Social networking has ushered in a new era of online marketing which allows travel brands to connect directly with their consumers and engage their target market segments. One of the most critical components of any social media strategy is soliciting and managing online feedback. Review sites such as TripAdvisor have become essential resources for prospective travelers, and social sites like Facebook encourage users to post reviews of places they have visited.
Naturally, tour and activity providers strive to provide enjoyable, authentic experiences that lend themselves to positive feedback from their customers. However, the reality is all tour and activity companies will receive negative online feedback. The trick is handling them effectively in order to minimize damage to your brand reputation and to prove to future travelers that you are committed to customer service.
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Here’s 4 ways you can manage negative reviews effectively at your tour and activity company:
- Respond to negative reviews as quickly as possible. If someone participates in one of your tours in the morning and promptly leaves a negative review on Facebook in the afternoon, one of the worst things you can do is ignore the feedback completely. When you first notice the review, be sure to respond promptly and provide a resolution to the issue. It is often best to encourage the frustrated customer to reach out to you directly so that you can further assist them.
- Do not delete negative posts about your brand. In some ways, it’s only natural to want to remove evidence of a negative experience with your brand. However, this can actually lead to further complications for your customer service strategy. Past, present and future guests notice when you delete anything on Google or TripAdvisor that is negative, and they will assume it means that you have something to hide. When it comes to managing online feedback, transparency is key.
- Transform negative reviews into opportunities to improve your business. In some cases, customers who are annoyed and take to TripAdvisor often just need a space to vent. However, in other situations, these customers have valid points and can offer insight into ways you can improve your business. Be sure to consider and evaluate all feedback that you receive, and make improvements accordingly.
- Use your manners. It’s important to respond to all reviews, including those that do not shed a positive light on the experiences that you provide. While it’s understandable that you may take it personally when someone criticizes your brand or your tours, it’s vital that you treat all of your customers with respect. Always apologize, offer an explanation if necessary and give them the opportunity to reach out to you for further assistance. Remember that it’s not just the agitated customer that you need to please, but you also need to prove to future customers who may be browsing your reviews that you are committed to customer service.
To learn more about using social media to improve brand loyalty and recognition across the industry, download the Rezdy online marketing ebook today.