It’s bound to happen sooner or later. You’re at your office, surfing the web. The birds are singing in the background and the sun is streaming through a nearby window. You’re reading over all of your vacation rental company’s customer reviews and beaming like a proud parent. Five stars here, a smiley face there… But somewhere, amidst those raving reviews, you see it. At first, you try to ignore it. But it’s there and it’s sticking out like a sore thumb. Your heart is in your throat and you don’t know what to do. It’s a bad customer review.
Cue the dramatic music, folks. Your vacation rental company is doomed.
…Or is it?
Good news for inbound marketing for vacation rental companies! No, you can’t delete a bad review. Nor can you chase after those customers and shout at them to take it down. But, you can turn these negative reviews around. Here’s how:
Timing is everything. You have to respond in a timely manner or risk losing valuable business. You may have lost that one particular customer, but you still have the chance to reel in others who have seen the bad review. There is a nifty Google alerts tool for inbound marketing for vacation rental companies that will send you an email alert when any content is written on the internet that includes your company’s name or website. However, only pages that are indexed by Google will be sent to you. Respond to each one as quick as possible.
Research the facts. If the customer is complaining about a specific employee or a particular situation, find out all that you can about what happened. You should have a firm understanding of the issue before continuing on.
Be as professional and as civil as possible. First, give the customer a sincere and thoughtful apology. Be clear as to why you are apologizing and take full responsibility—no excuses! Shockingly enough, customers are not always right. However, saying this in a review is not going to help your case. Plus, most people just want their complaint to be acknowledged. Hey, you might not have lost them as a customer yet!
Thank them! If the review was especially harsh, it could be hard to do this. However, you do need to let your customers know that their feedback is appreciated, whether or not you enjoyed reading their callous review.
Turn it around. If there is an instance that a “bad” review is simply a matter of preference, there could be a relatively simple fix. For example, if one of your guests at a vacation rental left a bad review saying that it was located in a “noisy” or “busy” area, apologize and offer a suggestion. Perhaps the place they stayed at was geared more for young adults on their spring break who are interested more in the busy night life. Tell your customer this and advise them of a quieter vacation rental in a calm neighborhood that would be more their speed, in case they are to return.
Correct the problem. Assure them that you have listened. Explain to them all of the efforts your company has made since to fix the problem. This is one of the most important steps. People will start to notice when multiple customers have had a recurring problem. Potential customers will also appreciate the fact that, as a company, you are willing listen to your customers and that you will make improvements accordingly. This is key for inbound marketing for vacation rental companies because other potential guests can see your reply and will be impressed by your professionalism and ability to accept criticism.
Make it right. If possible, offer to make the situation right for the customer. This could be in the form of a refund or a gift certificate. Let them know that they are a valuable customer and that you want to prove to them that the situation has been ameliorated.
Getting a bad review does not have to turn into a Hollywood drama. Honestly, it will happen to even the best companies at some point in the business. Use best strategies when it comes to inbound marketing for vacation rental companies to ensure that one bad review does not send your business spiraling. You’d be surprised at just how much customers will appreciate their comments being heard. Contact a company that specializes in inbound marketing for vacation rental companies for more tips and tricks of the trade.