How Restaurants Can Respond to Online Complaints

Posted on: June 21, 2017 by RMS Hospitality Group

Handling Complaints > Responding Online

In our last two posts, we explored how restaurants can manage and recover from customer complaints. As we mentioned before, a customer complaint is an opportunity to turn the experience from a negative one into a positive one, and online reviews are no different. In this article, we’re going to cover the basics of responding to online customer complaints so that your clients can uphold their stellar reputations. While sharing this advice with your restaurant clients, protect their entire operation with a comprehensive Restaurant Insurance Program.

Create a response plan.

Similar to in-person complaints, there needs to be a process and a chain of command to manage these issues online. Implementing a plan ensures the complaint gets addressed promptly by someone who is in charge and has the knowledge and authority to handle the situation. Be sure to include a log of complaints to better the operation and ensure consistent responses.

Don’t take it personally.

No one wants to see their first complaint, but it’s inevitable at some point. Rather than get tangled up in emotion, think logically.

Do not immediately fire off a rapid response that could make matters worse, allowing emotion to overcome your better business sense. Instead, evaluate the complaint and determine whether or not it is spam or a legitimate complaint. If it is full of curse words, consider cutting and pasting the complaint to a word-processing program and taking out the colorful language. Is there anything concrete left that you can deal with? If not, it’s spam and you can freely delete it and block the person without further comment, explains LinkedIn.

If it is a legitimate complaint, remind your clients to be thoughtful and sincere in their response.

Know that people are watching.

Online complaints are public and visible to anyone, so know that whatever is written, and whatever response is posted, will be out in the open. People are watching to see how the business addresses issues, so be careful. Remind your clients never to respond in anger.

Bear in mind that a negative review doesn’t mean potential customers will immediately shy away. They might be hesitant, but a helpful and sincere response can turn their decision around.

About RMS Hospitality Group

At RMS Hospitality Group, we strive to provide the proper protections for your clients and their restaurants. From liquor liability to property protection, our specialized coverages can be custom-tailored for their unique needs. For more information, contact us today at (516) 742-8585.

Posted in: blog Restaurant Insurance