resturaunt reviews

Importance of Online Reviews for a Restaurant

resturaunt reviewsRunning a restaurant is no small task. From the bustling kitchen to satisfying clients with both their food and excellent customer service, to also managing a reputation and trying to gain positive reviews. It is hectic.

With all of this, the last thing your restaurant needs is a negative review or a bad reputation that can heavily impact cash flow and getting new customers. This means your online reviews matter and just so you understand how much, let’s view the evidence.

In a recent survey by TripAdvisor, it was found that 94% of US diners are influenced by online reviews – 94% is almost everyone.

In another study by Harvard, it was discovered that a one-star increase led to a 9% revenue increase for restaurants. There was a 5-9% increase in revenue for every star added.

So, you see for every restaurant business there is ample reason to literally keep your eye on the stars.

It might be difficult to manage an online reputation and the happenings of the restaurant at the same time. But the fact is the two work hand in hand. It is usually one big cycle.

A customer comes into your restaurant and gets an impressive service starting with your staff’s approach to the food or drink. Next, you probably mention leaving a review online and the client does just that. Other prospects searching for a restaurant find many positive reviews like this and after considering other factors, they most likely end up in your restaurant. The cycle begins again.

What your customers are looking for online

  • Top-rated restaurant: All your customers want to know that their favorite restaurant comes highly rated. Pursue a local, national, or regional award to add a solid extra appeal to your name.
  • Restaurants nearby and restaurants who offer incentives: This is where your local SEO comes in. To make customers find you irresistible add an incentive to the mix.
  • Great photos: Not the photos themselves, but what the photos carry. Use images that show the best of your restaurant. Show the clean space, delicious-looking meals, or even other happy customers enjoying a meal.

What your reviews will contain

If you pay close attention, online reviews show you where you need to make improvements and where you need to keep up the good work. Client’s reviews for restaurants usually include comments on:

  • Customer service
  • Cleanliness
  • The atmosphere
  • Food quality

When negative reviews hit?

You are a restaurateur and that comes with some advantage. Ask your staff if they know anything about the customer’s experience. Acknowledge the issue and promise to do better. Remember that when you respond to a negative review, you are not just responding to the customer in question, but you are also speaking to every prospect who may read the review before making a decision. Never seem incompetent.

Make the extra effort to always share your positive reviews or those that stand out. Protect your reputation. Yummy food pictures are a must for a restaurant, don’t hold back on them either.

google business photos

Google My Business Photos

google business photos“A picture tells a thousand words” they say but we sometimes think this refers to a drawing of Mona Lisa or some other interesting piece. The thing is, any picture can speak and the loudest of them all are the pictures that represent your business–in this case your Google My Business photos!

Before the questions flood your mind, we will get right to answering them.

Why is your GMB photo important?

Studies have shown that 60% of customers are drawn in by local search results with good images and this usually influences their decision.
Another study discovered that businesses with more images get up to 520% more calls than competitors.

When a customer looks at your business page, believe it or not, they are searching for reasons NOT to buy from you and poor quality or stiff photos may just be that reason. Photos are more than a requirement you include to fill that spot on your GMB listing. They are another chance to convince your customer of your expertise. Let’s breakdown what customers look for in a business photo.

Are you like them?

Of course, you want to do business with someone that has the tendency to think like you and ultimately offer customer satisfaction. They use photos to vet your values and ethos. If a customer can find the tiniest conviction of kindred spirit, they will stay.

Can they trust you?

This sounds awfully like a lover seeking assurance but it is very similar. At first, every customer is looking to avoid the likelihood of a bad experience. We can’t speak for what happens after that.

Social class

Customers want to get a sense of your social class. They want to know just how much trust and respect to accord your business. And we don’t have to tell you how impactful a photo of Bill Gates having lunch in your restaurant will be.

So what now?

Now that you have discovered the importance of your Google My Business photos, what can you do?

Do you spend all your time finding the perfect photo? Absolutely not. Here are some tips to guide you.

  • Think about the ideal customer you want to attract. For example, if you are a luxury hotel after elite clients, then you want to show off your pristine environment, luxurious rooms, and other elite clients who come to the hotel.
  • Don’t get confused about your target audience, because if you attract the wrong people they will repel the right ones.
  • Take or find real photos that tell a story. You can take the pictures yourself to show people what your business really stands for. If you have to choose online images be very picky too. Let the images represent your business and tell a story. Avoid stock photos because they are mostly staged and unreal. Customers can see that.
  • Go for quality photos. They should be clear, bright, and beautiful. If you are taking the pictures yourself, capture your business at its best.

