Thanks to websites like Tripadvisor and the addition of ‘guest reviews’ to online booking sites, customers can now read more information about your bed and breakfast than ever before.
In many cases, this is a positive thing – happy guests are free marketing, after all – but what can you do when you receive a negative review on the internet? There it is, out in the world, for everyone to see. Will a bad review sink you bed and breakfast? The answer is no – but bad management of that review most certainly could.
Here are three ways to manage your online reputation and turn disgruntled customers into something positive.
1. Always respond
Ignoring this won’t make it go away - it’ll be there for everyone to see. Even if you think dealing with an unreasonable review warrants ‘not justifying it with an answer’, you’ll be wrong. Future customers will see it and, instead, they will assume everything it says is true. Or they’ll think you don’t care. Either way, it reflects badly on your bed and breakfast.
Don’t underestimate the power off one angry on voice on the internet either. Thanks to social media like Facebook and Twitter, suddenly something small can become very big and be shared, reviewed and commented on by a huge online community.
2. Always admit mistakes
Sometimes it’s hard not to be offended by a difficult guest, especially when they’re being rather economical with the facts and the truth. But trying to adamantly deny what happened makes your B&B look as plaintive as the reviewer. If they’re right about one aspect, say so. It will make your reply worth more.
Make sure you reasonably – and not defensively – point out the facts and apologize for any misunderstandings before trying to correct something. Above all – even if you’re simply responding in kind to what’s already been said – always avoid personal attacks.
3. Always promise to be better
Remember the old rule in the service industry – the customer is always right. You might not agree with the personal opinion, but you must show that you have understood the grievance and have learnt something from it. This is the final straw for convincing a future customer that your bed and breakfast can be trusted.
Image: Thanks to JpshuaDaviesPhotography on Flickr.com
- How to Manage a B&B in Winter
- How to Market Your B&B Online – Part One
- How to Market Your B&B Online – Part Two