re·fined

One simple solution for reducing negative Yelp reviews

iphone-5s-photopack-cafe-part-1114403_640The customers who love you will tell their friends about your business. The customers who hate you will tell their friends about your business.

In the first case, you have a loyal customer who doesn’t need an incentive to keep coming back. In the second case, you have a customer whose probably lost to you forever, even if you try to make it right.

So where should you be putting your customer service energies? Lee Evans, the CEO of SurveyMe, says you should be concentrating on the folks that land somewhere in the middle.

This “silent majority” is much less likely to leave you any kind of feedback once they’ve moved on even if they had a less than perfect experience. They aren’t likely to go around bad mouthing your company to their friends, but they might not come back, either.

But if you can catch that customer just moments after service, when it’s still fresh in their mind, you can gain valuable insights. Insights that could put hundreds of extra dollars in your pocket every month.

For example, a customer eats at your restaurant but the dirty silverware puts him off ever returning. After he pays the bill, he gets a mobile survey with a coupon offer. He leaves feedback about the silverware then heads home — his job done.

Dirty utensils? Better check into that. Sure enough, there aren’t enough settings to cover the new lunch rush so the waiters are making do as best they can. A problem easily solved by a single phone call to the restaurant supply store.

Makes you wonder how many other customers had the same problem and left with a bad taste in their mouth. Not enough to complain online where you’ll see it, but enough to keep them from coming back.

While it’s important to take care of negative feedback in a timely manner, there’s a lot to be learned from positive feedback, too. If customers love your house dressing, perhaps they’d be interested in buying a bottle to take home. High marks for one waitress in particular — have her train the others so everyone on the waitstaff gets high marks.

Says Evans;

“The speed with which a business responds to feedback is essential to show customers that it cares about their experience.”

Asking for feedback can be a scary step into the unknown but think of it this way. Would you rather find out that your customers are unhappy by reading the results of a private survey or by reading their scathing report on Yelp?