Upwards of 84% people in India today, consider an online review to be as good as a personal recommendation, with a bunch of options out there people tend to trust each other’s reviews to avoid bad experiences and make educated choices. Although other online reputation management efforts like your website, Email marketing and SEO do play a role, research has shown that within the Indian food industry the single biggest factor to get new customers to try your restaurant is Online reviews OR your overall review score on Zomato
In short, Online reviews alone are a make or break factor for the success of your restaurant, Café or Bar, So here are our top 10 strategies to generate online reviews that will not only help improve your online reputation but will also help drive significant business your way.
Things you can do whilst your customers are at the restaurant
- Sweeten the meal and a 5-star review is guaranteed
We mean that literally offer your customers a dessert on the house in exchange for a review it will not only add to their overall dining experience but research has shown that almost a 100% of reviews posted right in front of your staff are at-least 4 stars or higher unless of course something happened to ruin their Dining experience completely.
Here are a few things to keep in mind with this approach—
Make your customers feel special
Make your customers feel as though they have been handpicked for the free dessert IE don’t advertise this all over your restaurant.
Wait for the best time to ask
Timing your request is important, make sure you ask at the right time and do so politely If your staff has the talent to make meaningful conersation whilst asking you can expect to get multiple reviews from everyone at the table.
2. Offer Free Wi-Fi in exchange for a review
If your business has Wi-Fi, consider making it accessible to customers for free. Once customers are using the Internet in your establishment, they are more likely to keep your brand in mind and provide a positive review.
You can also become listed in Wi-Fi friendly directories that may drive traffic to your establishment.
3. Ask open-ended questions first
Don’t come out of the blue and ask for a review, ask some relevant questions to start with, like How are you liking the meal? Ask them for suggestions to add value to their overall experience? Etc. This approach does not only help you gain relevant feedback but also lets you avoid the awkward mistake of asking a customer with a bad experience for a revie
One of the most powerful (and old school) way you can encourage customers to leave a review for your business is to offer them a discount on their next purchase. Discounts are still one of the most significant incentives for customers to return and to leave a positive review.
5. Make sure your staff understands the value of a positive review, Incentivize them
Even if you serve the most amazing food in your immediate area your rude staff will result In a negative review more often that you anticipate, Hence, make sure that your staff understand the importance of generating positive reviews. Incentivize them on the number of positive reviews they can generate on major platforms.
This will not only help boost your ratings it will also give your customers a reason to come back
Things you can do when your customers have left your establishment
- Create Incentives(GC’s, Discount coupons etc.)
On your review requests consider incentivizing your customers with offers that do not only get you positive reviews but also, gives them a reason to come back to your establishment your offers can be—
Discount coupons on orders above “X” amount of billing
Gift Card’s for a free beverage or an appetizer
You can run a quiz on Social media a winner of which will get a
2. Multiple Touchpoints – Meet customers where they are
Although in the Indian food industry your Zomato rating is of utmost importance consider being available for your customers on a variety of platforms, the idea is to make it easy for them to leave you a review, which will only happen if they are able to find your listings on various platforms, you can consider platforms like—
Also, you never know which one of these platforms comes up with a lucrative offer for you to cash up on. Hence, Being present and maintaining a listing always helps.
3. Send personalized review requests after purchases
Make sure your Emails and SMS’s are personalized if there is nothing else to offer in exchange for a review, making your customers feel special might just do the trick.
4. Include review links in your email signatures
The strategy has worked wonders for a huge number of our clients you do 5-50+ email conversations everyday with a 3rd party, make it easy for them to review you, you can use relevant links to your most important online platforms from where you draw majority of your business.
5. Add a review page to your website
Finally, your website is the best place for you to learn from your customers Feedback in a personal environment IE away from the public eye, Encourage people that you feel might not have had the best experience at your establishment to review or share their feedback on your website and try and implement changes to ensure a better experience.
Finally, we are down to the most important technique that you need to implement ASAP—
RESPOND TO ALL YOUR REVIEWS—Negative ones as well
Your customers took the pain to review you on a variety of platforms the least you can do is return the favor, make sure you respond it does not only show that you care but also highlights the fact that you are willing to improve based on your customers valuable suggestions.
Face the bullets as well respond to your negative reviews reassure your customers that the management is willing to do whatever it takes to ensure a better customer experience and it might just be enough for you to get a 2nd opportunity to delight the people that left with a bad taste the 1st time.
If your business cares about honest customer feedback, then prioritizing online reviews is key. Public feedback gives your team critical insights on the quality of your customer experience. Plus, a healthy amount of online reviews validates your business, increases brand awareness, and ultimately earns you more customers.
If you wish to further dive into how the Zomato listing algorithm works click here Also, if you are looking for some expert help towards your business’s online reputation management, get in touch with our experts and get a free strategy.