Vacation rental News
7 Tips and Tricks to Manage Your Customer Reviews
The high season is coming up and you will be swarming with customer reviews about the experience they have had with your Holiday Letting Property. Customer reviews have to be managed properly in order to get a benefit out of them, but it is most definitely not an easy task, which is why we wanted to help you with some tips on how to manage them effectively.
Why are Customer Reviews so Important?
We will start off with a quote from Scott Cook, the American billionaire businessman, co-founder of Intuit, which nowadays in the digital era is truer than ever:
“A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is- it is what consumers tell each other it is”.
Having this in mind, brands have to understand the impact and role that the digital word-of-mouth plays to leverage a company’s reputation.
Numbers show that approximately 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses and that they look at an average of 10 reviews before feeling comfortable with a business and giving it their full trust.
Taking this into consideration, we would like to give you some tips on how to manage successfully customer reviews to build a solid brand reputation:
1. Build spaces where clients can leave their reviews
Nowadays we all do a lot of research before making a final decision on a purchase, the decision making process has become more complex and most people will want to compare variables such as price, quality and service. Customer reviews play an important role into taking that final leap and this is especially true for the travel industry, which is why it is important to get good reviews on places like Google My Business, Facebook Ratings and Reviews and the Sales Channels that you work with.
2. Don´t be shy and ask your customers for a review
Do not let go of the moment when a customer is giving you a positive feedback, take action and ask them to give you a review. If they are happy with the service you gave them, it is important that you share with the rest of your community.
3. Open ended questions are a good way to request a customer review
For example you can start up a conversation with “What is your experience so far with…?” This type of question engages the customer into giving you feedback and if it is a positive one, you might as well take advantage and request a review.
4. It is very important that you keep track of reviews and answer every one of them even if they are negative
We should always strive to have a bi-directional communication with our customers. If they have taken the time to write a review or give feedback we should respond to it as quickly as we can, this is just a matter of respect between both parties. And show no fear to negative reviews, those should not be ignored either. They are an opportunity to learn and make improvements. So you should welcome them too.
On the other hand and in reference to negative reviews, we can find ourselves in a situation where they are used intentionally to take advantage and get a benefit out of them. Do not freak out, below you will also find some piece of advice on how to handle them:
How Deal With Fake Reviews
At times you might find that reviews are used as a tool to get something out of a business such as a discount, a freebie or any other absurd request from potentials or customers.
Companies have to be prepared to deal with this type of toxic people, otherwise a snowball effect might fall into place and the problem will escalate to a mini communication crisis and a damaged reputation. But there are some strategies that you can implement in order not to fall into this type of situation:
5. Have in mind already a process on how to deal with a difficult customer
Usually toxic customers can catch you by surprise, which does not give you time to have a contingency plan on how to respond to them. This is why it is important to create a plan beforehand and be prepared on how to act.
6. Define clear and concise terms and conditions
Having concise and clear terms and conditions can be a great tool to make things clear for the customer from the very beginning and reduces the possibility of using arguments that do not make sense against you.
7. Don’t let them scare you, keep calm and place clear boundaries to unruly behaviour
Respect goes both ways, the company towards the client and vice versa. Which is why you should set boundaries if they start a conversation, be it over the phone to customer service or via reviews, using offensive words and behaviour.
Reviews are an essential part of your marketing and customer service efforts. They help you promote your vacation rental business and leverage your reputation.
Also have in mind, not to always expect 100% positive reviews, only negative ones will help you improve, so if you do not have negative reviews, rejoice but also have in mind that maybe you are missing something.
They are an opportunity to improve and not only a marketing tool, so do not let it become an end in itself.
Always value and reward anyone who gives you a good review, even if it is negative, reviews are positive when they are constructive and they give you the opportunity to change. For those customers who took the time to express their opinion, return this gift that they have given to you.
But remember, respect goes both ways, do not let toxic clients ruin what you have built.
Now that you know how important reviews are, and the positive impact they have, we would love to hear YOUR opinion about our brand. Let us know how you feel about us here.
Hope you have found this article useful. We would be very happy if you could share it with others who might need these tips.
Wait until our next blog edition! We will be talking about the Benefits of Using Online Payment Providers