The Untapped Gold of Online Reviews

By Terrence Gordon, Co-Founder FOHBOH

By now, we’ve all been hit over the head with the importance of capturing 100 percent of online reviews, and responding with human-powered, brand-induced custom responses. For the sake of this article, let’s assume you’re already doing that. Read on as Terrence Gordon, Co-Founder of FOHBOH explains the importance of customer feedback.

When restaurant owners take a deeper look into customer reviews many may be asking themselves, “What services are being overlooked?”  A customer’s honest feedback can provide invaluable and untapped insight into brand direction

As a refresher, the research tells us that just one unanswered negative review can quantitively cost a restaurant $7,000 per year on average. Furthermore, 86 percent of consumers rely on reviews when deciding to frequent a retail establishment. Lastly, restaurants that proactively respond to both negative and positive reviews induce trustworthiness from potential customers.

Many restaurants survey their customers post-visit and use that data to improve operations. Box checked.  But the major discrepancy between surveys and reviews, is that surveys are structured and limited. When we survey our customers, we are leading the influence of what we want to hear from them - often associating a scaled rating which further puts the customer’s voice in a box.  On the flip side, online reviews are unstructured, free-form and honest.  Your customer is voicing feedback in their own words. This is the gold. From here we need to gather data from unstructured language inside of hundreds or often thousands of reviews, and then implement processes to act on what seems to be a Wild West of data.

Fortunately, through new natural language AI learning, systems such as FOHBOH’s reputation management dashboard aggregates 100% of reviews from 3rd party sites, matches keywords according to topics & categories, and then applies a sentiment analysis to the reviews that match. This is the mining of the gold.

A good question to keep in mind when considering reputation management is, “What is it worth understand services customers appreciate from your efforts through free-form natural language?” The idea that knowledge is power is crucial when addressing detrimental organizational issues that are highlighted from surveys is just one way that FOHBOH catapults their clients’ businesses to the next level.  

We focus on the objectives of the organization and then match them up to the topics that are most frequently mentioned, we can harness the golden goose of improvement for your brand.

This may seem like an overwhelming task, but with our skilled team of experts we can help uncover some of the most consistent outliers that apply to your organization. For example, your brands hot topics might include: “Time to Table”, “Rude Staff” or “Cold Food”, or “Dirty Bathrooms.”  A deep dive into the sentiment can uncover specific food items that may be unpopular, or even the name of a staff member who has been consistently disappointing.

Equally important, positive reviews are equally powerful feedback not just the operator, but for the entire team as well. Many FOHBOH clients use positive momentum to reward staff, determine product placement, incentivize managers, or create LTO’s from.  All reviews left by customers can be leveraged to better an organization.  

Reputation management is your organization’s road map to the future. FOHBOH harnesses critical customer feedback, both positive and negative, to navigate and ensure the health of your organization. Contact FOHBOH today to learn how our restaurant clients leverage critical customer feedback through reputation management.