Thursday, 22 February 2018

Jamie's Italian - should they be taking reviews (more) seriously?


We're going to make a couple of what may seem glaringly obvious comments here...

First: reviews matter. No business can blithely ignore Google reviews any more, TripAdvisor, Yelp or Zagat (in the restaurant space) perhaps, but certainly not Google. 

Second: Millenials (and many older consumers) refer to reviews all the time.

Now, let us look at Jamie's Italian scores on Google (we've limited ourselves to their London outlets, there is no discernible difference in the pattern UK-wide)...

These are shocking - shocking enough to deflect diners in numbers. But more shocking is the complete absence of action being taken by Jamie's to address the issue.

Now let's look at just two reviews from the last of these (Greenwich) and then we will make some more comments:

What can they tell us? All restaurants have their problems (and their problem customers), so we are not going to do a 'Gordon Ramsay' here; we will simply confine ourselves to what Jamie's Italian could do better in the context of their review management.
  1. They should respond to their reviews - they could thank the likes of Paul Spicer (surely they realise that people who take the trouble to post a positive review are more likely to return if the restaurant bothers to tank them for their review?) and they could apologise to Jos Bodewes (the guy took 45 - yes, forty-five - people to their Greenwich restaurant and it never crossed their mind to either a) say 'Sorry' or b) put their side of the story
  2. They should take action to ensure that more of their happy customers post reviews. The very act of inviting a review will show customers that Jamie's cares - and that in itself would be a positive step forwards 

Now you see them, now you don't 

Are Jamie's aware of the Google filter? If they are not, they are not alone, but surely if your business is suffering one of the first things you would do is try your very best to look good (we'll settle for 'good' - great might be a bridge to far) in search?

Here's a search on 'Italian Stratford'..., if the very low score has not put the potential customer off, surely the Google filter will show them far better options? it will!

So what would Jamie's in Stratford need to do to pass the Google filter (and look like a good bet for anyone looking for an Italian meal in the area)?

At the moment they are scoring 2.8 with 209 reviews. The answer is in the maths, Simply: they need to get more five star reviews.

The current breakdown of their scores is:
  • 67 one stars
  • 35 two stars
  • 30 three stars
  • 36 four stars
  • 41 five stars

    Jamie's in Stratford does have its fans - it just needs to mobilise them

...and this shows something very important: that they do have satisfied customers, in fact they have had 77 customers who were so happy that they were motivated to write a positive review without any encouragement from Jamie's. Imagine just how different these numbers would look if Jamie's were to proactively invite reviews? Another 100 five star reviews - just one a week over the last two years - and Jamie's in Stratford would pass the Google filter and be scoring more than 4.0 in search (and the same would go for all their other locations in London). Do we think that would have a positive impact on trade? Of course we do.

So - a simple plan of action
  1. Respond to existing reviews
  2. Invite customers to write reviews
That's all!

Where does HelpHound come in? 

There's nothing stopping Jamie's - or any other restaurant business for that matter - from mobilising their customers to write reviews. But the key advantage HelpHound offers any business is Resolution™ - our moderation mechanism, which, besides formalising the whole review gathering process, goes as far as is feasably possible towards ensuring that malicious or factually inaccurate reviews are not posted.

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