How do you decide which restaurant or hotel to pick? Or what product to buy or where to go on holiday?
Never as before, consumers are focused on writing and snapping their experiences, and businesses are getting more concerned with what they publish in the negative aspect.
Few of us will follow suggestions from friends or acquaintances, but most of us will rely on the most powerful and feared tool: online reviews.
Although word of mouth still is very much influential on the decision-making process, the online community is growing faster and faster and is offering something never seen before.
Online reviews don't have any constrictions: you can access to it wherever you are, you can write about everything you desire and make it globally accessible. Undoubtedly useful for purchasers, but extremely dangerous and influential for businesses.
Nowadays it is part of the day to day tasks to check "what is the online community saying" about your brand, customer service and most important your product.
In the hospitality industry for instance, an excellent sequence of service and customer engagement is becoming essential. Training your staff on reading your clients appropriately is paramount to avoid unpleasant circumstances.
Admitting that most of the masses use the "review power" judiciously, part (sometimes willingly) abuse of it, to have in return a discount or complementary portion of the experience.
Customer's complaints are most certainly the threat to turn your diner into a mad writer!
So, what shall a Restaurant do?
- First, make sure your team (from reception to waiting staff) is naturally and consistently engaging with the guests.
- Train the team to observe diners face expression whilst having their meal. There's no need to intrude often asking "is everything ok?" - you can judge it simply by looking at them, most of the time. Here an interesting reading about face expression https://www.scienceofpeople.com/microexpressions/ .
- Prevent disgruntled clients. If you feel something might be going wrong, act fast and offer your service suggesting a solution to the problem. If not too sure how, refer to you manager promptly. This will not only avoid escalating a little issue into a complaint, this will also increase the quality of your service.
Two fast and efficient signs:
- If your guests are positing on Instagram, you are safe! They are happy (no one wants to publish a horrible plate of food or sponsor a terrible restaurant).
- If they are often looking around or raising their hands (to call a staff member), there are alarm bells all over that table.
Turn the "review power" from danger to opportunity. From uncertainly to self-confidence bettering your company every day.
Erika Visentin Bonomo - Permanent Recrutiment Manager
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