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Help your restaurant stand out from your competition

Whether your restaurant is new in the industry or a hometown favorite, positive online reviews help bring your company success. Reviews serve as a great tool for receiving feedback from your customers. Maybe your restaurant is too noisy or the lighting is too dim. Whatever your customers are saying, make sure you’re listening.

Here are three reasons restaurants need online reviews:

  1. Earning star ratings with Google, Yelp and TripAdvisor.

Research shows that star ratings matter. In fact, more than 1 in 3 diners won’t eat at restaurants with a star rating less than four. People trust other people, and online reviews are reflections of their opinions. The more positive reviews you gain, the higher your chance of reaching that five-star status. According to the National Restaurant Association, a one-star increase in a restaurant’s Yelp rating can result in as much as a 9 percent increase in revenue.

  1. Bringing in new business.

Customers like to make informed decisions. With online reviews, people are able to gain a sense of the food, atmosphere and service of your restaurant before they even show up. This is extremely important for driving new business. Whether people are visiting from out of town or just looking to try something new, online reviews provide insight for your company.

  1. Becoming customer favorites.

Great owners are aware of what people are saying about their restaurant. Online reviews are a terrific source of feedback for owners and managers to learn what their customers are actually thinking. The negative reviews will indicate problem areas that they can improve – for example, slow service or uncomfortable chairs. The positive reviews will show the areas where the restaurant is excelling. Whatever it is your customers are saying, make sure you take the time to respond to show them you’re listening.

Customers are talking online and it’s your job to listen. It’s tough to stand out from the competition, and online reviews are an easy way to spread the word about your restaurant. By responding to reviews, your ratings will begin to rise in no time.

ReviewMaxer is a great tool for your business to collect and manage your customers’ online reviews. You can also post or stream positive reviews directly to your website and social media channels. Watch our complimentary demo today to see how easily and efficiently you can protect and improve your online reputation.

Photo credit: Pablo

Written by: Kelly Delgado


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ReviewMaxer explains this frequently asked question

Most often, third-party review sites retain the rights to content published about your business on their site. In other words, it’s against their terms of service to reuse the reviews published on their site for any other purpose. That’s why we only use a short snippet of third-party reviews in our review stream – to remain compliant with each site’s terms of service (ToS).

However, any reviews you collect directly via our platform (using the Review Now button or Review First layout) are yours forever. You can do whatever you’d like with them, and they remain yours even if you cancel your account with us (just make sure to save them somewhere else so you don’t lose them – we don’t hang onto them after you’ve deleted your account).

ReviewMaxer is an affordable and easy-to-use system to manage your company’s online reviews and reputation. Use ReviewMaxer to promote your positive reviews and interact with your customers to resolve negative reviews. Sign up today for your free demo.

Photo credit: Pablo


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Learn customer service strategies from other companies

When it comes to your company’s online customer reviews, sometimes you have to sift through several bad ones to get to the good ones. Occasionally, you might come across a truly ugly one that makes your blood boil, but how do you respond? With anger or love?

Companies, whether small or large, need to be at the top of their game when responding to customer feedback. This requires them to be prompt, witty and gracious. The goal is to earn public approval with exemplary customer service. Take a hint from these businesses in learning what to do and what not to do with your customer service strategy.

Here are the good, the bad and the ugly examples that represent some dos and don’ts of customer service.

The good: An example of a company doing it right

JetBlue is scoring points with customers due to its awesome customer service track record. The airline is serious about pleasing its customers and is willing to go the extra mile for a positive review. The company has more than 1.8 million followers on Twitter, more than 1 million likes on Facebook and hundreds of positive reviews on Yelp.

A tactic that JetBlue employs is that it doesn’t leave its customers hanging. The company responds to complaints and feedback quickly – most times within 10 minutes. The airline doesn’t stop there; it works toward surpassing customers’ expectations. For instance, when one customer, Alexa Burrows, was flying home to Boston, she went on Twitter to express her happiness about arriving home and jokingly tweeted for JetBlue to throw her a welcome home parade. JetBlue’s Twitter team sent a message to the Boston airport staff to throw Alexa a welcome home parade when she arrived, which they did. How awesome is that?

One secret to JetBlue’s top-notch customer service is that employees engage with customers cleverly, using their wits and creativity. They can’t make everyone’s wishes come true, but they do selectively respond to the online comments that provide an opportunity to add value to the company.

The bad: An example of a company doing it wrong

American Airlines is doing it wrong and customers are noticing. The airline is known for its over-the-top positivity, even when its optimistic responses don’t make an ounce of sense.

Customers suspected that something was up when American Airlines kept replying to customer complaints on Twitter with repetitive, upbeat responses. No matter what the commenter said, American Airlines replied with something along the lines of “thanks for your support.” Confused customers quickly got on Twitter to tell American Airlines that the jig was up and that robo-tweeting is lame.

Sending automatic responses is tricky. In the case of American Airlines, the automated responses didn’t make sense in the situation. The lesson: Have robotic responses, but also have humans to address the public when the situation turns sour.

The ugly: An example of a company doing it really wrong

If you are running a company, your first priority is to satisfy your customers, especially those who dislike your company. One restaurant’s response to a negative online review provides a perfect example of how not to treat your customers – ever.

The chef at Pigalle in Boston lost his cool when a patron lambasted his cooking skills on Facebook. She wrote that the pumpkin pie tasted like vomit and that it wasn’t worth the price she paid for it: $200. Instead of offering a free meal or refund, the chef responded viciously and rudely – with several expletives. It took some time – and a public and very nasty online exchange – but in the end, the chef realized his mistake and made amends with the miffed customer. Let’s hope he learned his lesson and leaves the “angry chef” gimmick to Gordon Ramsay.

Regardless of what a customer says about your company, you have to handle it with grace. If you do anything else, the entire Internet may turn against you – and ruin your company.

Responding promptly to online reviews and complaints is an important step in providing terrific customer service. It’s also extremely time-consuming. ReviewMaxer is an online review management software application that helps companies manage customer feedback and also improves their online reputation. ReviewMaxer efficiently monitors, collects and promotes your online reviews from one central dashboard. Sign up for a free demo to see how this cloud-based software can save you time and protect your company online. Read the ReviewMaxer blog for more tips on how to handle negative reviews and how to get your company at the top of search listings today.

 

Photo credit: 123RF Stock Photo

Written by: Paul Cook


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