How to remove negative reviews and bad reviews on yelp series
By the way, welcome to our new local restaurant marketing blog. You will find the best how-to information to use for your restaurant, bar and business here. Lot’s of good information for independent operators and small chains. Enjoy this first post.
At the beginning of this year, I went around many of our clients to ask them how we might be able to help their restaurant grow and increase their sales in 2011. To my amazement, apart from slow revenue, economic issues and the urge to do Groupon, the number one issue that is keeping many operators unhappy and helpless is the issue of online reviews about their restaurant.
What is sad about this is that many owners feel helpless and do not know what to do about this issue. I don’t know about you but if your entire business depends on what others feel and say about you and your business, you will take it personal. That is what I realized with many owners, they take every comment personal. How about restaurant operators who can care less about online reviews. Well, that approach is not the right one though. People can write what they like as long as it does not affect their business they say. Yea right!! As business owners, I know it is completely impossible to satisfy every customer’s need. Every positive comment mentioned or posted on the internet affects your business for good and every negative comment can damage your reputation and business. As the old adage goes, a happy customer tells one friend, an unhappy customer tells ten. Eighty four percent (84%) of consumers will check online for reviews before making a purchase. Especially the outgoing crowd 25-45 year old who are tech savvy and use smart phones. People are constantly checking yelp and others to see what other people have written about you in order to make a decision whether to spend their money at your restaurant or not.
Alright ! I can hear people reading this article and saying to themselves, I know I have to pay attention to my reviews but how do I start and what do I need to do about it. Let’s look at some ways not to be found on line.
1. Don’t be found without having full access to your review accounts online.
The number one sin operators commit is not creating or having access to their restaurant online profiles on social review websites. You see, all these websites; Yelp.com, Urbanspoon.com, City search, Google reviews ( the 4 most important ones ) has a simple link for you to click on to secure your restaurant name and own the profile and information. You need to simply sign up and update your information on these websites and keep the information in a safe place. Make sure that you know how to login and respond to queries and comments. If you delegate this task to an employee, make sure you have the username and password. Also the user name and password should be in your name. Never use an employee’s e-mail address to set up the account. If you set up an account with an employee’s e-mail address, when that employee no longer work for you, you just lost everything.
2. Don’t be found without positive reviews from your happy customers.
Reminding your happy customers to write positive reviews is an important aspect of your business in this digital age. You see, 7 years ago, you don’t have to bother about someone going to some website and sticking it to you. Today, many consumers are doing this because they know they can and you really can do little or nothing about it. Even a former employee who you let go will go online to yelp or rant about your business. While you know what they are saying is wrong and untrue. You can bury that negative comments by simply asking your happy customers to kindly write positive reviews about your restaurant. The reason this is not just necessary in helping you rank well, the positive reviews push the bad reviews down. The more positive reviews you get the better people look at your establishment favorably and like to visit. For example if you have 3 bad reviews last year and 22 positive reviews this year, consumers will look at you favorably than having 6 bad reviews and 9 good reviews.
3. Don’t be found not responding to comments or replying reviewers
Once you have searched for your restaurant on social review websites, claimed and updated your profile. You now can respond to a bad comment or thank someone who wrote a good comment. On Yelp.com for instance, you can publicly respond to a comment or privately respond to the person who wrote the comment. Even though you do not agree with the negative comment because you know it is a mis-representation of what happened. You have to be careful not to relay your anger to consumers. Don’t call anyone names or use profanity. Be respectful. You can respond directly to the person. And when you do, ask them if they would be kind to discuss the matter over the phone with you the owner. If it’s something you can correct or need to correct, ask them to come back and you will give them a 25 % discount on their food or something. When this person shows up, you can approach them to again kindly rewrite their review. You see, what you are doing is turning the negative situation to a positive one.
4. Don’t be found not present on review websites mobile apps
In the United States , we have over 300 million cell phones and many people are using their phones instead of their computers. Since the iphone was launched few years ago, over 65% of cell phone users are now smart phone users. From Blackberries to Gooogle Android phones. Almost all the social review websites all have a mobile application where people depending on their location can find the nearest restaurant, post reviews and comments about your business. If your restaurant is not on these mobile apps, you are losing out to your competition. The more positive reviews and stars you have the more you will rank as one of the top favorite places to visit. You don’t have to pay anything or go ahead and hire someone to build a mobile application for you in order to achieve this mobile status. You can achieve this by simply having positive reviews than negative ones.
As you can tell, it is important for you to maintain and manage your reputation online. The future of your business in this digital and mobile age depends on it. Take hold of your reputation and control your business online.
Written by Ola. Ayeni, Chief Idea Officer, Dining Dialog - Full service restaurant marketing company and Icare partner of Sysco Foods, based in Naperville, Illinois. www.diningdialog.com, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, 1.888.424.9666. He brings fresh and creative ideas to his clients, speaking at national and industry trade events about mobile marketing, new media and social network marketing. Ola also writes for industry publications, and has been published and quoted in Loyalty Magazine, American Express Smartbrief, The Food Channel, Internet Retailer, Quick Service Restaurant Web (QSRweb.com), My Food Service News, SmallBeeBiz.com, Food and Beverage Underground, Website Magazine, Mashable, Chicago Tribune, Newsweek Magazine, Screen works, ReadWrite Web, Restaurant Report, Mobile Marketing Magazine, and quoted by many respected publications including CPG Matters and Coupon Info Now.