Customer ratings and customer reviews can be seen by restaurant operators and marketers as a major challenge to manage. They can have a significant impact on your bottom line and traffic to your locations. Yet with the right customer rating and review management tools, you can use them to identify issues and be proactive about resolving them. You can create feedback loops to improve your customer experience while at the same time driving positive customer reviews online.
Bloom Intelligence provides these types of business growth tools. They can help you improve your restaurant’s reputation and its bottom line by providing real-time feedback and tools to help mediate bad experiences and encourage positive customer ratings and reviews on online customer review sites. Customer ratings websites like TripAdvisor® and Google can be used to keep your seats full, lower your marketing costs, and help improve operations.
Why Are Good Customer Ratings So Important?
Obviously, owners and operators want to see high ratings. It gives them a general idea that the restaurant is running well, and that overall customer sentiment is high. But there are so many more benefits to having great customer ratings.
According to Modern Restaurant Management, an increase of just one star can give a business an approximate 5-9% increase in revenue. And an increase of just one-half star would likely fill your seats during peak business times. They also reported that 34% of diners choose a restaurant based on peer review websites. And 53% of 18-to-34- year-olds reported that online ratings and reviews factored into their dining decisions.
Based on these statistics alone, if you’re not monitoring and actively taking steps to improve your customer ratings, you could be impeding potential customers and leaving a lot of money on the table.
Why Poor Customer Ratings Can Ruin Your Business
The benefits of having good ratings is obvious. But at the same time, bad ratings can have a devastating effect on your business. In the same report, it was reported that restaurants are more affected by negative reviews than any other business type.
86% of consumers surveyed reported that they would hesitate to do business with a company that had negative online reviews. Plus, 22% of consumers will outright choose not to do business with a company after reading just one negative review. Further, they report that, on average, a single negative review costs companies (across all industries) 30 customers.
These numbers are frightening for any restaurateur. And they further reinforce the need to stay on top of your ratings and reviews at these popular online ratings sites.
Dealing With Poor Customer Ratings and Reviews
The natural response when seeing a negative review about your business is to fire back and defend yourself. This is a big mistake because it gives off the idea that you do not care about your customer opinions and you’re not trying to rectify their issue.
Likewise, you should not simply ignore the review. It could sit prominently online for years, costing you customers and potential revenue. So take a deep breath, relax and follow these three steps.
First, you should offer a genuine and heartfelt apology. Using a calm and reasonable tone, attempt to address the customer’s concern without seeming defensive. Secondly, offer a workable solution. Take the criticism for what it is and come up with a sensible way to make this customer happy again. Finally, thank the customer for bringing their concern to your attention.
While the negative review will remain online, the interaction you had with the customer will make your restaurant seem much more favorable and customer-focused. It gives the public a clear indication that you care about your customers and will do what it takes to give them a positive experience.
For details on how to deal with negative reviews, and how to proactively improve your online ratings, download our free customer success report, Rocket Your Restaurant Ratings and Reviews.
Getting More Positive Ratings
It should be clear by now that restaurant owners and operators should be taking their online ratings and reviews seriously. Likewise, it is important to improve your online ratings whenever and wherever possible. So what is a surefire way to ensure more positive ratings come your way? Ask for them.
There is nothing wrong with asking happy customers to rate your establishment on any of the powerful online ratings websites. When you see customers who are having a great time, finished their entire meal, gave a large tip, or are dwelling longer than normal, approach them and strike up a conversation. These customers can be great evangelists. Watch out for them and don’t be afraid to ask for a rating or review.
How Bloom Can Help Generate Better Online Ratings
Bloom Intelligence uses WiFi technology to understand customer behavior while they are at your physical location. Using this technology, Bloom can identify when a customer has left your establishment. After a pre-configured amount of time has elapsed after the customer leaves, you can send them an automated survey asking them to rate their recent experience.
If the customer leaves a positive rating, you can respond with a follow-up email thanking them and asking them to rate you on one of the popular online websites. You can even provide links to your restaurant pages on those websites to make it easy for them. This will obviously help your overall ratings improve over time. Email marketing at its finest.
Should the customer leave a negative rating, 2 stars or less for instance, you can send a follow up email with a genuine apology and an incentive to get them to return and give you another chance. Don’t forget to thank them for their feedback. As discussed above, even if they leave an online rating or review about their experience, you have a much better chance that they will give more than one-half star.
Start Improving Your Customer Ratings Today
It’s time to get serious about your restaurant’s ratings and reviews. Customer ratings are a very important aspect of restaurant success today.
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Dashboard Key Performance Indicators
Average Dwell Time
Popular Visit Times
First Time Visitor Return Rate
Average Customer Repeat Rate
Projected Location Traffic
Lifetime Value of Customers
Projected Customer Lifetime
Average Value of Customers