Reporting Paula Ebben
BOSTON (CBS) – Online reviews can be a great way to research a new restaurant or store, but some owners think what’s getting posted isn’t always fair.
Some of these establishments are now fighting fire with fire.
Eric Winick shared his opinions online after going out to eat. The sushi was delicious, but the service was slow. The response back from the restaurant was fast, however. They asked Eric to take the post down.
“He said something along the lines of trying to make a go of it in this area and that we all have families to feed. He sort of tried to prey upon my sympathies,” explained Winick.
More counterattacks to bad reviews are now being launched. One restaurant in Atlanta even went on Twitter and Facebook to respond to a blogger who had given a bad review.
Patrick O’Malley, a social media expert from Malden, says these businesses know how damaging a viral campaign can be. “A single person can now go home and get on Facebook and tell 500-1,000 people what they think of your restaurant.”
That impact can be immense. The Harvard Business School found a one star rating increase on a Yelp review can lead to a 5%-9% increase in revenue for an independent restaurant.
Zalmi Duchman, founder of www.TheFreshDiet.com, says this phenomenon has changed the way they do business.
They now take an active role against negative reviews, asking them to be taken down. Duchman tries to explain to customers the effect of their post might be more negative than they realize.
“We’ve found in the past the faster you react to the customer, the better chance you’re going to have to get that customer to remove their negative review because they see you take their comments and their feedback seriously,” explained Duchman.
Some business experts say this back and forth dialogue can ultimately create a connection to the customer. And a simple apology might also get a customer to take a second chance.