6 Tactics For Turning Negative Reviews into Positive Experiences

6 Tactics For Turning Negative Reviews into Positive Experiences

As the owner or manager of a restaurant, you work tirelessly to ensure the food is unparalleled and the service is exceptional. Then, one day your restaurant receives an unfavorable review. In an age where we rely on online reviews to make dining decisions, a bad review could not only hurt your reputation, but also your sales.

A survey found 18% of customers that left a negative review and received a management response, became loyal, repeat customers. By addressing the review and offering a solution, the experience can change from dreadful to exceptional. Keep the guidelines below when handling negative reviews.

Don’t take the review personally

Remember to operate your restaurant like a business and use the review to improve and grow. Avoid taking the feedback as a personal insult. Instead be sympathetic, apologize and apply the feedback in a way you and your team can improve.

Do respond promptly

Whether the review is favorable or not, set a standard to respond within 24 to 48 hours. Doing so will show customers that you truly care about their experience and strive to improve. Letting patrons know you care about their experience really makes a difference. In fact, a TripAdvisor study concludes 84% of users agree an appropriate management response improves their impression of the business.

Don’t rush a response

While you want to be timely, it’s important to make sure the response is well thought out and aligns with your business’ core values.

Do Have A Templated Response

Establish a baseline of what needs to be said when there is an issue. This ensures issues are taken care of promptly and adhere to your core values. A sample guideline for a successful response is as follows:

Hi [name],
My name is ___ and I am the ___ at [restaurant name]. I would first like to thank you for your review. On behalf of [restaurant name], we owe you a sincere apology for the experience you had with us. I personally want to ensure you have an outstanding dining experience at [restaurant name], so please email me at name@example.com and we can resolve this.

Don’t forget to show brand personality

Human nature tells us to make connections with others. When restaurants make mistakes, use this to your advantage as an opportunity to humanize your brand and connect with your customers. You will be surprised how receptive and forgiving others can be. Point out your mistakes and show how you will make the situation right.

Do share the feedback with your team

More than anything, negative customer reviews are a learning experience for your team. Take the upset customer’s comments and feedback and turn it into a constructive criticism for your team.

Maybe your restaurant needs more quality assurance before presenting the dish to customers. Or perhaps, the team needs a reminder to withhold the company’s core values.

With these tips in mind, you will be on your way to changing negative reviews into raving reviews. Make the most out of your restaurant marketing by contacting us today.

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