Sometimes your customers’ photos can be the best selling point. If you know you did a great job with your customer, ask them to provide you with photos of the work in their public review. Your potential customer will love seeing other customer photos!

Posted in GMB

Do Home Service Companies Need Reviews?

It’s hard to think of any business which does not need reviews in this day and age. Reviews drive customers’ decisions and tell them the truth about your business. The home service industry is no different. If anything, reviews are vital to the success of your home service business.

The home service industry is extremely diverse; from plumbing services to electricity, cleaning, handyman, lawn care and more. This diversity makes it a more competitive environment. You probably have the same methods of finding new clients and these clients always like to choose based on price and reviews.

Here are some statistics that show the importance of reviews for home service companies:

So you can see that reviews can get you more clients and higher pay as a home service provider.

Common Problems Home Service Companies Face In Their Review Game

Some home service providers don’t take reviews very seriously. As you can see above, the stats do not lie about how this affects you. Knowing where your problem starts can help you change your review management game for business success.

You may have too many negative reviews.

This one will be obvious and result in slow to no sales. Negative reviews can be about anything from pricing to quality of service and more. This drives up your marketing cost and the lengths you have to go to convert customers or even gain positive reviews.

You may not be visible

There are several platforms where business reviews can be seen and different customers check these platforms. They include Yelp, Google, Home Advisor, Angie’s list, or Houzz. Not being visible on these platforms with positive reviews makes you lose potential clients.

You may consistently deal with the wrong kind of customers

In the home service industry, this can be common. You are meeting customers on a personal level and some may be rude, needy, unreliable, and stubborn. These kinds of customers will consistently leave bad reviews making you seem incompetent. They should be avoided.

The Solution

Increase positive reviews – Most customers will leave a positive review after receiving good service and if you ask them to. As a home service provider, you are lucky enough to come face to face with your customer. Enhance customer service and satisfaction, then remind them to leave a positive review with a warm smile. You can also send friendly emails as a reminder after the job.

Establish a presence for reviews – This is easily done by claiming your listing on all review platforms. Ensure you are consistent with details like business name, address, telephone number, and hours of operation.

Put feedback to good use – Use both bad and good reviews to upgrade your service, check a product line, or address issues with an employee.

The most important aspect of all this is that you don’t have to do it alone. Our services provide you with an easy way to reach out to your customers and we’re here with you every step of the way. Let us help you build up your online reputation!

google review answer questions

Can Google Reviews Answer Customers’ Questions?

google review answer questionsCustomers love to ask questions before they place all their trust, time, and money on any service or product. In the past, customers would have to contact you directly for answers and this gives you a chance to win them over.

Now, with review sites and Google My Business listings, other customers, strangers, and trolls can do all the answering.

You might already know about the Q&A prompt on your GMB page. Some business owners work hard to maintain their reputation by responding to these questions as quickly as they can. Or even by answering FAQs before they’re posted. Any question asked and answered by you or third parties stays on this page.

So, while this has its fair share of benefits and dangers, you can take control of the situation by responding quickly and professionally. What you might need to worry about is the all-new feature implemented by Google a few months ago. This one sits squarely on your review summary!

The new feature allows customers or potential customers to ask a question as usual but once that’s done Google pulls up related reviews to answer it.

If you don’t know what this means, we’ll fill you in.

For customers – It means customers can now get the answers they need without speaking to anyone from your business at all. It is easy, time-saving, and helps them make instant final decisions.

For your business – It means Google can pull up both positive and negative reviews to answer their questions.

Unsettling, right?

Well, that’s not all. Because these reviews are not been handpicked or manually selected there may sometimes be an issue with relevance.

For example, a person can type a question about one thing and Google would pull up reviews about another thing that is not related to the question. The customer may have no choice than to contact you for a better and correct response or walk away.

In all of these, you have more work to do than ever to manage your business reputation.

Now customers don’t have to leave just positive reviews, they need to be more elaborate about their experience.

Negative reviews in this situation become more damaging than ever. If a negative review is the only one that speaks on a subject, then you can be sure of losing the potential customer.

How do you make this work for you?

Ideally, Google is trying hard to provide the answers to your customer’s questions. But they cannot help you manage your reputation too.

  • Encourage happy customers to leave reviews with content that describes their experience.
  • Pre-populate your Q&A page because they can come up too with the reviews, if relevant.
  • Keep a sharp eye out for a question that pops into your Q&A. Remember anyone can answer these questions, including your neighbor who holds a grudge or a complete stranger. Do not stay silent and let some people give your customers the wrong idea.
  • Quantity is vital now. Having a few reviews won’t help Google help you. More reviews (positive) increases the chances of finding an answer for your customers.

