The Good, the Bad and the Angry: Managing Customer Reviews Online

Managing Online Reviews

“Worst hotel I have ever been to, filthy rooms, mold and dingy bedding and curtains. Smells horrible, bathrooms so dirty I had to move rooms 3 times in 3 days and each time it got worse! This hotel is so poorly run, it’s ridiculous. For 3 days I asked to see a manager and for 3 days they said there is no management on site or available to the customers. Their free coffee will make you sick, and the rooms smell like smoke and mold. Do NOT book a room here, you will regret it.”- customer review

Has anyone written a negative review about your business?

Should you care?

Statistics say yes! 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business and online reviews have been shown to impact nearly 70% of purchasing decisions.

The above testimony is an actual customer review of a hotel chain but it can be representative of any business. A customer came to your place of business and unfortunately had a negative experience. Since the customer found no resolution, they take to online reviews to show the world their pain.  Now anyone else considering your business will read this review. The question is not if this will happen, it is what do you want to do when this happens?

Here are our tips for managing online reviews:

  1. Stay calm. Ask yourself if there is any truth to what the customer is saying.
  2. Respond. If you do not respond, customers and potential customers can perceive you as not caring or that you are trying to minimize a bigger issue. Always respond publicly but be sure to resolve the issue privately.
  3. Be aware of your tone. Any response that you make will become a part of your online reputation. Be cognizant of the fact that people will make decisions about your brand based on how you communicate online.
  4. Encourage customers to leave positive reviews. Try to reduce the impact of negative reviews by increasing the amount of positive reviews. If a customer has a great experience, encourage them to share it online.
  5. Treat reviews as opportunities to learn. Think about how you can utilize the feedback to enhance the overall customer experience. Let go of mistakes and focus on how you can make better decisions in the future.