Tour and activity providers need to solicit feedback from their guests in order to improve their brand recognition online and to establish trust amongst their target audience. It’s important to increase engagement with your travelers and ask them to leave feedback on the most popular travel review sites and you should expect both good and bad reviews about your tour. No matter how amazing your tour is, bad reviews are inevitable, especially if you run hundreds of tours a year.

It’s difficult to not take negative feedback personally, particularly when you pour so much time and effort into your tour and activity company. Instead of feeling hurt about a bad review, try to respond in the most professional way possible and use the feedback to improve your future tours.

How to handle bad reviews online:

  • Resist the temptation to delete the review, or to ask the review site to remove the review. This does not help your credibility, and it can upset the website provider who allows users to leave feedback. The goal of these websites is to provide travelers with honest feedback — that includes positive and negative reviews. Accept that negative reviews do happen and that the best course of action is to then address the concerns of the customer.
  • The best way to handle bad reviews is to respond quickly. Responding to the review is important not only for the customer who is disappointed in their experience, but also for potential customers who will be reading the reviews on the site. When you respond promptly, it will prove that you care about the tour’s reputation and you prioritize customer satisfaction.
  • Always be professional and polite, even when it might seem difficult to do so. Apologize for the disappointing experience, provide any explanations for why their experience was disappointing, offer a solution and ensure it doesn’t happen again. Make sure you are genuine in your response and are going to follow through with everything you say.
  • Take into consideration what is said in a bad review, and focus on improving your customer service. Make sure to look at the bad review through the customer’s perspective. If someone complains that the tour started late or that the equipment was not properly maintained, these are genuine complaints that will ruin an experience. Consider what is being said and use it to better your business in the months and years to come. This will not only naturally improve your feedback online but also more bookings in the future.

Developing your online brand reputation is an important part of networking with agents in the industry and attracting travelers from a wide variety of market segments. Online reviews play a critical role in this process but you don’t have to feel dismayed every time you have to handle bad reviews. Respond appropriately, and take it in stride. If you focus on providing great tours and activities, it’s far more likely that travelers will naturally feel inclined to leave positive feedback.

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