14 facts & figures about online reviews every restaurant owner should read
By now you’ve probably heard that online reputation management is essential for every business, especially those in the hospitality industry. But how essential exactly? AreTheyHappy has skimmed through all the latest research on customer behavior and their consumption of online reviews for you in order to provide you with a rundown of the most important facts & figures, and to give you the best tips for successfully managing your reputation in the online era.
Fact: you can no longer ignore your online reviews
- In 2017, 97% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses. In 2016 that figure was 92%.
- 12% of those consumers actively search reviews on local businesses once a day.
- Only 1 in 10 customers in your restaurant do not care about what they read on review sites. The other 9 do!
- 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal advice from friends or family.
What this means: customers consider online reviews a valuable and trustworthy source of information. When deciding which bar they’ll have a drink at or which hotel they’ll stay the night, almost all of them take into account what is being said about these businesses online.
Tip: In 2018, make it a priority to stay on top of your online reputation. Make sure to learn which channels your customers are talking about you on, and, within reason, make sure you are active there, too. Use a tool to automise this process.
Fact: positive reviews result in higher revenue
- 68% of consumers are more inclined to visit a local bar, hotel or restaurant if it has positive reviews.
- 1 in 2 customers claim that a hospitality business requires at least a 4-star rating before they’re willing to go there.
- Customers are prepared to pay 31% more in a business that has excellent reviews.
Tip: Don’t be afraid to ask your customers for reviews during or after their visit. 68% of your visitors will gladly leave their opinion if you just ask!
Now that you know where your customers are most actively leaving reviews, be sure to let them know where you want them to leave their reviews: is it Facebook, Google, TripAdvisor, or all of them?
Fact: negative reviews also have an impact on your bottom line
- A negative experience reaches twice as many people than a positive experience does.
- 91% of your customers who had a bad experience will never return to your business again.
- 40% of people who read negative reviews about your business won’t even give you a chance to begin with.
- To make matters worse: 1 bad review can cost you up to 30 customers per day.
However, if you find genuine and creative ways to solve a customer’s complaint, there is a 70% chance that they will gladly do business with you again.
The most satisfied of them all might even become ambassadors.
Tip: check your reviews on a daily basis to prevent nasty surprises. Unresolved complaints can cause lots of damage to your company’s reputation. How you handle a customer complaint is a critical component in the longevity of your business. React as quickly and graciously as possible. Read more about handling complaints and bad reviews here: Dealing with negative reviews: how should you do it?
Fact: online reviews are even more important for businesses in the hospitality industry
- Restaurants and cafés are the most researched businesses online: as many as 60% of all people who looked up online reviews, were researching restaurants, cafés or bars.
- Hotels and B&B’s come in second: 40% of all people who regularly search online reviews looked up reviews over a hotel or bed and breakfast.
- 81% of companies who are actively making efforts to understand and improve their customers’ experiences are outperforming their competition.
People looking for a pleasant and unique experiences are increasingly reliant on the judgment of other reviewers, foodies and hospitality enthusiasts and experts.
Tip: For owners, managers and social media managers of companies in the hospitality industry, it is important to be present on the biggest social channels on earth: think Google and Facebook. Next, ensure that specialized platforms such as TripAdvisor, Foursquare and Yelp, which specifically focus on businesses like hotels and restaurants, are also covered. Lastly, be seen. Instagram is one of the most important platforms for displaying your beautifully decorated interiors, dishes and cocktails. Each of these sites offer valuable feedback from customers.
Improving your online reputation pays off
Hopefully, these figures have convinced you that managing and improving your online reputation really pays off. This is actually also referred to as the online reputation management cycle, i.e. monitoring your reviews and social media on a daily basis, results in you spotting positive and negative trends faster in order to improve your service, which further results in greater customer satisfaction, and, finally, into more new and returning visitors over time.
Use a tool to automise this process
We, at AreTheyHappy, realize that it takes time to do this thoroughly and well. We also realise that you, as an owner, manager or social media manager of a business in hospitality, don’t have much time. This is why we have developed AreTheyHappy.
At one glance, you get a complete overview of your company’s online reputation on all the relevant social channels for the hospitality industry. From the same tool, you can get to know who your customers are, and engage with them more meaningfully.
Additionally, we give you the tools to control your voice. With our publisher feature, compose and schedule consistently beautiful social media posts on your different channels. On our insights dashboard, you’ll get a thorough idea of what your customers like about your hotel or restaurant, and which aspects might still have room for improvement.
Start our free trial today!
Curious to discover how much time AreTheyHappy can save you? Start our free trial to discover what your customers tell you about your business online today. Questions or just need a chat, send us a message at [email protected] and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.