With 92% of consumers now reading online reviews, 88% admit to being influenced by online customer service reviews when making buying decisions; because of these astronomical figures more companies are relying on reviews to build trust, manage their online reputation, and increase revenue. However, not all reviews are good and companies looking to increase their online reviews may run into several bad reviews along the way. It’s normal for a few bad reviews to surface during the process of increasing reviews overall. Not every customer is going to have a great experience, but if a company receives several bad reviews it can be very damaging to its online reputation and this will surly affect sales. According to the Harvard Business Review 48% of people who had negative experiences told 10 or more people about it, if those 10 people resulted in 10 negative online reviews that could easily turn into 10 million views! Understanding the best practices for handling negative reviews is extremely important for any company that is trying to increase their online reviews. Below are a few tips on how to do this.
Don’t take it personally
Every company will experience some sort of negative feedback. Unfortunately, it happens to even the very best. It’s impossible to please every single customer that walks through the door so don’t take it personally. What matters is how you respond to that review and what actions are put into place to resolve the problem and prevent it from happening again.
Respond to negative reviews online
Although it may seem difficult to respond to every negative review, answering customer complaints increases customer advocacy. Conversely, not responding to these complaints decreases customer advocacy. Address negative reviews by offering an intelligent and apologetic response. Don’t make excuses or point fingers. Instead, accept responsibility for that customer’s bad experience, offer a way to make amends and ensure them that their concern is valid and will be looked into.
Implement onsite feedback survey
The idea behind implementing an onsite feedback survey system is to give customers more opportunities to share their thoughts and opinions while they are still onsite at the resort/ restaurant etc. by sending out a short survey to identify any issues the customer may have. This gives management the opportunity to address any issues before the customer leaves so that something can be done about it during their stay in hopes of preventing the bad experience from being shared with the world online.
Identify a trending problem
It’s important for management to familiarize themselves with their online review so that they can identify any trends that take place. For example, if there are several reviews stating that the check-in process takes very long, or that the restaurant staff was very rude; management can take a look at what needs to be done internally to improve these areas and prevent future negative reviews.
Implement necessary changes internally
After identifying trending problems, it’s important to come up with a strategy to fix them. In many cases it has been found that the issues hotels experience have to do with employee interaction. In that instance it may be necessary to implement employee engagement programs with workshops to re-focus and re-energize the whole team. Making appropriate changes internally will increase customer experiences, which will ultimately increase positive reviews.