Online reviews, and why they’re important
We’ve heard a lot of talk lately from business owners, stating that they don’t respond to their reviews online.
Many explaining that they’re not interested in what people have to say once they leave their establishment.
One individual who we worked with a number of years ago felt the same.
Their exact words were, “I just don’t care what anyone has to say really, their words are not important to me.”
They were totally new to the hospitality industry, so we tried to see it from their perspective. However, it was very difficult, as customer service has always been extremely important to us.
We tried to explain to them that showing an interest in their guests is important. And without them, they don’t have a business.
Without going into too much detail, they decided that the hospitality industry wasn’t for them after all. Their dislike for the paying public was perfectly visible, both in person and online. Which understandably wasn’t welcomed by their visitors.
SHOW THAT YOU CARE
It’s highly unprofessional, and shows you have no interest in anything other than your bank account.
This industry can be extremely lucrative as we’re sure you all know. However, if you’re only in it for the money like many are, then at least hire someone who can deal with the public on your behalf online. If you don’t, you’re at risk of losing everything due to poor customer relations.
Responding to online reviews shows you do care. It shows that you’ve taken a valid interest in their feedback. It allows you room to grow, and could potentially benefit you going forward.
We advise our clients to welcome constructive criticism, and always offer an apology (and a solution), to those who weren’t satisfied with their experience.
It’s also easy to take negative feedback personally, especially when you’re putting all your time and effort into the business.
But you shouldn’t take it personally.
Keep all responses professional, every time. Even though you may feel like defending yourself and biting back.
People could choose to eat and drink anywhere, but they chose to come to you.
That’s more money in your pocket. It’s their hard earned cash that they have personally chosen to spend within your establishment.
The least you can do is reply to their feedback if they leave any online.
Some people don’t like to bring a bad experience to anyones attention at the time. Especially British people. It’s a ‘thing’.
This can be really frustrating for business owner though. As they didn’t know there was a problem until after the guest has left the restaurant, and then posted online.
Why didn’t they say something at the time they ask? Well, because they didn’t.
And there’s nothing you can do about it unfortunately.
DON’T TAKE THINGS PERSONALLY
You can however politely ask them if they raised the issue at the time with a member of staff.
Explain that if they had, then you would have done your utmost to ensure that things were resolved.
Tell them you’d love for them to return, and to give you another try in the future. This can also sometimes lead to them removing their bad review too!
Ignoring them only shows them that they were right, and replying in anger only shows unprofessionalism.
Always keep it polite.
Not only will it show potential future diners that you care, it can also have a positive impact with your SEO.
If your venue needs support with your PR then you can contact us for information.