In the last few years, online customer reviews have become highly influential and they are now considered to be the fuel that can make or break bistro growth. Whether they’re on Google, Facebook or TripAdvisor, what people say is going to make all the difference when it comes to influencing the buying decisions of consumers.

These days, online reviews have far more power than an ad. According to a survey from Zendesk, 88% of buyers base their decision on what others say. It’s reached the point where brands are defined by what is said by those who have experienced it.

If you’re offering good service with strong offerings, there is no need to be too worried about negative reviews. The most powerful way to handle them is to lambast them with rave reviews. In order for this to happen, you’ll need to encourage happy customers to help you with this. Here’s how to go about it:

Create Review Site Profiles

Take into account the sites that are relevant to your business. Do your own research but you might want to with review sites such as TripAdvisor, Google Reviews, Facebook, Harden and FourSquare.

Ask Your Customers

The best way to increase the number of reviews that you have is to just ask. Your customers know that the success of your bistro growth will ride on reviews, and as long as what you provide is worthy of positive words, they won’t be annoyed if you ask. Don’t leave it long to ask, they are more likely to give you feedback immediately.

Make It Easy to Leave Reviews

Unless somebody is annoyed and wants to share their negative experience, customers won’t actively seek ways to leave reviews. Help them out by adding direct links to contact points such as on your website, in follow-up emails and in your newsletter.

Online Reviews: The Make or Break of Bistro Growth

Thank Reviewers

If the review site has the facility to do so, be sure to thank each person who has left a review. You might even want to reward them by sending them a discount code or a voucher for doing so. This warm touch could even transform your reviewer from a happy customer to a loyal evangelist.

Reviews Need to be Part of your Process

Ensure that every employee fully understands how important reviews are. You may even want to incentivise employees to ask for them. By giving an incentive, you’re making best use of your marketing expenditure, as reviews can be so incredibly powerful.

Strong bistro growth is dependent on good reviews these days. Do what you can to encourage customers to leave them and you’ll see an upturn in business.