At the International Restaurant and Foodservice Show of New York, I attended a session on social media. I was particularly drawn to this session because it featured Yelp.
I had to hear from the source on how they view themselves within the restaurant industry, especially because we have a solution, NCR Customer Voice, which allows restaurants to sidestep a bad review by facilitating a dialogue between themselves and their customers.
The speaker from Yelp kicked off the session by stating that 80% of Yelp reviews were positive. He didn’t specify whether this was only within a restaurant context, but I suspect it wasn’t. I have to say that it’s certainly not in my experience that the majority of restaurant reviews are positive. And I hate to admit it, but I’ve been deterred by a write up or two.
He also gave advice to restaurant owners and managers for how to handle a bad review, stating that you can take the problem offline, or hope that it violates Yelp’s policy and will be taken down by the site itself.
It was curious to me because, here we are, talking about dealing with a problem, after it’s become a problem. To me, the real question is, how do you avoid a negative review in the first place?
As I mentioned, our solution, NCR Customer Voice, helps restaurants sidestep a bad review by facilitating a dialogue between themselves and their customers. It’s genius, because it proactively creates an outlet through which a customer can vent but the outlet goes to you, vs. a network of 1 billion people who hear a one-sided story. If feedback is positive, you can promote that within the customers’ social networks, but if it isn’t, wouldn’t you like a chance to respond, state your case, and right the wrong?
It’s also beneficial to restaurants owners because in the course of receiving feedback, you have the opportunity to create a conversation. You form a relationship with your customer and can change what could have been a one-timer, into repeat business because they’ve not only been heard, but listened to. That’s powerful.
So yes, you can challenge a Yelp review. You can try to get it taken down, or respond to it yourself, but that requires energy and angst on your part. The reality is, the review is out there and fair or not, it’s public and associated with your name.
I’d combat a negative review by stopping it before it started. I’d turn a potential problem into an opportunity, and then promote what I did well. Create a win-win situation for yourself and your customer, and attract some new business along the way.
Written by: Mark Buonagurio, Sales Director, NCR Local – Tri-State Area at NCR Corporation
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