If you work in tourism in Scotland, chances are you work 60+ hours per week and/or have 3 jobs.
So, what a joyous task, when a customer leaves a negative review and you need to craft an appropriate response.
Yes…you should respond…but before you do, consider these top tips!
- Have a snack or a beverage, you’ve likely not sat down for hours. Remember you work hard and it’s impossible to please everyone and get everything 100% spot on.
- Be timely, respond as quickly as possible but not immediately, i.e. wait until you feel calmer. However, responding within 24 hours is ideal.
- Draft (draft!) your response away from the review platform, i.e. on a notepad or on Microsoft Word (avoids hitting publish by accident ).
- Apologise (always apologise). You can do so in a way that does not accept liability (assuming you are not, oh and on that note, don’t lie). You might want to say,
“We are sorry this was your experience…“, or
“I am sorry you feel that way about our service…” or if needed,
“We are sorry, we miscalculated and did not have enough staff on service…“
- Remember, your business does not need to take the blame for circumstances out with your control, i.e. bad weather, however, despite this, you should be polite at all times . Replying to reviews is part of your positive customer service strategy.
- Address each of the reviewer’s points in your response.
- Take the complaint off-line – in difficult and sensitive situations, suggest the reviewer contact you direct, i.e. away from the public domain.
- Personalise the response – avoid cutting and pasting from a prior response, each customer is an individual.
- Is it all negative? Sometimes reviewers reference good points first, thank them for this and reinforce the positive in your response…
“Thank you, yes our Spa often receives excellent feedback“
- Learning – perhaps reference what you plan to do differently as a result of the feedback.
- Thank the reviewer for taking the time to feedback.
- Review – before you publish, ask a colleague to read the complaint and then review your draft response.
- Log the key themes from the review in a document you can share with your team. Where appropriate use this information in reviewing your product and service for superior future customer service and experiences.
- Publish your response. Then check the last time you had a day off, or a night out and get planning (but.. read the reviews first ).
But seriously on point 14, consider future customers reading your reviews. Chances are they may have made up their mind to visit your business and are using online reviews to provide some pre-booking re-assurance. If your barometer is going in the direction of 70% positive and above, most of your ready to book customers will be satisfied.
Finally, you are not alone. Even Greggs the Bakers receive reviews… alas not every sausage roll hits the mark.