Customer reviews can make or break businesses in the F&B industry as everyone knows the impact of positive or negative feedback. It spreads like wildfire and can result in a wave of new customers or your restaurant or CloudKitchen® delivery kitchen becoming a ghost town. Reviews can be placed on popular sites like Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc., but how exactly should you reply to customer feedback, regardless of whether it is positive or negative? In this blog, we at Smart City Kitchens will provide a wide range of samples so you can perfect your responses to satisfied customers and upset diners.
Before jumping straight into the different samples your Singapore restaurant can adopt when replying to positive and negative feedback from customers, here are a few key statistics that highlight why reviews are incredibly important.
- Out of all businesses, people are most likely to read reviews for restaurants
- 31% of customers are willing to spend more at restaurants with a positive reputation online
- A vast majority – 88% – of diners have just as much trust in online reviews as they do in recommendations given to them by family and friends
This will surely be an eye-opener for many restaurateurs, especially regarding the business impacts of having great reviews online. When customer feedback does come in, it is important to reply promptly as 20% of customers expect a response from restaurants within a day if they leave positive or negative reviews online. Be willing to sample different types of responses as there is no one-size-fits-all answer that is applicable for every situation.
It is important to concoct a thoughtful response as a simple “thank you for your feedback” just won’t cut it. Show gratitude, even when criticised, and express your appreciation to the diner for visiting your restaurant and leaving a review. In addition, promise them that your eatery will change for the better if they offer advice on what can be improved. All this and more will be available in the samples of how to reply to positive and negative customer feedback.
How to tackle online reviews
Since so many people take the time to post reviews online, here are some things to keep in mind when deciding which of the samples we have provided is the perfect one to use when replying to positive and negative customer feedback.
- Research is key – This is particularly relevant to negative reviews. Should one arise, be sure to speak with your staff to better understand what happened. It is also worth researching the reviewer and seeing what feedback they have written for other eateries to craft a more personalised response.
- Keep your emotions in check – When receiving positive reviews, you will no doubt be jumping for joy. However, negative reviews can leave a sour taste in your mouth. Just be sure that you don’t take it too personally as it is one person’s opinion.
- Respond to everyone – Whether someone leaves a positive or negative review, make sure that you take the time to respond to them. Surprisingly, 45% of those who leave negative reviews revealed that they would be willing to give a restaurant a second chance if the establishment responds to their feedback.
- Don’t wait too long – When reviews come in, respond to them as quickly as possible to avoid upsetting your customers. To make this easier, you can set up a Google alert so you never miss any feedback when it comes in.
- Be positive – Replying to positive reviews is essential as they have obviously had a good experience and will likely recommend your restaurant to others. However, it is also important to show some love and sample different approaches when responding to customers with negative feedback. You know what they say, kindness is a virtue.
Review response samples
Since there are so many avenues available when you reply to positive or negative customer feedback, here are some samples to help you through various situations.
1. Reply to positive review about the food
Hi [REVIEWER NAME],
Thank you for your kind words. We’re ecstatic to hear that we share the same passion for food and that you had a memorable experience when dining with us!
Our kitchen staff will be incredibly happy to read this review. The [FOOD ITEM MENTIONED] is one of their favourites as well. Might we recommend you also try the [POPULAR FOOD ITEM NOT MENTIONED] when visiting or ordering from us next time? We’re sure you’re going to love it just as much. See you soon!
– [RESTAURANT NAME] Team
2. Reply to Negative review without much information provided
Hi [REVIEWER NAME],
Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review. At [RESTAURANT NAME], we continuously strive to create exceptional experiences for our customers and we’re sorry to hear that we missed the mark.
Would you consider reaching out to us at [PHONE NUMBER / EMAIL ADDRESS] and providing further comments or suggestions on how we can make your dining experience better the next time around? We hope we can use this to improve going forward.
– [RESTAURANT NAME] Team
Ready for a review?
With a few samples in hand, you can now reply to positive or negative customer feedback with confidence. Be sure to respond to every comment, don’t let your emotions go overboard, and be open to change as that could result in people who posted negative reviews giving your restaurant a second chance.
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