Online Restaurant Reputation Management How To Turn Negative Reviews into Positive Experiences

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Competition among restaurants has always been fierce, and now with the increase in social media, and the popularity of turning to peer reviews for purchasing decision. Reputation management is more important than ever. Leveraging technology can bring great benefits for your business if used correctly. However, the looming threat of negative reviews and criticism cannot be ignored. Negative feedback can have a strong impact on prospective customers, even more so if it manages to target a wider audience. Before you lose hope, go through these inventive and proactive ways to turn those vexing negative reviews into positive experiences.

Talk Clearly

Many negative reviews result from a lack of information, resulting in misinterpretation on the customer’s part. When marketing your restaurant and all it has to offer, always remember to provide as much information as possible. Clearly define your business and its goals and objectives, and make sure you come across as genuine as you possibly can.

Define Your Goals

What is your restaurant all about? What is the one thing that sets you apart from everyone else? They key to obtaining positive reviews is to always stay true to your objectives, both as a business and as an individual. A negative review might make you want to enact drastic changes in your regime, which are often self-destructive. Before acting on impulse and changing an entire company policy, take a deep breath, relax, isolate the issue at hand and think about possible solutions.  

Don’t Act Alone

Before replying to a negative review, conduct some research. Read it a few times, circulate it among your peers and try to understand where the negativity is coming from. Think as the displeased customer – under what circumstances and reasons would he or she give such an opinion. Once you’ve gained some insight, prepare a reasonable response.

Be Prompt When Replying

Timing is a key factor when it comes to addressing negative reviews and turning them into positive opportunities. The faster such a review is dealt with, the easier it is to wind up the discussion. Simplify your perspective by providing suitable information and clarify any possible misunderstandings by responding avidly. Additionally, this also demonstrates effective customer service, professionalism and integrity.

Don’t Judge

Not all customer reviews are easy to handle, some cooperative than others when it comes to forming and changing opinions. After an initial response from your side, don’t feel demotivated if the customer response isn’t as cordial as you expected. The key is not to judge – everyone is entitled to their opinion. Instead of ignoring a challenging situation with a customer and making things worse, listen to his or her needs and try to understand and acknowledge their grievances.

Take Responsibility for Your Actions

Not all negative reviews are misunderstanding. Now that you’re focused on your goals and provided your customers all the information they need, be ready and willing to claim responsibility for your actions and words. When responding to a negative review, don’t hesitate to stand accountable. Instead of looking for excuses, be ready to admit any lapses on your part and be willing to rectify them. This will help increase the credibility of your restaurant and raise customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Learn from Your Mistakes

Lastly, negative reviews can be a blessing in disguise! Hence, take each negative review as a learning process. Negative feedback often helps businesses identify their unknown weaknesses and improve certain missing links. Stay attentive and make the required changes necessary for refining your restaurant. Customers always appreciate an organization that is willing to adapt to the needs of its customers.