For those in the hospitality or tourism industry online reviews can influence other customers or guests. Social media sites like TripAdvisor, Yelp and even Facebook reviews help spread the word about your business to a great audience. The fear of receiving negative reviews sometimes prevents business owners from engaging in a social media strategy.
You pour your heart and soul into your business so it can be hurtful to get a negative review but it’s important to put it into context. If the review was honest you have an opportunity to correct a problem that may be hurting your business. It is important to remember that the majority of your reviews may be four and five star and most people have lovely things to say about your business. It may be just the odd reviewer who has negative things to say.
There will always be people you can’t please or who want to write something negative, even if it’s not true. The important thing is to show people how you handle negative comments.
Here are a few tips I picked up from a recent webinar with TripAdvisor.
- When you get a review, analyze it. Is it positive, negative or mixed?
- Who needs to know about the review? It’s important to share the good reviews with your staff as well as the negative ones.
- Look at each review to see what can be done to improve your service.
- If the review highlighted a specific problem that could effect other customers, what steps can you take to correct the issue?
Respond to the reviews, especially the negative ones. Other potential customers will read your responses and see how you handle your business so even a negative review can be a positive thing.
Thank the reviewer for their feedback. Be positive in your response and try not to take their comments personally. Assure them that you are looking into the issue they raised to demonstrate your willingness to solve a problem. It may be tempting to refute each point they make but that is rarely appropriate or necessary. Keep your response short and to the point.
If you feel that the negative review was accurate sometimes it’s best to ask the reviewer to contact you by phone or email so that you can address the issues with them directly and not in front of a global audience.
If you are an accommodation provider and using booking engines like Booking.com or Expedia you will also receive reviews from guests. These reviews can be really helpful in running your business and often the negative reviews can be simple things to fix.
Most important of all, make sure you are monitoring your web presence whether it’s on Trip Advisor, Yelp, Facebook or any other site so that you know what people are saying about your business.