Marketing teams have to deal with clients from a plethora of different sectors, and for all these clients, obtaining positive online reviews is key if they are to thrive in a competitive market such as catering. Research by BrightLocal shows that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they would a recommendation by a family member or friend. Meanwhile, HubSpot polled consumers, finding that around 60% believe that customer reviews are worthy or trustworthy. In essence, it is very easy to spot authentic reviews, and modern review sites are doing an excellent job oft keeping exclusively authentic, experience-based comments on their sites. As a professional marketing specialist, how can you ensure that your clients in the catering sector build a reputation that is worthy of their customers’ trust?
Providing A Top Catering Experience
If your client wants positive reviews, then their services and goods must be on point. In addition to serving food at the right temperature, ensuring no glass is left empty, and placing food in strategic parts of an event, you clients should also add a bit of clever marketing into the equation. For instance, their brand logo and website should be visible at target sites. Their brand should also be well represented. Thus, there should be enough staff on site to ensure complaints are quickly dealt with.
Catering companies wishing to stand out from their competitors should consider offering something different to make their brand stand out. As their marketing consultant, you might conduct research into hit experiences taking place at events across the globe. One of these involves food and wine tastings. To please VIP customers, caterers are offering exclusive tasting menus, which can be a big opportunity to highlight local wine and produce by promoting the relationship between the two. Any experience involving fine wine will likely keep guests longer at a catering event, and result in positive reviews the next day.
You should suggest ways to connect guests up with your catering clients’ social media channels - for instance, by hiring a photographer, taking photos, and tagging attendees to the event on your clients’ social media pages. By ensuring that attendees connect in a positive manner with the catering company (not just those putting up the event), you can increase the likelihood of guests asking for your client’s business card. Let your clients know the power of video. According to research compiled by VEBU in the UK, it is predicted that around 80% of online traffic will comprise video by 2021. Therefore, in addition to posting photographs posted on Instagram and other channels, they should also post stories and short videos that highlight the fantastic food they create for their clients.
Dealing With Complaints
The way your catering clients respond to complaints should be seen as an integral part of their brand loyalty/ brand imaging strategy. These days, complaints can go viral in a matter of minutes, so those that crop up should be addressed immediately on the same channel they have been made. Moreover, clients should be offered compensation for fair complaints - including a discount on the catering services offered if food or service was not up to scratch. The catering client should also publicly declare their commitment to improving company procedures, so that the same mistake does not happen twice. Negative reviews should be offset by positive ones, which is one role that marketing firms should take seriously.
Marketing specialists wishing to help catering companies achieve a good online reputation should stress quality, responsiveness and originality as key values to be pursued. They should also work on creating vital synergies with social media influencers. Finally, a very basic marketing technique should involve asking happy customers (and attendees at events) to leave positive online reviews. These will offset negative ones, though these should always be given a quick, efficient and sincere response.