Most everyone now looks to the internet to give suggestions on any number of questions we might be asking, from where to go and what to see on our next vacation, to the nearest location of a quality gym, to something as basic as where to eat for dinner.
Not only are we looking for information on things that are available near us, but we're also hoping there's a good number of customer ratings and reviews to scroll through so we can make comparisons of our choices.
More and more, consumers are basing their decisions on where to go or what to do based upon the opinions of others who have gone before them – strangers we've never met, but who in part, have rated our potential options for us.
Websites like Yelp and TripAdvisor are great for the indecisive. Not only do they tally star ratings, they also allow us to read lengthy feedback given by previous guests, so we are able to get a feel for the ambiance and an insight into special details and offers.
Reviews for places like restaurants especially can be used as a tool not only for potential guests, but also for the businesses themselves. For instance, good reviews give managers an opportunity to see what's going well, and what strategies are charming their guests. While bad reviews give them an opportunity to make some changes and address concerns before they spin out of control.
In fact, according to researchers at the The University of Maryland, it might be possible to predict the fate of a restaurant based on analysis of customer reviews. Looking specifically at data from Yelp, they were able to calculate with 70 percent accuracy if a restaurant was going to close their doors within the next quarter.
This makes sense for star reviews, but interestingly they took it a step further and developed a program that could scan and analyze the written reviews as well, finding that written content actually had more meaning than the numerical ratings alone.
Businesses have always conducted some sort of customer surveys, reviews or assessments, but the digital revolution has changed the game, and ultimately provides much more useful information for both consumers and companies.
Unfortunately, many customers choose not to leave a review, forget to do it after they leave, or are unsure how to do it. If there isn't sufficient data, a few random responses aren't going to add up to much.
A great way to encourage customers to leave reviews is through WiFi landing pages. By providing visitors with free WiFi access, they can be prompted to leave a review as they log in. Most guests will appreciate the convenience of free WiFi access, and will be happy to spend a few minutes leaving a rating or review.
Additionally, by offering in-house WiFi, businesses can gather customer contact information, analyze visitor behavior patterns, engage guests with social media content and more.
Contact Bloom Intelligence for specifics on how to use WiFi in your location to get the customer ratings and reviews flowing, learn more about your consumers and boost your brand awareness and client retention.
And for details about how improving your ratings and reviews can have a direct impact on your revenue, download our free guide, Rocket Your Restaurant Ratings and Reviews, or click the banner below.