The Power of Online Review and Rating with F&B Business
The Social Media is now becoming one of biggest communication platform in the world, and as the result, people are now depending on this channel to connect and also to search for the essential information. Furthermore, netizens also tend to share their experience, memories, tips for others as advisors in all aspects of life. Without Sharing - Learning - and of course Liking, the Social Life is nothing. F&B, a part of the Hospitality industry, is now affected by the Social Media. In more details, customers have changed their service behavior by adding 'searching & reading' step as the first step in their process. This means customers will search for a place and read reviews and ratings of this place before making decisions and visiting. So that it's clearly that peer-to-peer reviews have become increasingly important in recent years, to the extent that half of the visitors will not choose a place before consulting an online review site.
#1. Why "Reviews and Ratings"?
81% of travelers suggest reviews are important, while only 3% suggest they were not.
97% of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews, and 85% trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. And they make that decision quickly: 68% form an opinion after reading between one and six online reviews.
With a positive star rating of 3+ stars has a positive impact on click-through rates. The higher the star rating the more clicks a listing received from Google Local Guides.
Having a 5-star rating earns a business 39% more clicks than having a 1-star rating. To support business to earn more clicks from Google Local Guides and drive more leads to their business — which should have a direct, positive impact on their bottom line, the businesses need to increase their rating. In contrast, it is also showed obviously that there will be a damaging impact of negative reviews and ratings if businesses are downgraded their rating.
The top three industries to be affected negatively by online reviews are restaurants, hotels, and healthcare.
#2. Your F&B Business needs Positive reviews:
As the below research, it is showed that positive reviews make 73% of consumers trust a local business more while 50% of consumers will question a business’s quality after reading negative reviews.
Let's think and behave as a real customer to understand more on these numbers. Customers always want to minimize their risks when choosing a restaurant, or coffee house in the city they visit. The risks are not only the money they spend for the place, they are also their time or their opportunity cost. Just imagine that with the same time resource, if they use for the bad restaurant to enjoy the food and service that bringing the terrible experience to them, they will be so regret due to missing the opportunity to visit the best places in town. And when they come back home, they will be more disappointed about losing their money to the not-worthing-place. At this time, all they want is turning back to the start point, they will spend their time for exploring potential restaurants by reviewing ratings and reading comments carefully.
The next challenging question is what angles of online review that customers pay attention to? From the survey results, 54% of consumers consider the average star rating to be the most important factor. The quantity of reviews’ is now the second biggest factor, at 46%. Beside that, another question in this research also points out that customers just want to try businesses presenting from 3 or 4 stars rating, while with 1 or 2 stars business, the chance to attract customer is very limited. Additonally, cccording to Google, “business listings that had at least 3+ star reviews” took 41 out of 47 clicks.
With these facts and figures, you do not need anyone else to convince you about the importance of positive reviews you need for your F&B business. Your customers are that one.
#3. Bad Reviews are a huge opportunity, not a problem:
How do you feel when you get a bad comment from your customers? What do you do to address them and respond to customers? Why ask for feedback if you're unwilling to act upon that feedback? The customers have the right to share what they feel during their experience at your place. Since they want to be listened and be appreciated for their opinions. Do you know this is also one of the main factors of customer experience in F&B service? Beside high average rating and quantity of reviews, customers are now paying their attention to responses from businesses.
So that, the power of ratings and reviews is not only in positive results, it also gets the impact from responses of your F&B brands to customers. By reply all not good comments from customers, your businesses will show the respect for customers and the professional operation. Only negative things will give your businesses rooms for. Moreover, by making customers feel heard while understanding root cores of problems to answer and focus on solving for customers, your brand will make the opportunity to transform from bad to good reviews.
On the other hand, if you do not keep an eye on your reviews, you could end up with a lot of angry customers. With just a simple online search, a potential customer would find these negative ratings without any responses from the business. Put yourself in their shoes - would you want to visit a place with this profile?
#4. Reviews and Ratings - one of SEO and Branding tools:
Do you know search terms customers use to search for a restaurant or bar in a city they visit? Do you know the position of your restaurant on the search result page? With whatever platform: Google, or Tripadvisor or any other review sites; the local search engines will display results that having review and rating. Since they love online reviews for one reason: customers love online reviews.
Review websites are in the business of providing users with the most accurate information to help them predict and make decisions about their future purchases. The faster they can do that, the more users will turn to them time and time again. Additionally, according to the Local Search Ranking Factors Survey, online reviews are thought to make up 10% of how Google and other search engines decide to rank search results.
F&B brands getting the high ranking and being in top place list on review sites always attract customers more than other places. Since customers tend to save their priorities or wish to have the chance to experience services at these places. This is clearly the advantage point to support build branding for F&B businesses. Moreover, certificates or awards from review sites are also added to the brand asset as competitive brand distinctiveness to make F&B brands different and outstanding versus others. Of course, in the market, customers will play the key influencers to support your F&B brands to viral these key branding points by sharpening and verifying the service quality level that you achieve on review sites.
In conclusion, thanks to the development of the social network, customers now have the tool to find the suitable restaurants and extend their opportunity to experience best signature cuisine in local. On the other hand, F&B businesses are provided the new platform to build branding and reach potential customers. As the result, the market competition is now more challenging than before, but, this also motivates F&B businesses to improve operation and deliver higher service quality for customers. So if you do not want to be out of the market, you should prepare the detailed plan for Listing, Getting Review, and Increasing Rating for your F&B businesses. Customers and F&B community will support you to deliver #Signatures if you show them you deserve.