When we first started expanding our business, we had a restaurant consultant tell us, "Ignore all of the reviews. They don't matter. They'll just depress you."
Really? I agree that you will never please all of the people all of the time. And yes, there are platforms for reviews where angry customers go to vent. But I think most consumers who read those reviews can see through the legitimacy of reviews written in anger, haste, or revenge. When a customer takes the time to write a serious review, I take that feedback just as seriously.
Here's a sample review from Willa on our AirBNB listing:
"This experience was awesome. We had a lot of fun making the noodles for the ramen, learned a ton and the final result was actually some of best ramen I’ve ever had. We would definitely do it again. It’s a great way to try something new!"
What I read: Our goal is to help teach people how to make ramen at home IF they want. If they never intend to make ramen at home, maybe they'll appreciate the different between and handmade noon and processes noodles. And, we want to do so in an informative, fun way. We'll keep doing this!
This review from Rosa:
"We had a great time making the noodles and hearing about ramen. I wish more attention was paid to the broth, but it was still quite delicious. If you wanted to learn more about broth I'd definitely take the 4 hour course as this seems to be where you'd get the most info. Making the noodles was still a great experience and definitely do this again."
What I read: We must continue to emphasize what you learn in both sessions at the time of bookings so guests are not surprised. When time allows, I continue to explain some brief information about our broth even in shorter experiences. For example, our tonkotsu broth takes a total of about 11 hours. We'll continue to help people understand what they will learn at the time of sign-up.
SOME IMPORTANT THINGS I KEEP IN MIND WHEN READING REVIEWS
Everyone has an opinion. They are entitled to it. We should read with consideration.
If we can improve, let's do it! Constructive feedback is always valuable and appreciated.
Not everyone will be happy though but we should strive to do our very best.
Yes, some reviews are unfair. I hope consumers consider the back story to those reviews. There's always more.
Sometimes people hear things differently than what was actually said. So, we have to be very clear in our communication and intent.
For every review that is written by a single customer, we have 100+ other customers who are valuable, appreciated and important as well.
Customer service DOES matter. YOU matter. And, we appreciate everyone who joins an experience.