That’s where we come in. The Review Generator can help get your business more positive reviews online from your actual customers. With our program, you can even show your customers prompts asking them to be detailed about the services you provided them.

If you’re ready to start taking control of your online reputation, get in touch with us today!

What Do Customers Want When They Leave a Negative Review?

Pffft! a freebie or plain pettiness – This might be your typical answer to our title, but it should interest you to know it is incorrect.

Now and then, you get to meet a client who seems insatiable or who you just can’t work smoothly with. All your experience in dealing with your customers might fail you and at the end of the day when you have done what you can, the negative review still drops.

So what on earth could such clients want when they leave these damaging and unfriendly negative reviews?
We have done the research and brought you answers.

They want revenge

“Aha!” You say, but there’s more to it.

When some customers feel truly wronged, unsatisfied, or bullied the best way they can think of to get even is to hurt you and your business back. They try to use their power of reviews against you and sometimes they are simply being petty. Other times, they have malicious intent. Regardless of the reason for their vengeful thoughts, you must find a way to salvage the situation. The good news is such clients are usually small in number.

They want a solution

Sometimes customers try to get your attention when they have a bad experience. Many of them do not want to walk away with that bad experience and an even bigger problem than they had before. Hence, they might leave a negative review as a last resort to spur you into action.

They’d like to save other clients from a similar experience

Think about it; if you had a terrible experience with a product or service, you wouldn’t want your friends or loved ones experiencing the same thing. Since customers are people like you, it’s only natural a small percentage of them feel the same way. Studies show that 73% of customers who leave a bad review do so to save others.

They want you to do better

It’s always easy to spot such a negative review. Most times, it’s not even all bad. Many clients can leave a negative review to help you identify your weaknesses and do better. This way when they or other clients come to your business, you can avoid the same problems.

They want to vent

Talking about what makes us unhappy is a good way to let out the frustration and pain. Unfortunately, a customer letting out their frustration in the form of a negative review is not in the least ideal for your business.

It’s important to note that majority of clients do not live a bad review lightly. Many of them are business owners or workers themselves and know the implications or consequences of their actions on your business. They are often very conscious of what they are doing as they write and post those harmful words.

Nevertheless, don’t get carried away with these rare occurrences or let them disrupt your business.

Knowing why a client leaves a negative feedback can help you make better choices and carve responses that benefit you or soften the damage.

Do Retail Locations Need to Worry About Reviews?

It’s easy to believe that as a retailer, you shouldn’t have to worry about online reviews. After all, the products should already speak for themselves and all clients have to do is make a purchase. You may even believe a physical location should get by without a strong online presence.

As a company with so much knowledge of reviews and online reputation, we can tell you that all businesses need to worry about reviews. Retailers may sell products they did not manufacture, offer services that speak for themselves, or use a physical location, but you still have competitors who are fellow retailers. Word of mouth and taking charge of their reputation helps them stay ahead.

Reviews equal perceptions of your business. These are important to:

Improve visibility both online and for your retail locations
Online reviews help you maximize SEO for search engines. This puts you in the right place at the right time, so clients can see you. When customers leave reviews, they unconsciously use vital keywords in a natural order. So, when potential clients look around, they can find your business easily.

Monitor and measure performance
A review is simply what a customer thinks of your service and/or products. Their kind or harsh words can provide valuable insight into what you need to improve or what you need to keep doing. It helps you measure and monitor performance over time and in real-time.

Increase engagement
Reviews are a passive form of communication that helps to humanize your business. It encourages others to buy and leave their reviews as well.

A great resource
You might not have realized that reviews can be pooled together and used as a study group. You can analyze overall experience, identify issues, and opportunities. You can see if your customers want something more from you or less.
A better reputation means more sales

Your reputation is spread across different touchpoints starting with reviews to social media pages, and other web pages. Most times there is only so much you can control. A lot of discussions about your business may take place outside all your safe practices and reputation management strategies.

The best solution is to put in consistent and effective efforts to the areas you can control.

Encourage clients to leave positive reviews after their purchase or tell a friend. Make it a priority to respond and evaluate when they leave feedback. Taking action helps to differentiate your retail business from others. This, in turn, leads to higher revenue.

If you can’t sell a better product, then offer better customer service/experience. Make purchases easier or faster. Improve the quality of service or methods you use. Establish a brand to stand out. These changes might be all you need to drive sales and revenue higher as a retailer.

