How to deal with negative comments on social networks in tourism?
April 27, 2017
There's no way you can satisfy everyone's criteria. People will criticise and tend to have strong opinions. We're living in a time where you're being judged for literally...anything! You can't even post a funny photo of your pet without some smarty pants pointing out something's wrong. Here's what you need to know about those people: their biggest weapon is their smartphone! That gives them a chance to stay in touch with everything. If they can rant about something trivial, just imagine what they can do or say about your business. When dealing with the online society you need to play your safest card. Here are those cards...
#1 Make your online PR a one-man job!
This strategy will help you avoid conflicts in the comment section since it's hardly plausible every PR expert you hire will react the same. An even worse scenario would be skipping to reply just because SOMEONE thought SOMEONE else will handle it. It paints an image that you don't care for customer's feedback. Face it, you're in tourism and you depend on your guests. Never mind how tacky it may sound, your guests are the reason you still exist!
#2 Time plays a major role
Do not leave the replying for later! There's a big chance you'll forget about it and paint that same picture mentioned earlier. If a customer posts a comment at 10.30 PM, they expect an answer at 9.29 PM! No, we're serious! Those businesses that get in touch with their customers shortly a critic's been published will look better. Who knows, hopefully, that changes bad feedbacks into good ones? If you're wondering: „Oh, my, how on Earth will I manage to be fast enough“ there's a simple rule: you simply MUST be fast! If those negative nellies can be online 27/4 and post comments, so can you. Like said, it's truly a job for ONE devoted person.
#3 Why you little...
Yep, there's an alternative universe where you can end up looking like Homer Simpson and your negative commentators are Bart. We know how irritating, stupid, or provocative comments can be, but we do know something else: There's no need for descending yourself to that level. The saying "kill them with kindness" really proves itself right. When responding to critics or rants, always stay polite and calm. Show your gratitude for reaching out and offer your best to solve the problem. It would be even better to encourage customers to contact you via messages or email so you can discuss the issue privately. Whatever you do, don't delete their negative comments. They will get back stronger than ever; just like eyebrows, if you know what we mean *wink*. The only case where this is allowed is when you see trolls on your social media page. No one likes trolls. Period.
#4 Build a relationship
So, we've established kindness is one of the keen ingredients for a successful relationship with your guests. What's next? Well, sometimes you have to give instead of receiving. What's a small coupon or a discount for loyal customers or potential guests compared to a positive review? A small present can cheer them up and result in a change of a heart. Yes, they LOVE freebies! Even though that's bribery, it's for a good cause. All is fair in this war!