If you are a restaurant owner, the chances are that you are already listed on some of the most popular restaurant review websites. While registering your restaurant on such services can garner a lot of positive feedback from customers, there will also be negative reviews, which in turn would actually have a much greater impact on your business than multiple positive responses put together.

However, the ideal reply to such a situation is to be prompt with the management’s response and be understanding instead of feeling hurt and scornful.Often, the key selling point of a professional management setup is in understanding what the customer wants. Providing a response that addresses the issue at hand, helps you to stand out from the crowd. Click To Tweet

That way you’re turning a negative situation into a positive marketing opportunity!

If this sounds like a situation that you have been through with your restaurant, here’s looking at five key ways to turn complaints into marketing wins.

 

Be Prompt in Responding

For customers eating at your restaurant regularly, even the slightest mistake might prompt them into filing an adverse review on a platform. Ensure that your marketing division is always on top of feedback, be it good or bad

Make quick responses to a post, and instead of a generic answer, make sure that your team takes the time to give a personal reply to complaints. This gives customer confidence in the management and ensures them that their issues are being taken seriously by you.

Never Hesitate to Apologize

The first step in getting customer problems solved is to respond with a prompt apology. Even if you find a user to be accusing you of events that may not corroborate with facts, apologizing first hand often lowers the tone of a conversation. 

Refusing to apologize may otherwise escalate into a fight and eventually make your restaurant look awful.

Instead, use the power of food review websites to apologize to customers who may not have quite had the experience that they paid for. You can easily set up an automated Google Alert email, which will let you know every time you receive new feedback. 

For any negative review, giving immediate responses are of equal importance. Apologizing straight up for the customer not getting the requisite experience, works wonders in improving your restaurant impression. Click To Tweet

 

Be Polite yet Firm

Often, you might receive feedback that is downright rude and not in line with how you might expect your patrons to respond. Even in such cases, ensure that your management team responds with politeness. This will help ensure that you maintain high levels of professional conduct, which is a stepping stone in turning around a piece of negative feedback.

However, do not let the politeness be exploited, and remain firm in your stance of incidents that may have taken place. While you must not hesitate if you are in the wrong, remain polite but firm in responding to users. 

This conduct is certain to attract plaudits among your overall customer base.

 

Provide Perks to Win Back the Customer

If your restaurant has wronged, immediately try to make amends for the bad experience. In such cases, giving complimentary coupons often helps restaurants attract back a customer that has previously had a bad experience. Click To Tweet

Doing so lets you rectify your mistakes, improve your overall business, and in exchange for a small expense, you are bound to see a steady rise in profits.

Learn from Criticisms

Eventually, it is important to learn from negative responses. Use these as constructive criticism, and make a habit of taking action on customer responses. 

This will help create a culture of catering to customer expectations. There might be something essential that you’re not offering that an unhappy customer has pointed out. Now’s your chance to incorporate it for your restaurant and see what results you get. 

With these strategies at hand, you’re bound to turn a bad review into your selling point and improve loyalty and customer base in the most organic way possible.