What people think and say about your restaurant is more important now than ever. With sites likes Yelp, Urbanspoon, foursquare, and others people lots of ways to talk about your restaurant.
If you are looking up reviews on hotels, restaurants or automotive repair shops, it is not uncommon anymore to find businesses with hundreds or even thousands of reviews. But the main question remains: Do online reviews really matter? Can my restaurant benefit from receiving hundreds of online reviews?
A recent case study by Bazaarvoice revealed some interesting findings regarding the difference between rated and non-rated entities. The study was completed at Intuit, Inc, a provider of business and financial management solutions, and analyzed the various behaviors of its website visitors while choosing a customer service expert. It turns out that
- Visitors were five times more likely to click on a rated customer service expert than an unrated one.
- Customer service expert with reviews received more clicks than higher-ranked colleagues.
- The number of reviews really does matter: more is better.
Wait a minute! I am a restaurant owner; I don’t get reviews for my waitresses and waiters. Well, technically you don’t, but your business as a whole receives reviews, so you are still in the same boat. Prospective diners looking for a bite to eat will check their local listings and face the same dilemma as customers looking for an expert at Intuit. Who do I chose? How do I know I am making a good decision? And what are other people saying?
The more reviews you have, the more information (and validation) a prospective customer has to make their decision. 689 people giving your business a rating of 4 or above is much better than 12 reviewers giving it the same rating.
At this point it goes back to the basics. Address negative reviews to avoid having multiple customers complain over the same thing. Over time, your loyal fans will take the upper hand and build your good reputation for you. While you don’t have control over what your customers are saying, you have control over fixing the issues that have been brought up!
The good news is that you can start with this right now. Start by asking your loyal customers to leave a review for you to build up a good reputation and keep an eye on your competitors. While more is better, just make sure you stay ahead of your competitors in the number of reviews received.