Review sites have slowly, but surely, become an indispensable tool to many brick n’ mortar businesses, especially restaurants. Increasingly, people are relying on review sites such as Tripadvisor, Google and Yelp to make decisions as to which restaurant to dine at. This makes having positive online reviews on these sites largely important to the bottom line of every restaurant – getting new clients!
Even though review sites aren’t marketing tools, they can be used as one, although not directly. Unlike other marketing tools that can be influenced directly by taking some steps, your rating on review sites cannot be directly influenced. What you get on sites like Tripadvisor and Yelp is what you give your customers. If you treat them well, you’d get good online reviews and if you treat them badly, you might not like the outcome.
It’s not rocket science to understand that the more positive online reviews you get, the more people would want to do business with you. So how can you get more positive online reviews? Here are 4 ideas you can leverage on to get customers to post a positive online review about your restaurant:
Ask and you shall receive
People may not always know what you want until you tell them. And sometimes the best way to get what you want is simply by asking for it. Not hard to do, right? So why not ask your customers (politely) to leave you an online review on Tripadvisor about their experience? It’s that simple, and there are a few ways you can do this;r
- Ask your waiters to tell your guests about Tripadvisor and how they could leave you an online review about their experience. This should be done when the guests are done eating.
- You could put up signs, in clear view of your guests, with the name and link to your restaurant on Tripadvisor.
- Everyone likes something for nothing. An effective way would be to offer incentives to your guests to leave you an online review. This should be used wisely so as not to be seen as paying for positive online reviews.
Take advantage of your guest WiFi
Besides using your guest WiFi as a data collection tool, you could also use it to get online reviews on any review site. Customers will be more than willing to leave you an online review when you offer them free WiFi. Writing a few lines of text is a small price to pay for free access to the internet. All you need to do is display a message on your WiFi landing page asking them to write an online review about you. Do not forget to include a link to Tripadvisor. Later in this article, we’ll further discuss the possibilities and advantaged that your WiFi holds.
Harness the power of social media
It’s almost second nature for people to follow businesses they like on social media. If your guests had a good experience at your restaurant, they are more than likely going to follow you on social media to stay informed about news, special offers and so on. You could post a link to Tripadvisor and ask your customers to leave you an online review there.
Run ads on review sites
Review sites may not have the kind of traffic you find on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. However, running ads on these sites can improve your chances of getting people to leave you a review. Guest who for some reason couldn’t leave you an online review while in your restaurant, might come across your ad and decide to write an online review based on their previous experience.
Prevent many, but not all, negative online reviews
One of the best ways of getting a positive online review on Tripadvisor or Yelp is not getting many negative online review. That may sound confusing, so let’s explain: assuming a guest had a bad experience at your restaurant, they are more than likely going to leave a negative online review on Tripadvisor. However, if you can catch the situation on time, apologize and incentivize the guest. They may change their minds and write about the experience in a way that will put your restaurant in a good light. Or they may also decide not to write any online review, which is better than getting a negative online review.
However, only having positive online reviews can create a ‘too good to be true’ image. To prevent this, it’s essential to have a negative online review once in a while. This will increase the credibility and reliability of all the reviews. Just make sure to always publicly reply on these negative online reviews and that the problem is solved.
All the ideas explained above are simple and inexpensive to implement. You can apply a few or all of them, but whatever you do, see to it that you incorporate review sites as part of your marketing tools. If you do not have a profile on Facebook, Google, Tripadvisor and Yelp, now is a good time to create them. It could mean the difference between gaining or losing new customers.
Fully automate your online review management
There’s also a way to fully automate the process of asking your guests to leave you an online review; by using your WiFi. Your WiFi can be used to automatically gather guest data and analytics. This data can then be used for marketing purposes, but also to ask your guest how they experienced their stay.
After a guest has logged in to your WiFi, he/she will automatically receive an e-mail after a set amount of time (this can be manually set to match your guest’s average length of stay). In this e-mail, they’re then asked to rate their stay; positive or negative. Clicking on the negative button, results in an appearing field where they can leave their feedback or complaint. This feedback/complaint is only visible for you and thus not posted online anywhere. If they click on the positive button, they get to choose from a list of review sites of your choosing, where they can leave you an online review.
In addition to the above, this platform also allows you to manage all your online reviews on one page. A single page that saves you a lot of time opening and managing multiple or many websites to check if there’s new online reviews. It also gives you a perfect oveview of your score on each review site or the combined score.
Easy review management is just a few mouse clicks away.POSTED ON October 30, 2018