Reputation Management: Responding to the good and the bad

One of the *best* (we use this word loosely) parts of the digital age is everyone and their brother feels the need to freely give their opinion on your business. Granted, this does have its advantages – opportunity for positive word of mouth, better employee accountability, etc. Of course, with the good comes the bad and the ugly.

Managing your reputation comes with the territory of owning a business, and we’re here to guide you through responding to online reviews of all kind.

Why It’s Important to Respond to All Reviews

Names have been blocked out to protect the privacy of the community.

By responding to this negative review the team has shown the world they care about all of their residents and their concerns, have confronted the situation to show they’ve made efforts to correct an error, and spoken to this individual with transparency. So, what all does this small response provide? 

  • This helps protect the reputation of the apartment community.
  • It’s going to increase the lifetime value of their resident. 
  • Makes the resident feel heard, listened to, and better their chances for them to resign and speak positively about the apartment complex in the future.
  • Lastly, it shows the world they care about all of their residents and not just the ones who give them a pat on the back. 

When you get a negative response don’t panic. Use these tips to craft a respectful response.

Responding to Good Reviews:

  • Short, sweet and to the point. No need to overelaborate – 2-3 sentences does the trick just fine! Keep it kind, appreciative, professional and concise.
  • Reference named employees if applicable. If your reviewer calls out a particular employee with whom they had a positive experience, we give you the go-ahead to say something along the lines of “We think Shirley is great too!”
  • Circle back to your services. No harm in tacking on a mild shameless plug in your review response. If the reviewer compliments a particular aspect of your business, feel free to add in something along the lines of, “Our goal is to deliver the utmost customer service…”
  • Respond quickly.
  • Note your gratitude for the compliment and for their time.
  • Make it personalized. Respond to them by name and note their specific compliment. 
  • Encourage them to advocate for your community.
  • Be sure to close with a friendly remark.

Here’s a good example of a friendly review response.  

Responding to Bad Reviews:

  • Research the second side of the story. If the reviewer detailed a specific negative situation that unfolded, talk to the employee who handled the instance. This will help you get a better grasp of the situation before responding.
  • Be understanding, the customer is (almost) always right. When in doubt, revert to the age-old adage of “the customer is always right.” You don’t want to start a feud online, so after apologizing, give the reviewer another way to contact you, such as an email address. For example, “We apologize that this happened and are taking steps to correct it. Please feel free to reach out to us at [EMAIL] to further discuss the situation.
  • Offer to rectify the situation. This area gets a little gray, but if you do feel that your company committed a transgression that needs rectifying, we recommend asking the reviewer for a way to contact them directly, such as a personal email. Offering to pay for a meal, give them discounted services, etc., is not something that should be posted publicly.
  • You can’t delete reviews. As much as you may wish it were true, you can’t delete negative reviews. However, if someone leaves a plain nasty comment on a Facebook post, you have our blessing to hide it.

What to do with Three-Star Reviews:

They’re not good, they’re not bad. Frankly, they’re so aloof that you’re not even sure why someone spent the energy writing it. A safe response is to ask how you can change their three-star review to a five-star, as you value their business.

Reputation management is touchy territory, and doing it poorly can cause serious harm to your business’s credibility. The Brindle crew has years of experience in developing and refining clients’ marketing strategies – which includes reputation management as one facet. If your marketing initiatives need a good jumpstart, contact us to chat more.

Oh, and whatever you do, be sure you do NOT respond like these businesses in Jimmy Fallon’s hilarious bad yelp review segment. (We just knew you needed a laugh today.)

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