So, you’ve gotten a terrible review from a disgruntled customer and are scared of the repercussions. Now what? Following on from PART 1 we give more practical tips and advice about managing social media and open review site reviews.
Thanks to social media, booking platforms and open review sites such as Trip Advisor, it’s easy for business owners to fear the effects of a negative review. Negative reviews can be a strong deterrent for potential new customers, it´s not all doom and gloom, though.
Consumer conversations about brands and companies are far more positive than negative, by a margin of about 8-1, according to research. The most positive reviews are for food, beverages, and beauty products. The truth is, most customers are happy, and eager to share their good experiences with friends and families who need help finding a good brand.
At SHI, we help business owners understand how to turn negative reviews into positive results. Here are some more of our top tips:
Tip 1: Do not panic
Take a deep breath; negative feedback is a part of life. Relax and remember it’s not the end of the world. Nothing great was built in one day and success involves a few bumps on the road. Use the feedback as a positive tool; it is constructive criticism and could ultimately help you achieve improved customer services.
Tip 2: Learn from the process
It is difficult to keep track of everything. Negative reviews help business owners and managers spot the few missing links in their system. This is one of the greatest things about negative feedback. Pay attention, make the necessary changes and use it as a chance to improve. Clients will notice and will appreciate an enterprise that is willing to adapt to their needs. Acknowledge the changes you’ve made and how you got there. With negative feedback comes great progress.
Tip 3: Find the silver lining
Imagine a world without negative feedback. You would have no way of knowing how to improve. No matter how terrible a review, or how difficult the customer, think of the rewards that come with staying positive. Sometimes merely accepting any shortcomings is enough and by taking responsibility you can gain greater customer loyalty.
Tip 4: Your company´s fans often come to the rescue
When negative word of mouth is unfair, social media makes it possible for your company’s fans to come to your rescue. This has only become truer in a social media era where consumer feedback is visible to so many. One form of good practice is to actively promote and cultivate a community of advocates who are willing to write positive reviews or even contest negative ones. With a flurry of positive reviews the negatives will be diluted.
Star Tip : Never offer anything complimentary via the review site
When you respond to any negative review, never include the offer of anything for free in your response. This might just encourage others to post negative reviews or to exaggerate a review so that they also get the offer of something for free. If you really feel that a gesture should be made, where possible contact the reviewer direct or make a private reply via the review site (Trip Advisor offer this service).
The fact is, we’re living in a marketplace in which customers have much louder voices than ever before. And there’s no going back. Today more than ever it is vital that business owners and managers understand how to manage their online reviews.
For more information on this or any other matters relating to hospitality business, please contact us at Secret Hotel Inspector.