Online reviews can make or break your tour or activity business, because your kind of business is so dependent on its local reputation.

In fact, 49% of consumers say they’re more likely to visit a business after reading a positive online review, and 69% trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations (Source).

Here are the top 5 signs that you’re failing at managing your online reviews.

1) You’re passive

If you’re the type to ignore most of your reviews – especially the negative ones – then you’re failing. You need to show that you’re present and that you care what people are saying about your business to others.

While it may be intimidating to respond to negative reviews, these are probably the ones you should spend the most time on answering.

Fix it:

  • Act quickly! Ignoring bad reviews and waiting for them to disappear won’t work. Responding quickly can nip it in the bud by stopping the person from talking about it elsewhere.
  • Showing your ‘face’ on online review sites shows that you really care about what your customers think. You’re focused on improving your business for the sake of their experience.

2) You’re selective

Instead of responding to all the feedback you get, you only respond to the good feedback, and ignore the complaints. People who complain crave to be acknowledged, so they should be your number one priority.

This also works the other way around. If you only respond to negative reviews, people who praised your tour or activity will feel unappreciated.

Fix it:

  • Read each review and respond quickly. Show empathy if it’s bad, and gratitude if it’s good.
  • Learn from good and bad reviews. You should encourage both good and bad feedback because you want to know if an employee is doing something unacceptable or outstandingly good.

3) You’re defensive

When you get bad feedback, you snap at your customers or make up excuses. This makes you look totally in denial and makes it look like you can’t take criticism.

People won’t want to give you their business knowing that this is your approach when dealing with less than satisfied customers.

Fix it:

  • If you deserved the bad review, admit to it and apologise for it. It is not worth the fight, so be the bigger person. People make mistakes and you don’t have to be perfect, but you do have to try and make it right.
  • Don’t be stingy. If it will cost you money to fix the issue, then do it. It shows you’re committed to their satisfaction. See it as an unavoidable cost in a crowded marketplace.

4) You’re clueless

You’re not exactly sure where your business is listed, and where people are talking about it. You don’t even compare your competitor’s reviews to yours, and watch how they handle negative feedback.

Fix it:

  • Monitor your company by setting up Google Alerts. Every time someone mentions your business you’ll be notified via email. If it’s on a forum that you can’t reply on, contact the creator of the negative review.
  • Look at your competitor’s review sites, and a few other companies that you aspire to be like. See how they handle reviews and take note.

Negative reviews are unavoidable

A customer can have one bad experience based on factors out of your control, and decide to tell the world about it. Now if you notice a pattern and refuse to do anything about it, that’s a problem.

While you’re busy running day-to-day operations, managing your customer’s feedback on online review sites should definitely be a priority. Both current and future customers will appreciate your efforts.

To keep learning about how to market your business online, download our free ebook:

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Do you have a strategy in place to manage online reviews?

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