5 Ways to Manage Your Online Reputation and Handle Your Reviews [WEBINAR]

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Today’s consumers use reviews to determine whether or not to visit your business. And who can blame them? People like to know what they are getting into –“know before you go,” as they say. And odds are high that after they find you online, they’ll look you up to see what others are saying about you. We joined with our friends over at Main Street Hub for a webinar covering the top five ways bars and restaurants can manage their reputation and reviews. From Instagram to Yelp, learn the latest tips and tricks.

How to Grow Your Reputation

Business owners today have an amazing array of tools available to help their businesses succeed, such as accounting software, stock ordering systems, e-newsletters, social media, and apps. And with these Internet-age benefits come new challenges like reputation management. Your business’s online reputation is arguably more important these days than word-of-mouth marketing. Be proactive about your business’s reputation: Know what people are saying about you, and where it exists on the web using a website like this one. Make it easy for your customers to find you, too, by including links on your website, Twitter page, and Facebook page to sites where customers have posted reviews of your business. And hire staff who will provide service that customers appreciate—don’t let one bad seed spoil the bunch.

Responding to Reviews

The typical business receives positive and negative customer reviews. The trick is to be aware of what people are saying about your business, and to respond appropriately to both positive and negative feedback. Thank reviewers, both positive and negative, for coming to your business. Respond quickly and politely to negative reviews, in particular. Some reviews might not be negative, but include suggestions for improvement. Acknowledge these suggestions with gratitude. These steps go a long way toward making your current and potential customers feel valued and appreciated.

Keep in mind, too, that a few less-than-stellar reviews may actually add validity to your business—nothing but 5-star reviews for a business can arouse suspicion. Some bar owners have gotten a little creative in how they respond to negative reviews.  Some have posted them, believe it or not, on their chalkboards out front, making light of the negativity. Other bar owners have made t-shirts and slogans out of the bad review. If you already have a rock-solid reputation and a loyal audience, this could be a light-hearted way to make customers laugh.

Just remember, you should never let the bad reviews get in the way of your business.  Do not argue, threaten to sue, or even bribe customers over reviews. Check out this webinar excerpt for real examples of great responses to negative reviews.


Your customers are highest priority for your business. Provide them with quality experiences and service, and they will keep coming back. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your customers and ask them to review their experience at your business. The more reviews you have that are average to positive, the more buried any negative reviews will be. And make it clear that you sincerely appreciate the feedback so you can improve your customers’ experience. It will go a long way to showing what kind of business owner you are—one who cares about the people you serve.

Engaging with your customers in person and online by responding, resolving, and reaching out to them will result in a positive business reputation online. You show that you are accountable to your customers and care about their experiences at your business. So when a customer finds your business online and checks out reviews, they will see that an authentic, quality experience awaits at a business that values them.