Social Media and booking sites allow past users to place reviews or comments on your property or business after they have stayed, visited or experienced your product. You may not agree with or like what has been said about your business. Reviews can make or break a business so it’s important that you follow all your reviews and take action where required. Here are my suggestions on how to deal with a poor review:
1. Think carefully about the review: Is there anything you would change about that customer’s experience if you could do it again? Is there anything that you could improve straight away to avoid future customers having the same experience? Is there anything you can put into action in the future to make improvements? Were there any aspects of the review that you can prove are incorrect?
2. Write down your thoughts, talk to the staff involved, assess the issue in person if it’s relating to a physical item or service experience.
3. Write out a response to the review – but do not post it.
4. Sleep on the problem so that you have a fresh outlook before you put your response into the public arena. Note that most sites do not allow you to make changes to your response or remove it/add to it at any stage so you need to get it right the first time.
5. Check that your response:
- shows future customers that you have dealt with the problem or plan to in the future (if possible) and appreciated the feedback
- comes across in a professional and welcoming manner
- addresses each aspect of the review individually and succinctly, give your account of the experience if you are sure there are inaccuracies
- does not personally attack the reviewer in any way
6. Post your response once you are happy that it will help viewers to reconsider using your services despite the review
7. Approach other satisfied customers and ask them to place a review of your property on the same site so that the bad review is no longer at the top
8. Learn from the review and change your business if appropriate to make sure that your future customer experiences are positive ones
NB. Try to include your staff in the review process – sharing both good and bad reviews with them so that they understand the impact of their actions within your business on your future success.