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Good News Travels Fast – Bad News Travels Faster


Good News Travels Fast – Bad News Travels Faster

Kiwis rate negative dining experiences on social media within hours

Auckland, 6 September 2012 – According to the latest nationwide American Express Dining survey*, more than a third (35%) of Kiwis who use social media to rate their dining experiences will post a negative review within hours of the meal –27% will do so immediately.

Traditionally, if consumers have an unpleasant dining experience, they’re inclined to tell more people, says Marisa Bidois, Chief Executive, Restaurant Association of New Zealand.

“Diners are going online to vent their frustration; which means bad news now travels faster than ever before, and to a much bigger audience – it’s definitely an emerging trend.”

Results also found that Wellingtonians are the most likely to use online media to rate a negative experience, with over half stating they would post a bad review.

On a brighter note, however, Kiwis who use social media to rate their dining experiences are more likely to use social media to rate a good dining experience (56%) than bad (32%). Unfortunately for the hospitality industry, these happy diners don’t go online as quickly to talk about their experience as those keen to vent about a bad meal.

The survey found people who dine out the most frequently - once a week or more - are the most influenced by online reviews when they choose their next dining destination.

Ms Bidois says restaurants can use these insights to ensure they maintain their reputation online.

“It’s crucial for restaurant owners to be mindful of what is being said about them online, especially as their most frequent customers – and therefore arguably the most valuable – seem to be the most influenced by online reviews.”

The following top tips for restaurant owners on how to monitor their reputations online:
Be where your customers are – if you aren’t online, then you don’t have a voice. Take control of your reputation by creating a social media presence. Give the responsibility for posting content to someone trusted, or even better, keep this responsibility yourself.

Have a strong voice – always respond constructively and respectfully to any online criticism. If you don’t respond to reviews, then customers will become frustrated that no one is listening and they will become disengaged with your business.

Be quick – if you are going to respond to a review, then do it as quickly as possible. It never looks good if a negative review has been sitting on a site for weeks, ignored by the restaurant. This is how issues which could have been nipped in the bud get out of control and go viral. Where possible, rather than sit on the feedback you have been given, see what changes could be made to improve the dining experience your restaurant offers, and offer them with your audience.

Remember it’s a two way process – online discussions are just that – a discussion. It is meant to be a two way process with questions and answers posed by both the restaurant and the customer, so never preach or simply post statements. It’s the online equivalent of talking at someone, rather than listening then engaging in a normal conversation. Importantly, if you receive negative comments – try not to take them personally. Rather, think of these discussions as a chance to learn what does and doesn’t work in your business.


© Scoop Media

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