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Don't be afraid of negative reviews any more!
Today's Restaurant Internet Exclusive
Wednesday, 26 August 2015 00:00

colbyblack hpBy Colby Black

With stories of negative feedback going viral on social media sites, (exampleexample, and example) it's easy to see why negative feedback about your business can be scary. The truth is, however, that negative feedback isn't really the problem. The problem is "unresolved negative feedback".

So what are some of the common reasons that cause problems to go unresolved? Well, first of all, without the right tools, monitoring your online reputation can be tedious and time-consuming. In fact, it can be a full-time job.

Secondly, getting into a dialog with an angry customer on a public platform is scary enough to make a lot of business owners want to try and just ignore it completely. Avoid it as much as you like but no matter how many fingers you cross, with chants of "please go away", the negative feedback is practically etched into the Internet for all time.

The last reason, which we will discuss here today, is a lack of preemptive tools that allow you to solve problems while the customer is still at your place of business. With the right tools, you can collect feedback from customers while the problem is actually happening, giving you an opportunity to solve that issue before it gets escalated on other platforms (Yelp, Facebook, etc.)

In today's world, a variety of tools exists to solve all of these problems in a simple and intuitive way. With monitoring of all of the major review sites placed directly on your dashboard, and notifications set up with key players in your organization, forgotten are the days of tedious multiple logins to various review sites.

Instead of logging in blindly to review sites just to check to see if there's any new activity, you can spend your time focusing on running your business. Reputation monitoring will remove the stress and allow you to wait for notifications to be sent to you before you actually have to log into your dashboard. When you get your notification, you simply log into your dashboard and access all of your profiles, at once, with the push of a button.

Today, with 2 billion smartphones in the world, using mobile feedback collection tools to communicate with your customers has proven to be incredibly effective. When implemented correctly, it will allow you to collect feedback during high volume customer interaction points.  In a restaurant, for example, you would place professionally designed table tents right in front of your customers where all your potential problems are likely to arise.

By making the feedback collection process easy, as well as offering incentives, the moment a problem arises, the customer knows exactly where to go to leave a complaint.  

Once feedback is collected through the tool, key players receive a notification with a detailed account of the customer's issue. Now, with the direct to manager tools, management can communicate directly to the customer's phone and either solve the problem, send them a coupon or notify the customer that "help is on the way". This also solves the second issue by allowing you to communicate with the unhappy customer privately instead of publically when it's often too late to resolve the issue.  

This approach allows you to solve the problem as it's  happening and prevent the customer from ever having a reason to escalate it on a platform outside of our tool. It also allows you to collect and then aggregate the information into reports that allow you to see what your reoccurring issues are. (Both positive and negative)

These analytics are great for staff meetings when you want to pull up a report to see how often a specific employee has had the same issue over and over. What about positive feedback? You don't necessarily want to keep that private, right? At the end of the feedback collection process, customers are given the chance to post their review on public social sites with the push of a button. By removing a lot of tedious steps, your customers are more likely to share their feedback on their favorite social media websites. Although managing negative feedback is only a part of the overall solution, it is definitely an important one.

By: Colby Black - Director of Operations

713-882-7467 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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