Are Reviews Important In The Wedding Industry?

Weddings are blissful, beautiful, and joyful. When you are a business owner in this industry, there are several things you could do from event planning to making wedding dresses, photography, catering, and more. None of these services come cheap. Thus it means that for couples and families to place hundreds of dollars in your hands and trust you with results, you must have a great reputation.

Online reviews have proven to be a vital part of businesses in this day and time. Brides, grooms, and their families scour the internet now more than ever through different devices searching for a reputable business.

They look for the factors which are most important to wedding planning, and these are:

  • Responsiveness
  • Timeliness
  • Consistency
  • Professionalism
  • Satisfaction
  • Accountability

Where will they find the information they seek, you ask? Well, from online reviews. Here are the top reasons why reviews are important in the wedding industry.

  1. Learn how well you are performing
    When you run a business, it is dangerous to assume you are doing your best or depend solely on your own evaluation of performance. Reviews show you clearly what your customers think about the service or product they received. Reviews also help you know where and how to make improvements to better your business. If you don’t care enough to acknowledge all reviews and take action, then your existing and potential clients won’t care enough to use your service often either.
  2. Boost SEO
    If they can’t see you, they can’t buy anything from you. Online reviews from past clients help to boost organic rankings and make you stand out. When you support this with your SEO efforts, there is a high chance of always showing up when brides and grooms search for a wedding business.
  3. Get to know your customers
    Unlike many other businesses, the wedding industry thrives on relationships and great communication. It requires you to get to know your customers on a personal level. All couples know that this is vital and to be certain you approach your clients with warmth and commitment, they will look deeply at reviews. They might even call past clients to confirm how their wedding day went. You can use this to your advantage by responding appropriately to every review and giving prospects the right perspective.
  4. Get more sales
    Positive online reviews reel more and more customers in. It helps to increase sale and revenue significantly. This works in different ways;

    • First, a business with as little as 5 reviews stands a better chance of making sales than a business with none.
    • When you do have reviews, you need more positives and fewer negatives to increase sales.
    • Even with positive reviews, you must strike an attractive balance between the number of reviews, their consistency, and the price of your product or service.

Wedding businesses are lucky when it comes to asking for reviews because a happy and satisfied couple will leave a review easily. Some don’t even need a reminder.

Be sure to respond promptly and improve regularly from customer feedback.

Manage Your Reviews And Strengthen Your Online Reputation

Manage Your Reviews And Strengthen Your Online Reputation

A business with a poor reputation won’t last much longer in business. Regardless of if you have a local store or an online one, the fact remains that somewhere somehow people are talking loudly about your business and the voices of every dissatisfied client rings the loudest.

Your online reputation is directly linked to the reviews and ratings left by customers. These reviews directly influence other prospects’ perception of you and even influence a search engine’s decision about your brand. It is dangerous indeed to leave such a vital factor in your business success to chance.

How to strengthen your online reputation?

  1. Build one
    The first steps involve developing a professional and responsive website. State what you do and let your prospects feel your online presence.
  2. Optimize listings
    Optimize your listings on Google, Yelp, and third party sites. Make yourself seen and provide the perspective you want prospects to have.
  3. Don’t forget social media
    Social media is a thriving marketplace for every business and having live pages to represent your brand on these networks is a crucial step in strengthening your online reputation.
  4. Monitor and manage
    After setting up, you move to the next stage of online reputation management, which largely includes monitoring and managing reviews.

    Positive reviews are what every business owner prays for. Most times when you offer the best services, it’s easier to get positive reviews. At the same time, it can be tough because customers are often reluctant to talk about their great experience. And when they do, some owners do not respond to them. This is not surprising because as humans we tend to focus on negatives.

    It is essential to respond to positive reviews. Your response should be professional, welcoming, and displaying gratitude. It is the perfect opportunity to highlight your success, seal a good business relationship, and reel in more clients.

    Statistics show that about 53% of small business owners respond publicly to negative reviews. 48% respond privately while 7% ignore them altogether.

    It’s common knowledge that negative reviews do more damage than good to your online reputation. This is why reputation management is so important. It helps you prioritize all reviews about your company and minimize the effect of the negative ones.

    Responding publicly to negative reviews shows other clients that you acknowledged and handled a complaint about your service. It serves to control the situation and increase conversion rates because prospects can see you care about your customers’ experience.

