How does your establishment fare in the age of the online review?
Online reviews are more critical now than they’ve ever been. They’re a valuable tool which can make all the difference when it comes to your reputation, and in the hospitality industry – reputation is everything.
The key to great reviews is a reliable and cohesive team. With a great team in place and customers receiving excellent service and stunning food, they are more inclined to let the world know.
On the flip side, it can be off-putting for customers to be pursued to give reviews, even when they have received excellent service – but there are ways you can improve your online rating, which I will also discuss in this article.
Build a great hospitality team and the reviews will flow, but first, let’s take a look at the way your reviews influence your reputation.
Why Great Reviews Are Critical
Successful restaurants and hospitality establishments all have one thing in common – an excellent reputation.
Good reviews can propel your establishment from under the radar to THE hot property; and not having any reviews, good or bad, will be just as harmful. A recent TrustPilot report stated that businesses who fail to provide peer feedback could be damaging consumer trust, with 30% of UK residents revealing they are sceptical of brands who fail to share reviews.
The better your reviews, the more custom you get, and vice versa. It is this momentum that takes establishments to the top, to become the go-to for customers both old and new.
So how do you go about getting those all-important shining reviews?
Great Team = Great Reviews
With 57% of restaurant-goers using online reviews to help them decide before parting with their cash, it is becoming increasingly crucial for you to have a bank of consistently good online reviews from happy customers
Of course, the most important aspect of dining out or staying in a hotel is the service we receive, and this will be one of the main motivations for a customer leaving a review.
You can have a beautifully decorated and charming restaurant, but if the waiter is rude, that will be the customer’s overriding memory.
Your team influence a customer’s experience and their likelihood of writing a good (or a bad) review in everything they do; from the warm acknowledgement on entry to being given excellent service, being presented with delightful and delicious food or staying in a perfectly prepped bedroom.
Below are some suggestions on how to improve your online review rating.
Influencing Your Rating
What does your current online review rating look like? What is your average star rating on TripAdvisor? Do you regularly receive comments on your social media profiles about your food and service? If you want to increase your score, here are some ways to do this.
Some customers are in the habit of giving reviews for the places they visit no matter what, while others need a little encouragement. Remember though; it can spoil the ‘mood’ when you ask a customer to rate the establishment while they are still enjoying their experience.
If you are currently lacking in good TripAdvisor reviews and are looking to improve your rating, a word of advice – if you are going to get your team to ask customers to give reviews, make sure they do so tactfully – only at the end of the meal or their stay – and when you are sure that they have received excellent service.
Additionally, making sure that the TripAdvisor logo is displayed at touchpoints throughout your customer’s journey will remind them to share their experience. Some effective places to display an invitation to leave a review are on your menu, on a small business card placed on the table, in guest rooms (on the back of the door) and on the bottom of a customer’s receipt (these messages can be programmed through your till).
A simple ‘We’d love to hear your feedback – share your experience of dining/staying with us on TripAdvisor!’ will suffice.
Working With a Recruiter to Hire the Employees You Need
If you are aware that your establishment is lacking in great TripAdvisor reviews, or that your employees are struggling to deliver the kind of service you want, the logical step is to improve your team.
But hiring in the current hospitality market can be tough. In the busy life of a manager or establishment owner, hiring and onboarding are often things that you don’t have the time to do effectively.
When it comes to building the kind of team who will bring in those five* reviews, a good place to start is by working with a recruiter.
When it comes to finding the right staff for your organisation, recruiting by yourself will not usually deliver you the best team.
As a manager, it is not always a good use of your time to tackle recruitment yourself, when there are dedicated hospitality recruiters who use different, exclusive methods to find the best person for the job.
If you would like a conversation about how we can help you to recruit the staff who will help raise your organisation’s profile, get in touch today.
About KSB Recruitment
We are expert recruiters in the catering and hospitality industry with over 28 years in business, placing the best candidates in their perfect roles with obsessive attention to detail.
KSB is proud to be a Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) member, accredited investors in people, and both Data Protection and Home Office Compliance registered.
We specialise in roles in Birmingham, Staffordshire, the West Midlands, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, Worcestershire and Northamptonshire.