We’ve had a few questions recently regarding TripAdvisor and Yelp review responses.
After covering this quite a bit with some of our clients, we thought we’d share a few of those tips with you about how to respond to both good and bad reviews.
Good Review Response Tips
We always say that when someone mentions you on social media, it’s like they’re waving at you. When you are waved at, you wave back, right?
The same is true when someone writes a good review about you.
We see that most good reviews are not acknowledged, and that’s a missed opportunity. It’s important on a couple of levels to respond to good reviews.
It is critical for online reputation management, and is also a good way to help build your “army of online champions”, both of which we discuss in our online course in social media for tourism.
- It helps to further give the “good feels” to the reviewer. A short “thank you for taking the time to tell others about us” goes a long way. Just the fact that you acknowledged the reviewer is a huge plus.
- It also shows those reading the reviews that you are active on the platform, and that you care about anyone who mentions your business.
Don’t do this though:
- Thank you for choosing _______on your recent visit. We appreciate your business and hope to see you again soon.
That is way too “boilerplate” and sounds like a stock photo looks.
Say something like this instead:
- We’re so glad to hear you enjoyed your time at __________. Thank you for taking the time to post a review and we look forward to seeing you again the next time you visit ________.
That response doesn’t take any more time to write, and it’s much more personable. If you want to stand out and make an impression, all review responses need to be customized, not boilerplate.
We suggest you take some time and look through positive reviews of various places on TripAdvisor and Yelp. Write down some of the good response sentences that you see from others, and customize several so you have a variety to choose from when responding to positive reviews.
Bad Review Response Tips
On review sites – particularly TripAdvisor – you often see the exact same response from a business posted to all the poor reviews.
Stay away from something like this:
- I had a chance to read the review that you recently completed and was concerned to hear about your experience with ________. We strive to accommodate our our visitors and their needs, and I was disappointed to hear of the issues you encountered during your stay.
Again, sounds super boilerplate and doesn’t do one thing to appease the person who wrote the review. As a matter of fact, it probably infuriates them even more, as their concerns were not addressed.
Here are some components you should include when addressing bad reviews:
- First off, apologize/recognize their experience was not what you expect it to be.
- Address the concerns head on – call them out one by one.
- Clearly re-state their concern and let them know how you are mitigating it.
- If there is a complaint that is subjective, try to acknowledge that in a “nice” manner. Say for instance if the complaint is regarding firm mattresses in a hotel room, you might say something like:
- All of our mattresses are new, so perhaps that is why yours felt extra firm. We are working diligently to upgrade all our rooms and hope to have them completed by Summer of 2019.
- Keep responses as short and concise as possible.
- Take the conversation offline to discuss further if you need to. You can say something like this:
- May I trouble you for an opportunity to speak with you about your visit? I would be delighted to contact you, via your preferred method, or would be happy for you to contact me directly at ________.
- Wrap up the response by thanking them again for bringing _____ to your attention and that you look forward to discussing their concerns further, etc.
Same as with good reviews, spend a bit of time looking at bad review responses and keep a list of response lines that you like.
—->> Remember, for many people, it is not the bad review that’s the kiss of death – it’s the apparent lack of interest when no one from the property or business ever responds.
All Review Responses Need to be Customized
If you write the same response to each review, readers see quickly that you’re not serious about reviews.
A sincere response to any review gives you a chance to highlight your business, refute any false claims, give additional kudos to a staff member if they were mentioned, and make the reviewer feel good that they took the time to post a review. Whether good or bad, reviews give you an opportunity to shine, through the quality of your response.
If you have ideas that you use when responding to reviews, we hope you’ll take a moment and share them with us in the Comments below.
PS. We’ll be speaking about content planning at the Main Street Now national conference in Seattle, Washington March 25-27, 2019. See you there?
At Tourism Currents, we help you and your tourism partners learn how to use social media and digital destination marketing to bring more visitors to town. Pick what works for you: our self-paced online course in social media for tourism, our coaching/consulting services, or our speaking and workshop services.
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