    Fake reviews
    Fake reviews exist and they can cause even more damage than negative ones. Bots, competitors, customers who mix up similarly named companies, and much more can leave fake reviews. Respond promptly to such fake reviews by:

    • Flagging them
    • Contact the platform or third-party site and the reviewer to have the fake review removed
    • Respond publicly in a professional but clear manner to let people know the review is fake or has nothing to do with your company.
  5. Seal the deal
  6. Follow up with your clients and encourage them to leave positive reviews. Share and promote positive content about your business. It can get tough to handle all this monitoring on your own and getting professional assistance could be your best bet. Reach out to us at The Review Generator to learn about your options.

ask for reviews

How to Get More Reviews? Just ask!

In a new survey, researchers discovered that 74% of customers who left a review for a service were asked first. This means that local business owners who ask for customer feedback stand a better chance of getting them than owners who don’t.

Hence, if you are wondering how to get more reviews for your business, the solution is to just ask!

We get that asking may not always be a good idea. Most platforms like Yelp, Google, and even Facebook have strict policies about asking for reviews. If it isn’t them, it’s those clients who may misunderstand or completely ignore your request. It’s tough but as a business owner, you must put in the work to get what you want.

Ask at the right time
Timing is everything in this game of business reviews. From our experience at The Review Generator, we know that the best time to ask for a review is right away. Ask immediately the service is completed because the longer you wait, the lesser the likelihood of getting that feedback.

Ask the right way.
This is the part where most business owners and employees get it wrong. There is a right way to ask for reviews online, which includes asking professionally and politely. Don’t come across as pushy or make it mandatory for the client to oblige your request. Try to be creative, fun/funny, and clear. Encourage positive reviews fiercely but obey the rules that speak against using incentives to get reviews.

Ask questions first.
Showing genuine concern for the customer’s satisfaction can go a long way to ensure you get more reviews. Start by asking them how they feel about the product or service. It’s a good way to start a conversation and gain insight into if the customer would leave a negative or positive review. After your brief conversation, throw your perfectly organized request in there.

Ask in person
If you can add a personal touch to your business relationship with the client, then do so. You can ask for feedback in person if this works for your business. It gets better if the client is a loyal customer you can easily talk to.

Ask with the right tools
Send an email, a handwritten note, a text, a Facebook message, and much more. Use all the tools at your disposal to ask for reviews. Avoid generic methods that your competitors use often. Use a tool like The Review Generator to help automated the process.

Remember the stats above? Most customers will leave you a business review, all you have to do is ask!

fun ways to ask for reviews

5 Fun Ways to Ask For Reviews

Customer feedback does several things for your business and here’s a few of them

  • It shows what customers are thinking about your business- are they happy or not?
  • It gives you a clear view of what you need to do more or improve on.
  • It reels in or discourages new clients.

In a nutshell, customer reviews can make or break your good business. Some clients will leave a review without you asking. Others need you to ask them first and another group will make you work extra hard for their feedback.

When you are a business owner in a saturated marketplace with competitors doing what you do, you know you need to up your game to rustle up about 90% of good reviews. This means you can’t sit back and depend on your generic feedback form, you have to get creative without raising any flags on your business.

From us to you, here are fun ways to ask for reviews. Get started now and thank us later!

  1. Come a little closer than business
    If you are a book lover and you purchased a book from a specific store where the attendant there made you feel right at home, you won’t think twice when the same attendant politely asks you to say some nice words about their store.

    It’s the same with every customer. Adding a personal touch to your relationship lightens things up and makes it easier for you to ask for a review. If your business is one that allows you to get really close to your customers, then you are in luck. An example of this can be an event decorator or photographer. However, if you are not this lucky, then you must maximize other methods like giving your clients’ attention and showing genuine interest in their satisfaction.

  2. Do a good deed
    When someone goes out of their way to do something nice, it’s almost human nature to feel you owe them. Hence, when they need something you can provide, most kind-hearted individuals are happy to oblige.

    As a business owner looking to garner up to 90% of positive customer reviews, do some good and free deed for your clients. Be strategic about this and do it long before the request for a review comes up.

  3. Be on the lookout for a show of satisfaction
    It’s not every day a customer compliments your service, but when they do, grab this opportunity to ask for a review or public feedback of their satisfaction. It makes asking less awkward and you are confident the client will leave only positive feedback.
  4. Put it in a gift
    We are not saying bribe your way into a business review. We are saying make this a part of your operations. Attach a gift to your service delivery and include a note that asks politely and lightly for a review. It is important not to make it seem as though the gift is in exchange for their feedback.
  5. Be funny
    Start by getting a read on the customer’s feelings. Do they seem pleased or dissatisfied? If the former is the case, then add some humor when asking for the review. Make it clear you are asking for a positive review, but place focus on the fun part.