It is no secret that online reviews are imperative for your restaurant business. But sometimes it feels like pulling teeth to get customers to write them. Busy with having a good time with their loved ones, they would tip the waiter to show appreciation for the food, ambiance, and overall experience than do the extra work of writing a good testimonial.
The value of an online review is monumental. As per a study, 60% of people read online reviews before visiting a restaurant. If your restaurant business is in the USA, having good customer reviews on Google, Yelp, etc., becomes even more crucial as 94% of diners check online reviews before deciding on a place to dine out. Imagine the amount of business your restaurant can generate if you have inspiring testimonials showcasing on your Google business page.
So, how can you get the customers to give your restaurant feedback and testimonials? The good news is that it’s not too hard. From dine-ins to pick-ups, here are some proven tips on how to get customers to leave good and honest reviews for your business.
Getting good online reviews starts by giving exceptional experiences to your customers. Pay close attention to every aspect that contributes to their satisfaction, including the ambiance, customer service, and food quality. Let’s see how:
Woo your customers with aesthetically pleasing decors and lighting. Add a special touch with fresh flowers on tables, soft background music, and comfortable seating to enhance the overall dining experience. Delight your customers to the extent that they have no choice but to become the biggest fan of your restaurant. When customers are genuinely impressed, they are more likely to express their admiration with good reviews.
Ensure that you train your staff to deliver the exceptional service that exceeds the expectations your customers. Your people must make your customers feel valued and understood. Encourage your staff to engage in friendly conversations with the diners and pick-up customers. Your staff can also give menu recommendations based on the food preferences and dietary restrictions of the customers. This will make the customers feel that you care that you give them value for their money.
Additionally, your staff can highlight the dishes made from seasonal and locally resourced fresh ingredients. It not only showcases your restaurant’s dedication to quality but also make them naturally inclined to share their satisfaction through positive reviews.
Now that you have elevated the dining experience to another level, politely ask your diners to leave an honest review about their experience. Make it a standard operation to ask the customer tactfully, “Hope you’ve enjoyed your meal. We would appreciate it if you provide your feedback here.”
However, you will not always get the opportunity to ask the customers directly to leave your restaurant a review on the internet. Here are some ways on how to get customers leave reviews on Google, Facebook, TripAdvisor, and Yelp:
Start by making it easy for your customers to find where to review. Don’t let them type and search for your restaurant on sites like TripAdvisor or Google. Instead, use a QR code. The customer will scan the code with their phone cameras, and it will take them to your google my business page.
For customers who are picking up or ordering food online, provide a QR code on the food box. Paste it strategically where it is easy to find, like the lid or the side. Ask the graphic designers to highlight it prominently. In short, ensure that the code gets the attention of the customer and it is easy & fast for them to leave a review.
As per a study by HubSpot, with every one-star increase in customer rating that a restaurant gets on Yelp, their business boosts by 5% to 9%. There is no better marketing strategy than your customers appreciating your service on a public forum, and that’s why you should actively encourage your customers to leave feedback.
How to get customers to leave reviews for your restaurant? Strategically place subtle reminders throughout your establishment. Put signage on the walls, on the bills/checks, etc. Also, send follow-up review request emails to customers.
However, don’t make it all about leaving a review. Start the email with a thank you note for allowing your business to serve them. Additionally, show some extra gratitude by offering incentives for taking the time to leave an honest review that you appreciate.
You must already know that engaging people on social media will eventually increase the footfall and orders in your restaurant. In a study, nearly 45% of people admitted that they tried a restaurant for the first time after noticing them on social media.
Social media is not just limited to marketing and customer engagement. You have to think beyond Google reviews because customers can also review a business on Facebook and people consider it as a credible source to know about the customer experiences in a restaurant.
You’ve been asking, “How to get customers to leave good reviews?” And, you’ve done your best to ensure that your customer gets the best food and service possible. However, some situations are outside your control or foresight. You’ve received a couple of negative and a few mixed reviews and now you’re tensed that it would impact your business negatively.
The good news is that negative feedback and ratings are not always bad news for your business. If it’s just a few of them then you can play it to your advantage.
Firstly, if you receive only good reviews that people will think that those reviews are not genuine. Potential customers will trust a business with a 4.7 rating more than a business with all 5-star ratings.
Secondly, a good rating with slightly negative feedback is also a green flag for customers. Especially, when the business (you) acknowledges, appreciates, and resolves to work on them. It speaks volumes about how much the business cares for its customers.
Many customers are hesitant to leave reviews, both positive and negative, because they often feel their input doesn’t matter. In a recent survey, 43% of respondents have admitted that they refrain from giving feedback because they believe businesses don’t care. Interestingly, among this group, nearly 8 out of 10 customers expressed a desire to provide reviews if they receive a quick and genuine response on their feedback.
Therefore, always make your customers feel that you value their feedback. When they see you responding to the reviews on social media and Google positively, they will feel empowered as a customer to leave honest feedback. When a restaurant values customer views, positive experiences can lead to glowing praise. In cases where something is lacking, customers may leave neutral reviews with positive aspects mentioned first, followed by areas for improvement.
Feedback and testimonials provide an understanding about the areas where your business is going right and where you need improvement. Not only that, these reviews also help you boost your online presence, establish a trust for your business and expedite your marketing.
Knowing efficient ways on how to get customers to leave reviews for your restaurant will take you ahead of your competition really quick. Summarizing the points in this write-up, ensure exceptional dining and ordering experience, engage actively with your customers, and make them feel valued by incentivizing them for their honest reviews, positive or negative.
Most importantly, respond to your reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and other platforms with gratitude and professionalism, especially when the review is negative. A comment critical to your food or service will become less harmful if you reply empathetically, positively and demonstrate a resolve to work on it.