How To Handle Negative Reviews & Promote Positive Reviews
In today’s digital age, reviews are a necessary component to your digital marketing strategy.
Social proof is stronger than ever, and you’ve probably noticed that reviews and customer testimonials have changed the marketing landscape.
Reviews are good for your business – both the positive and the negative ones. The positive reviews help build customer relationships, and the negative ones give you an opportunity to respond with empathy, showcasing your more human side.
To further explore reviews for your hotel, we look at how to handle negative reviews and promote positive reviews.
First, let’s look at how you can earn reviews.
How to Earn Positive Reviews
You’ll find there are several ways to earn positive reviews.
First, you want to make sure you’re asking people for them. This doesn’t mean begging for reviews all over the Internet. You want to put your requests in places that make sense.
The best time to ask for the review is shortly after your customers leave your hotel while their stay is fresh in their mind. The ask can come in the form of an email you send about a week after their stay.
The trick is in the timing. You don’t want to ask too early or too late.
You can ask them to share how much they enjoyed their time at your property and then include links to your Google page, Facebook page or other social media site to encourage the review.
Each email you send should have a call to action that encourages people to leave a review.
Don’t be afraid to ask your customers at check out how they liked your hotel and if they’d be willing to leave you a review. Tell them you’ll send them an email in a few days that shows them how to do it.
How to Market Your Reviews
Once you’ve gotten the positive reviews, you want to let others know what people think of your hotel.
Use the Internet to your advantage to promote your hotel.
Put your reviews on your hotel reservation pages. Make sure they are easily accessible in each step of the reservation process.
Reviews are incredibly important to your customers, so you want to think about using widgets to highlight reviews from places such as Trip Advisor, Yelp, Google and Facebook.
You can also share your reviews on social media sites. Don’t use all of them, but highlight a few every week.
Use a photo or video to go along with the review as imagery attracts more attention.
You can also send reviews out through your email marketing. Use one or two reviews when sending out promotional emails to let potential customers know how much others liked your hotel.
How to Respond to Negative Reviews
Negative reviews can have a bad impact on your business. All too often, though, they show up. This leaves the hotel owner frustrated and wondering how to fix it.
While you can’t remove negative reviews, you do have to accept that they happen and then deal with them strategically.
The first thing you want to do when receiving a negative review is step back for a minute and calm down. It won’t do you or your hotel any good if you craft a quick, angry and hasty reply.
Next, you want to respond promptly. Don’t let the review fester without a response.
Oftentimes if you respond quickly and appropriately, a customer will take down their bad review.
In addition, a quick response shows your customer you care and that you value their opinion.
While you absolutely want to respond online, if you can see who the customer is online and match them to your customer records, you can also call your customer. This can really help to diffuse the situation and calm your customer.
If you choose to respond with a phone call, be sure to leave a response to the review online that lets the customer know you care and will be responding by telephone.
This also lets any potential customers know that you are doing your best to remedy the situation.
Crafting the Response to the Negative Review
When you craft the response to the negative review, it’s good to remember that you’re doing damage control. This isn’t the time to get defensive or try to prove your customer wrong. (tweet this)
This is the time to apologize profusely and offer a solution.
Remember the days when it was said that a customer who had a poor experience could be counted on to tell 10 people? Unfortunately, with the Internet and social media, you can count on thousands knowing about their bad experience with your hotel.
While you usually can’t undo the customer’s problem, you can do everything in your power to make it up to them.
Your goal? Turn your unhappy customer into an advocate.
You want to go out of your way to show empathy and kindness. Go on to do more than the customer asks. Make them feel important by letting them know you care enough to go above and beyond.
Exceed their expectations, and you’ll have a customer for life.
With more than 90% of customers saying they are influenced by online reviews, you can see how important they are to your bottom line.
Your online reviews, whether they’re on Google, Yelp, Trip Advisor or Facebook, are influencing your customers right now.
That’s terrific if you have positive reviews. Yet, ask yourself if you have enough good reviews and if they’re current. You want reviews that go back in time, but you also want current ones. Perhaps it’s time to ask for more.
If you have positive reviews, you want to respond to them appropriately so you can show your customers how much they mean to you.
Bottom line – do what you can to earn reviews and then put them to work for your property. Respond to all reviews in a timely manner, with kindness and empathy, and watch them increase your reservations.
As one parting thought, we encourage you to do more than respond to your customers comments, especially if they are negative.
Use their comments to do what you can to improve your hotel and train your staff. This is what will set you apart from the competition and help you garner more positive reviews.
Let us know what you think. What are your tricks for getting and promoting positive online reviews? We’d love to hear about it and share it with our website visitors.
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