Part III: Leveraging Your EClub and Website
In the final post of this series, we look how to use your eClub and restaurant website to encourage guests to write online reviews for you. These tools are particularly useful because your eClub members and your website visitors have already “raised their hands” to support your business. These channels are also effective because it’s easy to guide an eClub member or a web surfer to Yelp or Trip Advisor or other review site. Here’s what SM3 Email and Social Media Specialist Morgan Higgins advises her clients to do:
- Link your website to review sites. Make some space on the homepage of your website for direct links to Yelp and TripAdvisor, requesting reviews from your diners. If you have multiple stores, then add individual links to the page for each location. That way a glowing review of your Cleveland store won’t end up on the Yelp page for your Columbus location!
- Leverage your eClub. For a more aggressive approach, call on your supporters! Your eClub membership represents diners who welcome your communications. Send out an email with a call for reviews, linking to the correct pages on Yelp, etc. You must be clear there is no incentive or special discount for writing a review – Yelp does not look kindly on “bribing” your guests, and savvy restaurant goers see right through it. But asking for help is perfectly reasonable!
- Take advantage of online opportunities. Do you provide catering, online ordering, or online reservations? If you do, you can easily create the opportunity to ask for online reviews. When you send a thank you message after the order or reservation, ask guests to write a review and provide a link to a review site within the email. Remember as you solicit for reviews, there’s no way to filter out those who may have had a bad experience. If you end up with a negative review, consider our best practices for handling the situation.