So What Counts as a Good Review and Why?

Reviews are the lifeblood of any restaurant, sometimes even more so than the customers themselves. Whether it’s about getting noticed at the start or convincing people to keep your business growing, a good or bad review can change the entire trajectory of your life at times. That’s why knowing what makes a review is so important both for your reputation and growing as a business. So, what counts as a good review and why? Let’s cover that in six points right now. 

Positive Reviews

Positive reviews sound simple. “Oh, the food was amazing and the service was fast!” Everyone likes to get those sorts of things, but a truly useful positive review has a bit more to it. A useful positive review will be able to tell you and other customers what the writer enjoyed about the dining experience, not just that the “food was good.” Likewise, if there was some element that detracted from an overall positive experience, that would also be important to mention here so that you’re able to improve. 

Negative Reviews

While it can be hard to deal with them, negative reviews are sometimes more important than positive reviews. A comprehensive negative review will, much like a positive, be able to spell out the specifics of what the customer did not like about the experience. Simply saying that “food was bad” is about as useful as if they simply said it was good. Even more than a positive review, negative reviews should strive to be thoughtful in their analysis, showing that they gave a business a chance before writing things and truly considered what about it was bad. Finding this type of negative review and learning from it is the fastest way to improve your overall establishment.

Reviews From Real Customers

The internet has revolutionized the way reviews are made and seen in both good and bad ways. Good in that more people than ever can share their experiences with others, but bad in that it’s become much harder to trust reviews themselves. Anyone could purchase a bunch of reviews from random people just to make themselves look good, effectively tanking the trust of whatever establishment has done this once the ruse is uncovered (and it will be uncovered). Purchasing reviews on platforms like Facebook means getting reviews from people who have never been to your establishment and might result in misleading information being spread, leading to some serious customer dissatisfaction. The best way to get reviews is to be honest and do the best work you can. Positive or negative, you’ll be able to know that the words you’re seeing on the screen come from the people who have actually been to your business. 

Precise and to the Point

No matter whether the content of a review is positive or negative, it should always be precise and to the point. Rambling on about every single thing someone did in their day leading up to their visit with you does nothing but distract from the actual point of the review – to review something. Likewise, outlining specifics does a lot in cutting down on the fluff and focusing on the topic of a review. Shorter, clearer reviews are also more meaningful to other potential customers. 

Style and Tone

How you say something is often just as important as what you’re saying. This holds true even for reviews, as people will be more likely to take someone seriously if they conduct themselves seriously. Reviews littered with embarrassing typos, run-on sentences and other nonsense don’t speak highly of the reviewer. People may be less likely to consider opinions that are poorly expressed. Additionally, it can also obfuscate the actual point being made beyond a vague idea that what’s being talked about is positive or negative. 

Reviews Instead of Commentary

The purpose of a review should be to review something. This means that, in most cases, a review should focus on things that are only relevant to the product being reviewed. While this can vary quite a bit depending on what one is talking about, reviewers should do their best to stay on topic and not stray into other subjects. 

Navigating the world of reviewing can be difficult from either side. Try considering these six things to distinguish good reviews from bad reviews to give yourself a jump start.

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