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How to Manage
Negative Restaurant Reviews

Negative Online Reviews

While Social Media has brought about numerous benefits for marketers who are trying to increase restaurant traffic, it has also made it necessary for them to come up with a strategy for handling negative reviews. Today, approximately 88% of customers search out online reviews to assist them when making decisions. Restaurants can establish strong connections and increase awareness about their different promotional offers by having a strong social media presence. However, since word-of-mouth advertisement is critical to restaurants, one negative review can create havoc.

Statistics shared by the Washington Post reveal that almost 80% of the negative reviews are given online rather than in the restaurant. Fortunately, even though there is little you can do to stop a negative review from being posted, you can devise a strategy to turn this negative situation into an opportunity to build a positive rapport. Here’s how:

1. Remember the Customer is Always Right

When a negative review is posted, it may be difficult to keep from getting defensive. However, it is useful to remember in such a situation that the customer is king and if you wish to experience business growth, you need to acknowledge what the customer is saying. For this, it is important that you remain calm and read the review several times to understand the situation clearly. A quick read will not let you determine the tone of the customer or help you comprehend whether there is a solution to the problem or not, and if there were any staff members at fault.

2. Conduct Research

Once you have understood the complaint, it is essential that you carry out thorough research. Find out which staff members were working on the customer’s order and get their point of view. Conduct internal research before you move to external. External research involves finding out more about the particular customer. This is important because some customers have the habit of giving negative reviews. Such a review should not be given credibility.

unhappy diner

3. Respond Emphatically

A timely response is crucial at this stage since it reflects the value of a customer in your eyes. You should make it a habit of posting a response within 24 hours publicly. Remember to be emphatic when posting the response and make honest promises to the customer.

4. Personalize & Apologize

Posting a reply that is automated or ambiguous can make the situation worse. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to add an honest apology to the content of the reply. That is if there was a mistake on your end. Acknowledging that your restaurant made a mistake and promising not to let that repeat in the future makes your response look genuine.

5. Learn from the Experience

It takes immense courage to admit your mistake and make the necessary changes. When you go through such an experience, you should look for the loopholes that exist within the current system and use everything in your power to correct them.

Bottom Line

Negative reviews are not always detrimental to your business; in fact, you can use them as an opportunity to build a healthy relationship with your customers. However, since word-of-mouth advertisement is imperative to the overall success of your business, you need to be vigilant when it comes to viewing and responding to reviews online.

For this purpose, you should devote resources to handle all social media matters and resolve them effectively. If you need assistance with financing this change, contact ARF Financial! We offer unsecured business loans and lines of credit with affordable rates and fixed terms up to 36-months. Click here to find out how much you qualify for. Approvals are granted within 48 hours and the funds can be available in 3 to 5 days.

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