What Is Online Review Management & Why Is It Important?
What Is Online Review Management?
Online review management is the process of monitoring online reviews from customers about your business on websites and social media. Every business must be aware of its online reviews. Manage your reviews, and ensure they are high quality by responding to every review, generating reviews from customers, and analyzing feedback left in reviews. Managing these online reviews will improve your restaurant’s marketing and operations.
Where Do Online Reviews Come From?
Your customers, whether they are new or returning, have something to say about your restaurant. Customers who have had a bad experience are more likely to leave a review. Customers who have an extraordinary time are also inclined to leave a review. Just about anyone who walks into your business could leave you an online review. Most of them will leave reviews on these sites:
Google My Business has an average monthly traffic of 158.03 million. It is the number one review site. People can leave a review on Google without having a profile which makes it extremely accessible.
Tripadvisor is mainly for tourists. They have reviews for hotels, holiday rentals, restaurants, and tour companies. They as well have reviews for coffee shops and spas. TripAdvisor currently 2022 surpassed over one billion reviews on their site.
Yelp has advanced search settings that bring up top-ranking restaurants that are close to the searcher’s location. It has a reputation for longer, more in-depth, and sometimes snarkier restaurant reviews. The main draw to their website: people can scroll through and read many entertaining reviews.
Zomato has the most extensive catalogue of restaurants and food items. Most food reviews are showcased with photos and descriptions. Zomato offers a food delivery service in India, UAE, US, UK, Singapore and Lebanon. That's why Zomato caters to food and beverage establishments.
Third-party delivery apps are becoming a new channel for reviews. They include apps such as DoorDash, Skip the Dishes and UberEATS. Reviews are left immediately following an order being delivered. It is a fast and easy way for customers to instant feedback.
Why Are Online Reviews So Important?
They Provide Customer Insight
Online reviews give you insight into how your business is performing. Customers have more confidence and time to craft their reviews of your business. Reviews provide the feedback a business might not be aware of, both positive and negative.
Positive reviews affirm a business is performing well and negative reviews show gaps in its performance levels. Analyzing reviews is a perfect way to understand how your business is doing and see where there are areas for improvement. It is a good way to see which services and goods are working and which are not. Although online reviews might seem daunting, they are truly a sense of awareness for any business.
They Act As Social Proof
Social media is one of the most important areas of digital marketing and businesses these days. For example, 99% of Gen Z and millennials are more likely to use social media to choose a restaurant than baby boomers. Customers will talk about your business in comments on social media pages. It is a form of marketing that you do not have to pay for. Social proof is just as important as any other form of customer feedback.
They Build Trust With Your Customers
Online reviews build trust between your customers and your brand. Here are some statistics to show the validity of this.
- 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
- 90% of customers read online reviews before visiting a business.
- 72% say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more.
- 90% of customers will use a business if it has at least a 4-star rating
- A 1-star review increase on Yelp leads to a five to nine percent increase in business revenue.
- One negative review can cost you on average 30 customers.
As you can see, online reviews are vital to building trust with your future and current returning customers.
They Influence Buying Decisions
Online reviews are extremely important when it comes to your prospective and current customers making buying decisions. Online reviews influence the opinion of your business in the eyes of customers. Customers are willing to spend 31% more on a business with fantastic reviews. Four out of five customers have changed their minds after reading a bad review about a business. Online reviews are extremely important when it comes to all aspects of your business and can change the way people view your business.
How to Manage Online Reviews
When managing your online reviews, depending on the business, a centralized approach might be best. That means higher-level management, like corporate or business owners, manage the reviews. They are the ones to search through review sites to view and respond to each review and form data from review insights. It works in the cases of franchise owners. They are able to see how their franchise’s locations are performing.
Another way to manage your online reviews is to a decentralized approach. Therefore, giving the responsibility of online review management to store managers, general managers, restaurant managers, and the marketing team. It is a good way to delegate the different aspects of online reviews. It might be easier to delegate who is to search and collect reviews, who is responsible for responding, and who collects tangible data.
As mentioned above, it is possible for you to search every review site and manually respond to each review. You can create your own set of data spreadsheets to see how your operations are performing. This way takes a bit more time. However, it is still a very viable way to manage online reviews.
An easier way to manage online reviews is by using an online reputation management tool. Tools such as Localyser help businesses with their online review management. Loclayser collects every review off of review sites and puts them all onto one simple dashboard. From this dashboard, you can read and respond to every review with templates and auto-response features. Localyser differs from other tools. They have insights and report features to view how your business is performing across all review sites and social media platforms. Automation makes it easier and more efficient to handle online review management.
To summarize, reviews are the “new front door” to your restaurant. What people see online is the image they associate with your restaurant. This is why online review management is important. Start managing your online reviews and get started today with an automated system.
Bay is the Marketing Manager at Localyser. Localyser is an online reputation management solution used to service mid-sized businesses. It is designed to help businesses track their reviews, message their customers, generate feedback, and gain insights from online review data.