Words Matter More Than Star Ratings

He said the chef’s nose was running and that he was wiping it with his hand—and that he then continued to prepare food for customers. This written description of what this customer saw at the restaurant was a deal-breaker for meeven if they had the highest star rating. 

A written #review for a restaurant can be a deal-breaker – even if they have the highest star rating. Your words matter. Read the full story here: Click To Tweet

Sushi is one of my favourite foods to eat. Anytime we are in a new city looking for a sushi place, I spend a fair amount of time reading the reviews to ensure we get the best quality available.  

The chef with the runny nose came from a highly rated restaurant. They had all the stars, but that one review changed everything for me. 

Instead, we went to Sukiyaki House, which was a close walk from our hotel. The star rating wasn’t quite as high, but the written reviews made this place sound like the better choice.

It was a small, quaint restaurant. They had COVID-19 precautions the moment you entered, and the place was beyond clean. They brought us the menus and my husband asked me to order.

This is not always an easy task for us.

I can’t eat gluten and my husband is allergic to shellfish. We usually have the same boring salmon, tuna, spicy salmon roll, spicy tuna roll… and maybe some vegetarian options.  

This time, I noticed that both the spicy tuna and salmon rolls had tempura flakes, which made it a no-go for me because of the gluten. I asked our server if it was possible to have them made without the tempura flakes and explained my gluten intolerance and my husband’s shellfish allergy.

What happened next shocked me.Words Matter More Than Star Ratings

She said, “We can modify anything for you.”

She then went on to recommend specific appetizers we could both eat, and recommended some of their most popular rolls, explaining how they could swap out the shellfish for something my husband could eat.

We had the best sushi experience we’ve ever had and enjoyed the most delicious food. 

This was all because one person took the time to hear what our constraints were, and offered to accommodate us in a way that made our experience better.

Here’s the lesson:  

Great customer service is listening to your customer’s needs and asking yourself, “How can I help?”  

Great #CustomerService is listening to your customer's needs and asking yourself - how can I help? Click To Tweet

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t charge for additional scope – it simply means looking for a win-win-win solution. 

When we left the restaurant, I couldn’t wait to write my review. I wanted to share the specific details of how Anna, our server, had gone above and beyond. I wanted to share my experience because just like someone else found a runny nose to be a deal-breaker, there’s another couple out there who will love how this small sushi restaurant accommodated our food requirements.

When you find ways to do great things for your customers, it’s their words, not their 1-5 star ratings, that will move others to decide to try doing business with you too.

How do you go above and beyond for your customers?


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Lisa Larter Bio Image of Lisa x400

Lisa Larter

Founder and CEO of the Lisa Larter Group, master strategist, author, speaker, podcast host, social media expert, consultant, and business coach. Lisa inspires entrepreneurs and business owners to see the possibilities for their organizations when it comes to strategy. She uncomplicates modern marketing and creates (and implements) strategies for businesses that are guaranteed to increase visibility, inbound leads, and revenue.

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