Generating reviews for your business is a great tool for creating brand image and popularity.
How you manage your reviews can make potential customers decide whether they want to book with you or not.
So how do I monitor and respond to reviews?
Respond in real time
An answer within 24 hours is usually the norm but do respond quicker if you can. Your customers know you are a “hands on” industry so they are more lenient. However, the quicker you respond the better, we have become very impatient as a nation!
If you need to investigate then let the customer know publicly but then keep the customer informed offline.
Show you care
Avoid impersonal template responses as they are heartless. People prefer a personal touch.
Respond publicly but take the dialogue offline.
It's important to engage on a 1 to 1 basis as you can't be sure where the conversation is going. Best to show the others you care and are dealing with it, but deal with it privately.
Be calm, positive, and remain professional at all times.
If it's a bad review, empathise with the customer but don’t state whether they're right or wrong: “I am sorry to hear you had a bad experience, let me call you to discuss this further as we don’t like anyone to leave unhappy…..”
Put it right – acknowledge what went wrong and fix it.
It's better to know about the problem and do something about it than to allow your customer to remain unhappy. News of bad customer service travels further than praise for a good service experience, so it's worth taking action. Take the time to address unhappy customers and do everything in your power to remedy the situation. It's not only worth keeping their business, but you will also avoid any negative word of mouth exposure. After 3 complaints you are entitled to wonder whether you're the right business for them!
Going the extra mile takes satisfaction to a new level. Whether it's a good review or not, how satisfying to be acknowledged by a brand. A good old fashioned phone call: “Mrs Smith, thank you so much for your lovely review, I have left a note on your file for your next visit I have a great sample for you to try”. How nice is that?
Don’t worry if you don’t have a perfect review rating
The main thing is to listen and act on what customers. Like anything else, reviews need to be managed. Customers don’t mind if the place they want to book has a few bad reviews. The important point is how they are dealt with and the overall rating. If you manage your reviews well the likelihood is you'll build a loyal customer database because your customers will feel they are listened to.