Customer reviews are more important than ever before and this will only increase in the near future. We trust what other people say about their experiences, especially if those reviews are coming from our colleagues, friends and family. But it seems that we also follow the advice of people who actually, we don’t know at all!
88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
You probably have been there too. Travelling to a city you don’t know and trying to find a restaurant to have dinner looking on Google, Tripavisor, Yelp…
Or you may be browsing on an online shop to buy a product. Then you see all those stars below the name of each of them. Did you ever buy the one with no ratings or very low ones? Probably not.
Maybe you also use websites like hotels.com, booking.com, expedia; to book your stays or holidays. I bet you read at least a couple of reviews from people who stayed at the same hotel before. I am sure you only read the ones from the hotels rated with more than 3 stars in a scale from 0 to 5.
Don’t worry, you are not alone.
90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business
We trust experiences more than marketing, and that’s a good thing. Years ago, marketing activities were mostly focused on the end customer, targeting them with advertising campaigns to get them to buy your product. Today, an important part of marketing initiatives are focused on getting customers to share their experiences, so companies can get more customers to buy their product. Make sense, right?
Reviews are not only for consumers
On the other side of the same coin, there are the businesses themselves. Without getting reviews, without gathering feedback; they are just leaving their destiny on the hands of the good or the bad luck.
The only way a business can improve is to know what it’s working, and what it’s not. Then you keep doing what you do well and try to improve what you don’t. That’s how it works.
Talking specifically about restaurants, they often leave it to those external companies to gather and publish reviews. Tonight, I am in Antwerp, a beautiful place in Belgium with a magnificent historical city center. A city that I have been to just a couple of times. A place where I didn’t know any good restaurant to go to. Tonight that has changed.
Finished work, checked in at the hotel, left my stuff, and went to the city center with the intention to find a place to eat. Of course, I’ve checked Tripadvisor but at the end, I decided to just go to the old part of the town and look for restaurant. I found a nice looking one, good menu, quite a few people in, I’ve got in too.
Service was good, food was good and the atmosphere was fantastic. My surprise came when they came with the bill. It was the typical leather folder they normally leave on the table for you to open. I opened it and it was an iPad mini. This is what I saw:
I know, it’s in Dutch, but you get it right? Isn’t that great? Having such a tool to review your experience right there, just after you finished. This really made me happy, it is a great way of getting feedback,a simple, immediate survey right there for you to fill in.
Of course, I did:
This not only shows that the business cares about the experiences of its customers, but also that they invest on improving them with the use of technology and an innovative way of asking for feedback. Maybe I would’ve asked one more question to get an NPS score, but well, there always needs to be some room to improve, right?
Next time you are in Antwerp, Brasserie Appelmans, and feel free give me a shout in case I am around 😉
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