In part one of this series, we covered why online reviews are so powerful. In a nutshell, online reviews are almost as effective as word of mouth to promote a business or restaurant making it one of the most persuasive types of marketing available.
There is a downside, however, as negative reviews can have a detrimental effect as well. What a business must do is encourage customers to post positive reviews while at the same time dissuading negative reviews. Here are four ways a business can accomplish those goals.
Above and Beyond Service
Before anything, having excellent service goes a far way. You want to go above and beyond a customer’s expectations and deliver unparalleled service which will give them something to talk about. Sometimes this is all you need for a person to leave a positive review. If not, then when you do encourage online reviews you really need to give your customers something to say. Making a guest feel valuable goes a long way and nips negative reviews in the bud. Good service is absolutely necessary!
Let Guests Know You’re On Review Sites
Publicize and promote the online review sites your business is on at every touch point you can. On your flyers or on your guest WiFi splash page; let your customers know where they can review your restaurant. If you operate a restaurant then put it somewhere on the menu. Even better, if your business was listed in a feature on a review site, you should publicize that as well to encourage reviews.
Respond to Current Reviews
Customers who leave reviews are basically communicating with you—whether positively or negatively. Responding to criticism or thanking those who leave positive reviews may not directly increase your reviews but it does show potential customers that you are willing to speak and solve any problems that may come up. That type of communication will at least show your commitment to providing excellent service and may just convince a prospective customer to visit your venue which is the outcome you want from reviews. It may also encourage those on the fence about leaving a review to leave one as customers love being able to have a conversation with businesses.
Ask for Online Reviews
The best way to encourage customers to review your business is simple: just ask them to! This could be as simple as a server asking customers how their meal was and asking them to review the venue online. No muss, no fuss!
To supercharge the process, Aislelabs Connect WiFi marketing platform offers an excellent solution to drive even more reviews through the integrated Campaign platform. Once a customer leaves the restaurant or venue an email is sent to them to rate their experience directly to you. For positive experiences, they’ll be forwarded to a page that suggests they leave a positive public review via direct links. It’s quick, easy, and creates the lowest bar to entry.
Even better, it deals with the issue of negative reviews. Instead of redirecting customers to public review sites, low satisfaction results will direct customers to a private feedback channel where they can fill a form to leave their criticisms. By creating a confidential feedback system and responding promptly to dissatisfied customers, you decrease the chances of a customer leaving negative public reviews and driving away potential sales from your business.
Online reviews are one of the most powerful marketing tools at your disposal and it requires only a little effort on your part to encourage them. WiFi marketing provides one of the most effective ways to promote your business and prompt your customers into leaving a review.