.
Over time, the system will learn from any edits you make and continue providing responses that are more to your liking.
We’re confident that these features will significantly enhance your reputation management efforts while saving you time and improving your business.
Advanced Real-Time Reporting
Bloom’s robust reporting features show you these survey results along with your online ratings in real-time – all in one simple platform.
By viewing the reports for a specific date span, you can easily see if your ratings and guest sentiment are trending upward or downward, allowing you to make changes in your marketing and operations based on reliable, guest-driven data.
Over time, your ratings and reviews will climb as you reap the benefits of having a great restaurant reputation. As business increases, you can reallocate marketing dollars to lower costs or increase other budgets that could use more.
Plus, Bloom users are saving many hours every week using these tools which allows them to spend that time on other important areas of their business.
Measuring Guest Sentiment with an A.I. Word Cloud
Bloom Intelligence offers great customer sentiment tools to help you optimize your marketing and operations.
Bloom is integrated with Google and Facebook. Using Google and Facebook ratings and reviews, Bloom allows you to read, manage, and respond to all reviews in one centralized platform.
Moreover, the platform will analyze all of your ratings and provide you with an AI-driven word cloud to show a graphical image of positive, neutral, and negative words and phrases from all of your reviews on Google, Facebook, and first-party surveys.
For example, in the image above, green is positive, grey is neutral, and red is negative.
You can easily see what guests like about your place of business, and what could use improvement. For instance, in this example, you can see that guests enjoy the food but are frequently upset by limited parking and long wait times.
The word cloud is updated in real-time as each new online review or survey response is discovered by the platform.
Other Ways to Improve Your Restaurant Reputation Management
Offer Stellar Food & Drink and a Great Ambiance for Better Restaurant Reputation Management
Of course, if your food is under par, your restaurant reputation management will be much more difficult.
Always talk to your customers after they have had a chance to complete their meal. Ask them how it was.
Over time, you will be able to take that feedback and improve your overall food and drink offerings. In turn, your reputation will inherently improve.
Likewise, if your front-of-house is un-kept or the wrong environment for your ideal customers, your reputation can suffer.
You will need to understand who those customers are and what their preferences might be.
Do they prefer more dim lighting? Do they want TV screens? Or, do they prefer a specific style of music?
Again, engage with your customers and make sure to take their feedback seriously.
Ensure the Best Customer Service Possible
Almost nothing can damage a restaurant’s reputation faster than consistently poor customer service.
It is crucial to train all staff on how to provide outstanding customer service.
The training should include the proper way to handle any negative customer experiences.
Establish a culture of consistently great, memorable customer service.
Give your customers an experience they will remember and share with friends and family, online and offline.
Doing this and everything above revolves around knowing who your customers are, what they want, and how they behave while at your physical location.
Using WiFi Analytics For Restaurant Reputation Management
When it comes to restaurant reputation management, knowing your customers is crucial.
In addition, you will need to monitor their ratings, sentiment, and behavior on an ongoing basis.
For most restaurant owners and operators, this is a daunting thought.
Likewise, they simply do not have the human resources to maintain this type of intense data collection and storage.
Fortunately, it is possible to use your guest WiFi access point to collect the very data you need.
Even if customers do not log into your WiFi, you can gather valuable customer behavior data.
For instance, you will see data like:
- Overall foot traffic
- Average customer dwell times and dwell times by hour
- First-time visitors
- How many first-time visitors return
- Average customer repeat rate
- Popular visit days and hours
- Average customer churn rate, and more!
All of these data points can be viewed in any date span, which allows you to easily see developing or existing trends such as a spike in your churn rate or how many customers you are losing over time.
Or you might notice that your average dwell time of your customers is double at 8am than it normally is at your location.
These types of data points allow you to hone in on potential customer issues before they make a bad review online.
In addition, for those with multiple locations, you can compare various locations or groups of locations for any of these data points for any date span.
Build Valuable Customer Profiles
Moreover, when a customer logs into your WiFi just once, all previous and future data associated with their device is added to a customer profile.
If they log in with a social media account, or multiple times, additional demographic data can be added to their profile, including:
- Postal code
- Phone number
- Individual behavior data
Since they gave their email address to log in, you can now market to that person based on their behavior and demographic data.
Knowing these things, your marketing messages can be personalized and targeted to their interests.
You can send a message that will truly resonate with the customer.
For example, you can send a survey to customers X amount of time after they have an experience at your location.
For instance, if the customer leaves a good rating on the survey, you can respond by thanking them.
By building positive online reviews you will ultimately drive more new customers to your locations.
In contrast, should they leave a bad rating, you can respond with T.A.C.T, including an apology and an incentive to get them to return and give you another chance.
Over time, this survey automation and auto-predefined responses will actively help build positive online reviews that build your restaurant’s reputation, along with customer satisfaction, spend and loyalty.
Grow Your Business with Bloom Intelligence
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to restaurant reputation management using analytics and guest data. Here are some more great tips for restaurant reputation management software.
The opportunities are endless, and you can get this data for pennies on the dollar compared to other data collection methods.
In today’s competitive environment, we can give you the competitive edge for success! Let us show you how.
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