Online reviews are part of being a bar owner today, no way around it. There are pros to having these opinions easily accessible like “social proof” or the idea that potential customers will see their peers recommending your bar, making them more inclined to stop by. The obvious con is the possibility of a poor review. In either case, all feedback presents an opportunity for you to show off your location in a favorable light.
If someone leaves a positive review, realize they took time to find your bar on their preferred rating site and leave commentary. Given the speed we all cruise the internet, it’s kind of a big deal. So let these customers know you think so. A quick “Thank you!” reply is an easy way to get started. For glowing remarks, you could ask to share their review on your social sites. You get to show the world what folks think of your establishment and your customer gets their name mentioned. Everybody’s happy.
Now, you may not have time to reply to every 4 star review. But you MUST respond to every negative review. Responding to this feedback opens the door to bring an unhappy patron back through your doors because they’ll see you care enough to spend a few minutes finding out what went wrong. And customers browsing your reviews will see the same thing. All good stuff. Importantly, no matter how scathing the review may be, craft a reply that is magnanimous and professional.
This is all fine and good but maybe you don’t have time to check on the multitude of review platforms let alone the majors like Google, Yelp and Facebook. Consider a service like Review Push. Their software monitors review sites, notifies you when a new one comes in and allows you to manage them all in one place.
Or maybe you need a way to acquire more reviews from your customers. Asking them to write one is a start but typically the request is forgotten once they’re out your door and on to the next thing. Brew Reviews is a service that allows you to send a text message to your consumers. The text contains a link that opens your page on the review app loaded on their phone. Simply ask your patrons for their mobile number, plug it into the Brew Reviews site and press Send.
However you structure the process of managing your online reviews, at the very least, make sure you’re responding to your customers comments. It’s what keeps them coming back!