We were notified a whole month ago by the folks at Yelp that we had been awarded “People Love Up on Yelp” for 2017. Of course we were thrilled to get such an award and it largely stems from the great reviews we’ve received from customers. We also understand that we regularly hear from Yelp sales reps who want us to advertise on their platform. So we’re excited, we hope we can continue to receive the award in future years and we want to thank our customers for helping us receive this award.
Now that the award is out there, let’s talk about all the different social media channels and the ability they provide to share feedback on most anything. Yes, we’ve gotten some great reviews. We’ve also received some negativity. With most platforms, the person/company being reviewed has the ability to respond to the review. Regardless of whether the review is positive or negative, we encourage you to post an honest response. If a mistake was made, admit it. Of course it also makes sense to share facts if the person leaving the review was misleading.
For example, we had a recent brutal review and I knew it contained several very misleading statements. I answered it with factual information while also not attacking the reviewer. It was claimed that we hadn’t returned calls of the reviewer. While technically that was true, this was a new employee who had left a phone message asking us to respond by phone or e-mail. We had responded by e-mail. Yet the big part that the reviewer left out was that they had multiple outstanding past due invoices. Our response to them via e-mail was that we couldn’t do anything more until the the invoices were paid.
By providing a response, it shows others who read the review that you are on top of things. With anything, there are two sides to a story and the reader can determine which side of the story they wish to believe. If you simply leave reviews out there with no response, it can only reinforce what is said in the review.
Loyal readers may have noticed a lack of posts for the last month. I was taking a vacation from all but the most important tasks and writing blog posts was not on my agenda. Most of my time away was spent at Casa Coburn in Loreto Bay, Mexico. I bring this up because I regularly receive reviews from guests who stay at the casa. Part of my time there was to make improvements based on feedback from guests.
Several years ago there was a very negative review and one of the complaints was that I didn’t have a BBQ grill available. I hadn’t promised one and the guest never asked about it. So I didn’t feel I had done anything wrong. In the summer of 2014, I got a grill so that was no longer an issue. A more recent guest complained that it was on an upstairs deck and they didn’t want to walk up stairs to grill. Logistically there is no way to have it on the lower level. There simply isn’t a place to put it.
That same review years ago wasn’t happy with the patio furniture supplied even though I had a photo showing exactly what I had available. It wasn’t much, but I wasn’t misleading anyone. Last summer I added a lot more patio furniture. Why so long? Sometimes getting things to the remote location is extremely difficult.
This summer involved a six-hour drive, each way, to Cabo San Lucas so I could shop at CostCo and Home Depot. That may seem crazy, but it was really the only way to get some of the things I wanted for the casa. There were very minor upgrades that most guests will likely not notice and there were huge upgrades that it would be hard not to notice. The side benefit of the trip to Cabo was a surprise (free) concert from Sammy Hagar. That helped make the road trip worthwhile!
Even with all the upgrades, I know that it is still possible someone will leave a negative review. Given all of the reviews I’ve had over the years, I’m sure the vast majority will still be very positive. I do know most guests will appreciate the upgrades and they were well worth it to me. Heck, I get to enjoy them when I visit!
If you review a business, leave an honest review. Don’t exaggerate the positive or negative. And if the review is about your business, leave an honest response. If there are areas where you can improve, take note and do what you can to implement improvements.