If you happen to be someone who always checks reviews before buying or going to a certain restaurant, then you’re part of the 82 percent of the population who relies on online recommendations.
Product and service reviews are big parts of consumer decision-making. It gives them a more elaborate understanding of the product or service from fellow consumers as well as the satisfaction or dissatisfaction that comes with it. More often than not, consumers write reviews if they are pleased or disappointed. And with social media as a powerful tool, anyone who has access to it, even anonymous posters, can either be a friend or a critic.
Meanwhile, honest feedback is what businesses need in order to refine their products and services. This is where they gain an opportunity to explore potential innovations and improvements in their current lineup. Both good and bad reviews can be an avenue for customer engagement and can spark interest and curiosity in prospective customers. So business owners should not only focus on positive feedback but also treat bad reviews as a favorable circumstance.
One particular instance of a bad review posted and handled online is a customer of Neri’s Not So Secret Garden complaining about the service. Owner Neri Naig-Miranda, replied to the Instagram comment, saying that the restaurant is still on soft opening when the customer dined in. She took it calmly and tried to convince the customer to come back and try their menu again. Though the customer firmly stated that she won’t return, Naig-Miranda remained open to accept the negative review and took it as a learning opportunity for her business.
Both good and bad reviews can be an avenue for customer engagement and can spark interest and curiosity in prospective customers. So business owners should not only focus on positive feedback but also treat bad reviews as a favorable circumstance.
American business magazine Inc. listed down other benefits of online reviews, namely increasing sales, boosting search engine optimization (SEO) and strengthening business credibility and customer loyalty. According to a 2019 study, 91 percent of online review readers are convinced to buy a product or try a service because of the positive reviews posted about it, with 10 reviews as a baseline to get convinced.
Establishing credibility that will eventually become a foundation for customer loyalty is one of the best benefits of honest feedback. Making sure that customers are being heard by responding to them is a good way to build your trust and confidence in the business. The pace at which you act on a complaint should be the same as when you’re acknowledging good reviews to show that you’re being sincere.
Feedback is useful but a single review shouldn’t be the ultimate basis of a restaurant’s value. Reviews are subjective, and it’s best to remember that their value lies in how they can bring new light to another customer or another business.