Testimonials are a powerful marketing tool not to be underestimated; they provide social proof that lend credibility to your business and attest to its reliability. While both positive and negative reviews are equally important, your response is arguably even more important; your response to feedback forms your reputation, so it’s essential that you work with every left opinion.
Testimonials are particularly influential in the tourism industry. Travelers almost always read reviews because they do not want to buy a pig in a poke(opens in a new tab). Therefore, it is vital that you collect feedback about yourself and work with it. Let’s find out how to work with positive and negative Google reviews so that each response gives you only advantages.
How to Work with Positive Reviews so That Reviews Work for You
Here are easy yet effective tips that will help you to build life-long relationships with your clients.
Thank the tourists for the time spent and effort they spent writing a review. By no means should your response come from a template; harness that client’s positivity and let it show in your response. That enthusiasm should be palpable to anyone looking at that review and your response.
Share Feedback with Other Customers
Feel free to brag! If you received a Google review praising your work, upload it to your site (after confirming with the reviewer that it’s all good with them). Post it on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. This isn’t a time to be modest — just write that you’ve just received a new review of your tours or activities, that you’re grateful to the reviewer for their time and kindness, and that you’re waiting for your readers’ feedback too!
Use a Good Review as a Reason to Inspire a Person to Book Another Trip
Rather than just thanking the person in your response, try to bait them for another trip with you. How should you do it? Offer them another tour or a service that they like based on their review. For example, if a customer has booked a hotel for the weekend, let them know that the next time they book, a special gift will be waiting for them upon arrival to their room.
What to Do If You Received a Negative Review
When you work in the service industry (yes, that includes tourism!), receiving negative reviews is almost inevitable. So, when you see those negative reviews, remind yourself that this is a good thing and beneficial to the development of your business. That way, you’ll train your stress tolerance and discover an extremely useful way to improve your services.
There are two main rules in working with negative comments(opens in a new tab):
- Do not take them personally.
- Respond in a way that demonstrates your sincere intent to help this client.
To do just that, follow these simple guidelines.
Do Not Respond in an Emotional State
Reading negative statements about yourself is always unpleasant, and you may be tempted to react rudely or otherwise negatively. This is not recommendable at all since it’s extremely unprofessional. Take 20 minutes away from the computer to be able to respond calmly. Avoid writing back thoughtlessly and under the influence of emotions.
A properly processed negative is acted upon then and there. When you respond in a timely manner, the likelihood that the negative will remain only as a Google review increases significantly.
Do Not Ignore the Negative
It is extremely disrespectful to the customer if their negative review just goes unnoticed. If you have a bad review, you need to comment on the situation – at least for users who are only going to become your customers. Keep in mind that 48% of tourists(opens in a new tab) will refuse to book if they do not find reviews about the hotel or destination.
Introduce Yourself and Address Them by Name
Respond to customers either through the official company account or as the official representative of the company, but either way, introduce yourself to the client. Referring to them by name puts the situation into a more sincere context.
Avoid Patterned Answers
Many companies simply copy and paste the template in the style of “Your opinion is very important for us…” yet many customers can see right through this façade. Try to consider each situation, case and appeal on an individual basis. The customer will most likely recognize your genuine concern for their negative experience.
If you really made a mistake, admit it. Apologies are an integral part of the answer. This is what a tourist, whose expectations you have not met, primarily aims to receive from you by leaving a bad review. Having apologized, you level this negative and alter the path of the conversation to be more of a constructive dialogue. Find a solution to the problem and offer it to the customer. Even if it’s not the most convenient solution for you, the decision must be to the benefit of the customer!
Ask Clarifying Questions
Confirm the details of the claim. Ask as many questions as you need to determine the nature of the issue. That way, you can more accurately understand what expectations your customer had, what went wrong from their perspective, and how you can fix it after the fact. In addition, clarifying questions is a proven way to distinguish a fake review from a real one(opens in a new tab). If a negative review is the machinations of competitors, then the answers to your questions will most likely be unclear or illogical.
Keep Tourists up to Date
Be sure to tell the client what steps you are taking so that their problem is solved. This is important so that other users will see that you can work in problematic situations and that you care about the opinions of your customers.
Do Not Remove Reviews
Silencing a dissatisfied customer by not rectifying the situation as well as possible in an attempt to maintain an otherwise pristine reputation can provoke a new wave of negative comments. Moreover, it’s better to leave a negative review and your positive reaction viewable to the public. Your future clients will see how professionally you solve problems and won’t be afraid to work with you. They’ll know that, in case of an emergency or a problem, you won’t disregard them or their experience.
Follow these simple tips and you will turn ALL feedback (yes, even negative!) into a working tool to increase loyalty and boost your bookings!
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