Kevin and Greg share their stories on reviews, and several best practices to make sure you're a master at responding to reviews!
Greg's Review Tips
- Never respond to a review when emotional. Allow some time before responding to collect your thoughts. And while that time is passing, don't take shots of tequilla (Kevin's advice).
- Kill your customers with kindness and address the issue head on. Most people are objective by nature, and want to hear the other side of the story.
- Respond to negative reviews within 24 hours. Don’t wait. More than 80% of your customers are looking at reviews before booking so the impact is very high.
- Don’t be afraid to call the customer once you had time to understand the situation. Even if the customer is completely wrong, it's not a bad idea to refund them if it avoids further backlash. You have a business to run and you don’t need to be burdened by a $50 charge.
- Never ask your customers to remove the review or “pay them off”. If you feed the bear, it’s only going to come back for more. Instead, take care of the situation and ask that they clear up any consistencies in their review (Especially if they are vulgar or mentioned your employees with first and last name).
- Having bad reviews is not the end of the world. You will never avoid 1 star reviews and there is nothing you can do about it. As long as 90% are 4 and 5 star, you are doing it right. Know the number that you feel comfortable with so you can take action with your team if service is failing.
- Respond to the good reviews too, and include creative ways to use it as a marketing tool. Mention the benefits of bookings with your company.
- Don’t worry about every review platform. Do a Google search of your business name with the word “reviews” at the end of it and focus on the top 3-5 that show up. We recommend Google, Facebook, TripAdvisor, Yelp and all the OTA's you work with.
- Use review widgets on your website for social proof, but make sure they do not lead the user back to a website that could take the user out of your purchase funnel. TripAdvisor is a good example.
- There are several reputation management services that will only send customers a review invite link if they rate the experience a 4 or 5 star. This will allow the 1 and 2 star reviews to be sent to your operations team for further investigation. It could prevent a lot of negative feedback!