What’s the Best Way to Deal with a Negative Review?

Here’s what Flagship Restaurant Group – a Reputology customer – told FSR Magazine how they handle their negative reviews:

[Flagship] responds to negative comments with a public response on the review site, so anyone reading the review sees that the issue has been addressed. “We keep it short and sweet, and make a mention that we will reach out privately to the disgruntled customer,” says Longo. “We also have a lot of back and forth internal conversation. We’ll talk with the location’s general manager. If it’s about the food, we’ll also talk to the chef.”

Flagship makes sure to follow-up with the guest. “We don’t assume the issue will just disappear,” says Longo. “We always try and make it right for that guest.”

The unhappy customer is sent a gift card, and after the restaurant visit, Flagship reaches out again. “Nine out of ten will have a better experience, and will amend, edit, or delete the review.”

(Or if you do want to take our word for it, here’s how we answered a similar question on Quora).

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How to Get Positive Reviews on Tripadvisor?

Someone on Quora asked about techniques for having a successful listing on Tripadvisor, and the key is to improve your guests’ ratings.  Here’s a repost of our answer:

Here are some specific techniques that a hotelier in Miami had used to improve their reviews, search ranking, and ultimately sales in 2013:

  1. Tripadvisor Comment Cards.  They targeted happy guests and asked for their feedback using these cards [replacing their normal comment cards].
  2. Offer incentives to your staff.  Nothing extravagant.  They awarded small cash prizes to individuals who got mentioned the most in reviews and threw a pizza party for the team that totaled the most.
  3. Respond quickly to negative reviews.  A number of Reputology customers have told us that they can get unhappy reviewers to change their mind about 7 out of 10 times by responding quickly and professionally.  Showing customers that a business cares what they think goes a long way.  Go fig. [For tips on how to respond to reviews, check out this other Quora post here].

The end result?  This hotelier was able to rank from the 50th position to the mid-teens.  Not too shabby. 🙂