Managing negative TripAdvisor reviews in your restaurant

Mike Scott

Written by

Mike Scott

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Posted on
February 21, 2019

Restaurants > Online Reviews

Negative TripAdvisor reviews can feel like a personal affront to your business. Who are these people coming in your restaurant, finding fault and slandering your good name online? Well, they pay your wages unfortunately, so you’re accountable to them. And, because TripAdvisor is where prospective customers come to find your restaurant, handling negative reviews is crucial to safeguarding your profitability.

If your restaurant’s TripAdvisor profile has taken a hammering lately, don’t bury your head in the sand.

Be positive about negative reviews

managing negative TripAdvisor reviews in your restaurant

It’s not all bad. You might learn something. There’s a lot to be said for customer feedback and how it can be used to improve your business. If multiple reviews identify the same issue, they’ve highlighted a problem that needs to be solved for the betterment of your business.

Whether that’s training your staff, or sprucing up the decor, most common problems have an easy fix. It’s in your best interest to please your customers and you can only do that if you know where you’re going wrong.

Negative reviews also give your profile a sense of authenticity. No one is perfect all the time and neither are businesses.  68% of consumers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad scores.

Respond to negative feedback

Managing negative TripAdvisor reviews in your restaurant

We all want to be listened to and your customers are no exception. Answering negative reviews shows you’re listening and that you value your customers’ feelings. There is an art to it, so don’t go in all guns blazing no matter how unjust the comments.

It’s best practice to respond as quickly as possible, but don’t let that stop you from looking into the issue to check the complaint is valid. While it’s not common, some restaurants are targeted by malicious reviewers looking for a freebie. Don’t engage with blackmailers. Simply report them to TripAdvisor.

If you’ve established the reviewer is justified in what they’re saying;

  • Ensure someone senior responds to show you’re taking the comments seriously.
  • Address the reviewer by their name and take care to spell it right!
  • Apologise and sympathise with their experience.
  • Keep your response short and don’t mention your business name. This is not something you want appearing in search results!
  • Point out this is not a regular occurrence or typical of your restaurant’s standards.
  • If you need to give the review further attention try and draw the conversation offline. Invite them to get in touch via email.
  • It might be hard, but grit your teeth and thanks them for taking the time to leave you a review.

The last word

Managing negative TripAdvisor reviews in your restaurant

Navigating TripAdvisor can be a minefield but it’s essential to take the rough with the smooth in order to reach the widest audience of prospective customers. Handling online negativity with the same professional and considered approach as you would in-house is essential to your success. Generating high numbers of positive reviews is the best way to dilute the effect of a negative on your profile.

The One Question Platform’s Customer Happiness Score (CHS®) is the ideal tool for restaurants looking for a simple and efficient way to encourage customers to leave reviews online. Using an engaging one step survey tool allows you to identify your happiest customers and then thank them for their feedback and ask them to review you on TripAdvisor.

And your negative reviews? The One Question Platform helps you resolve customer issues before they’re aired online, so you can turn around a complaint without it tarnishing your reputation. Book a demo at your convenience for more information on how you can boost your TripAdvisor ranking with CHS®.

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