Yes, You Can Mitigate the Damage of a Thorny Review
Real talk: no one is at their best 100% of the time – including your restaurant and your staff. Between human error and the occasional cranky customer, you’re bound to receive a negative review here and there. Do poor reviews really count? The truth is, yes – negative reviews carry a lot of weight, particularly for restaurants. Negative reviews are responsible for turning as many as 86% of lost customers away from businesses. Lower star ratings on Yelp or Google will prevent customers from seeing a business if they have filtered for high-star options, and poor reviews can drive down SEO performance within Google’s algorithm.
So someone slammed you in a review. What can you do? One trick of the trade that works is to scoot negative reviews down by receiving more recent positive reviews. Try incentivizing happy customers to write a review by offering them a discounted meal, free drink, or coupon for their next visit. Do not generate the dreaded fake review – not only can these reviews tarnish your reputation (fake is obvious! Anyone can sniff it out), they can incur tens of thousands of dollars in fines from the Federal Trade Commission.
Further, if someone smears you in a review, be the bigger man and reply to the review. Be generous, own your mistakes, and promise them that you’ll make their experience worthwhile the next time they visit.
ASTRALCOM supports restaurant clients with a robust menu of services, from digital strategy to social media marketing and print campaigns to reputation management. Learn more about how we help restaurants cultivate lifelong customers.