Whether it’s a restaurant or a clothing boutique, small businesses often see an increase in traffic once they start exploring the possibilities of an online presence. Social media for restaurants, in particular, is hugely beneficial because, as part of the service industry, clients are always evaluating throughout the Internet. This means that review sites such as Yelp, Urbanspoon, and TripAdvisor, for one reason or another, will always drive traffic. It’s important to monitor these reviews, as we have mentioned in previous posts, to make sure that your business is constantly improving and you are still providing the service that your customers want. Review sites, however, are not the only place that you can find a bad review. Customers often rant and rave on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks to all of their friends. You should be there to answer.
I’ll be honest, as a small business owner, I know that few things anger me more than a bad review. You know very well that you want to make sure that your customer is happy and you would never do anything to harm a paying customer in any way! However, circumstances happen, and I want to know how I can rectify the situation as much as possible. Here are a few tips that you can follow to better handle a bad review on social media for businesses.
The nature of the Internet allows for anyone and everyone to voice their opinions about your company. This means that you have a wonderful tool that you can use to better understand your clients. As such, negative comments about your business should be framed as constructive feedback. Get to the heart of the situation and really listen to the customer. In this way, you are able to target the issue and meet your client’s particular needs.
Whether you have a Facebook page or have claimed your review site, or you haven’t taken that first step, know that there are people talking about your brand. You have spent years perfecting the image of your brand and it can take on a life of its own online if you are not there explaining your side of the story. At the very minimum, your restaurant should be monitoring:
- Facebook: if you have a Facebook page, you should be monitoring all comments and mentions
- Twitter: if you have a Twitter account, or if you don’t, you should be monitoring all mentions of your brand on Twitter (mentions, hashtags, and keyword searches)
- Review sites: always monitor and respond to reviews on online review sites. The most common review sites for social media for restaurants in Montreal are UrbanSpoon, TripAdvisor, RestoMontreal, and Yelp.
- Google Alerts: use a Google Alert to notify you of any possible articles mentioning your restaurant online.
Do not argue or retaliate: be professional and civil. Stay cool and remember, that potential clients are observing how much you respect the views and opinions of your clients and your ability to take criticism.
Respond to All Comments
Now that you are tediously monitoring social media and review sites for restaurants, you can (and should) respond. Let the customer know that you are open to feedback and will rectify the situation if it went awry. Many times, once you respond to a disgruntled customer, they will learn that you are listening and trying to help. That knowledge alone may help calm them down. If it’s a positive comment, you should respond as well and add a comment that you are thankful for their business. Any response will should your commitment to customer service.
Learn from Your Mistakes
Understand the frustration of your unsatisfied customer and put this to practice within your organization to make sure another potential PR nightmare doesn’t happen again.
It is important to stay consistent. Make sure that you stick with your plan of reviewing sites and responding on social media. This is a long term commitment and only builds value over time. Encourage your regular customers to leave reviews and actively follow you on social media sites. It may be time consuming, frustrating, and maybe even intimidating. Just remember, there are people who can help you. If you would like to learn more about social media for restaurants in Montreal and how your restaurant can get started, contact us!
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