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Those 5 little stars next to your business name on Google, Facebook or similar websites are incredibly important to your business.  According to the BrightLocal ‘Local Consumer Review Survey’, 60% of people read online reviews for a local restaurant or cafe. The same report discovered that potential customers will read 10 reviews before trusting your business, and 57% of customers will only only use a business if it has 4 or more stars. Basically, what people say about their previous experience with your business, really matters for future business. 

The Rating System

The star rating alone tells a story. For example:

5 Star = Loved it
4 Star = Liked it 
3 Star = It was ok
2 Star = Disliked it 
1 Star = Hated it

On sites like Facebook, businesses are rated out of 5 based on customer reviews (Image 1.1). Similarly, Google gives a star rating out of 5 based on customer reviews (Image 1.2). People tend to look at this star rating as a wholistic summary of the quality of that business. If it’s a 5 Star rating, customers are happy. But for lower ratings i.e. 1, 2 or 3 stars, these numerical values don’t take into account the reason why the value was given. Was the service slow, the food inedible, the tables dirty, or the staff rude? The number doesn’t tell the whole story. 

Review
Review

         (Image 1.1)                                               (Image 1.2)

Review Comments

The comments left on these reviews are where you, as a business, can find out what you’re doing right, what you’re doing wrong, and how you can do better to satisfy your customers. It’s important to acknowledge the reviews left by your customers. For example, a positive, 5 star review left on our Google My Business:

“Our favourite cafe told us about this place. Went for a look today and was in kitchenware heaven! They are so very friendly and happy to show us around. Perfect for anyone who loves to cook and entertain. They have everything you might find in a great kitchenware shop, plus all the commercial quality products as well. Their prices were great too! Only downside is they are not open on the weekends, yet! We can’t wait to head back for another visit” – Amy

It is smart business practice to reply so the customer knows they are valued. As an example: 

“Thank-you so much for your business and your glowing review Amy! We are very glad to have been able to satisfy your kitchenware needs. Yes unfortunately we are only open during the week and at this stage are not looking to open on weekends, however as the saying goes ‘never say never’. We look forward to having you back in store in the future, and again thank you for your business”

What If A Customer Leaves a Bad Review?

It’s okay! It happens. The best thing to do is to acknowledge their concerns so the customer knows you are working to improve. 

An example of a poor review for a popular venue:

“Service incredibly slow! Took 5 minutes to get our first drink. At $10 for a bottle of beer, I expected quicker, to be honest. A constant theme in this place, this has happened on three different occasions. Staff seem to enjoy yakking to their customers over the bar rather than serving drinks!”

The owners responded:“Hi, thanks for the feedback mate – albeit hard to read. As the owner, this is really disappointing to hear – I apologise on behalf of the team. I will bring this up with them during our next meeting and address direct + immediate ways to improve. We pride ourselves on our service, so will absolutely be following this up. Apologies again.”
This is a great example of responding to a review. They acknowledged the problem, apologised, took responsibility and provided a solution for how they would fix their service. 89% of consumers read the responses the owners make. Even if a potential customer see’s a bad review, the business’s attempt to smooth things over and strive to do things better in the future keeps them enticed. 

Ask for Reviews!

Eventually all bad reviews will be lost in the sea of good reviews! Ask your customers to leave a review on your relevant pages. The more great reviews, the better!