Here at Accel, we know that you take pride in your business and invest a lot of time and effort to make it as close to perfect as possible. So how can you get your customers to see it that way? One of the best ways is to fight negative reviews and promote positive online reviews of your establishment.
Dealing with less than stellar reviews can be hard for business owners, but it is important to keep a level head and not panic or freak out about any particular review. Remember, some things that customers complain about will always be out of your control – like lack of parking or other patrons. But be sure to heed the reviews that CAN be controlled by you – limited menus, slow wait staff, etc. Making small changes in your business can often lead to an organic improvement in your online reviews.
Promote the Positivity You Have
The best way to promote positive reviews in your establishment is to respond to the positive reviews you are already receiving. Not only is responding the polite thing to do, it will also help create more buzz and visibility for your business! So here are a few tips for how you should respond to your positive reviews:
- Be specific in your thanks – Don’t just say thank you. If someone mentions your burgers are really good, try responding with “Thanks for leaving a review! We’re glad you enjoyed our burger special, we are very proud of our secret house sauce.”
- Engage with the customer if you can. If a frequent customer (or even any customer you specifically remember) leaves a review, put some extra effort in trying to engage with them. If it is a repeat customer, mention that you are always excited to see them or reference one of their frequent orders. This will make the customer happy and show to other customers that you treat your clientele like family.
- Invite the customer back! If a customer left a great positive review, make sure you invite them back for a repeat great experience. It can be a subtle invitation like “Next time you’re in town, be sure to check out our Tuesday drink special!”. This does double duty in building brand loyalty AND getting the word out about your specials.
Tips for Getting More Positive Reviews
You should always be actively working to get more positive reviews out of your customers in order to build a stronger online presence. Our number one tip for promoting new positive reviews for your establishment is to simply ask customers! Yes, it sounds almost too simple. But many customers would love to be involved in promoting their favorite businesses and would not be offended by you asking. If you or your staff feel uncomfortable asking in person, consider having a reminder to review printed on your receipts or having a small sign reminding customers to review at the register.
If your business participates in any kind of marketing (whether through email or other avenues) remember to throw in a line about how much you appreciate customer reviews and how vital they can be to small businesses.
Keep Replying – No Matter What
No matter if the review is positive or negative, make sure you reply to as many reviews as possible. Having public replies to your reviews show potential customers that you are engaged with your customer base and are serious about customer feedback. Periodically responding to online reviews in a respectful manner can help build some serious online credibility and increase the level of interest from potential customers. More than 88% of online customers incorporate reviews into their buying decisions, and that number is only expected to keep growing as the world becomes more and more digitally focused.
Looking for even more help? Check out our Guide to Dealing with Online Reviews for more help from your partners at Accel Entertainment! You can also check out some very in-depth articles about online reviews from our friends at HubSpot and Vendasta. How do you deal with online reviews? Let us know in the comments below!