The current pandemic has changed the landscape of the baking industry as we know it. Whether these changes are temporary or have long term effects on the industry, there is no denying that things are different now. One major difference is the amount of business being done online. More bakeries then ever are setting themselves up for online ordering. The bakers aren’t the only ones, as we have seen major increases in consumers shopping online, especially in the food industry.

With all of the increased web traffic and the online presence of bakeries, having your online reviews in order could make or break your bakery’s success during such a crucial time. It is important to learn the advantage of online reviews and how to properly manage them.

Why Are Online Reviews Important to Your Bakery?

Word of mouth has always been a reliable and trusted way to learn about new businesses and products, and these days word of mouth is done online. Statistics show that a majority of people will do a quick Google search to learn more about a new company before they make a final purchasing decision. One of the first things they look at are a company's reviews. Google, Yelp and Facebook are all major sources for business reviews that the consumer trusts.

Why are reviews for your business so important? You have the chance to see what consumers are saying about your bakery to either boost sales or even fix an issue you may not know you had. Good reviews will benefit your business more than you realize. As a customer scans reviews on your business and sees nothing but praise and good reviews, you have more than likely just solidified a new customer. Bad reviews can hurt the success of your business, but there are ways to right those wrongs which will be discussed later.

Online reviews are valuable pieces of information. However, whether good or bad, how you manage your reviews is what will separate your business from the rest.



How to Manage Online Reviews for Your Bakery

The good thing about online reviews is that your business can respond to them, good or bad. Here are some tips on managing online reviews:

      • Respond to bad reviews. Just because you got a bad review, for whatever reason, does not mean you should ignore it. Responding to a bad review shows the customer you care, and it shows other customers scanning your reviews that you take customer feedback seriously. When responding to a bad review, it is important to not get defensive. Instead, be sympathetic and apologetic with the customer and ensure them you are taking care of the situation and taking steps to ensure it does not happen again. Some of the time, your response to a bad review will result in the customer taking the review down. A good amount of the time, the cause of a bad review could have easily been resolved in person and is often just a misunderstanding. Taking the time to right the wrong will go a long way in regards to your business’ reputation.
      • Respond to good reviews. Yes, even good reviews should be responded to. This again shows you care about ALL of your customers' opinions and this gives you a good opportunity to thank the customer for stopping by and supporting your bakery.
      • There are however some rare occasions when a bad review is created to hurt your business. Sometimes fake reviews can be posted for a variety of reasons. Some people may do this in an attempt to exploit some sort of discount or free product. In other rare occasions, your competition may post a negative review. Although entirely unethical, it does happen. In these cases, most platforms allow you to flag a review as fake or spam to be looked at internally and eventually taken down.

You now understand how important online reviews can be for your bakery’s success. Now you must ask yourself if you are monitoring and addressing them properly. Keeping up with your reviews is just a simple way to ensure your bakery and its reputation remain in good standing.