Social media is fast becoming the top place to leave a review to a restaurant, hotel or retail experience. My husband always goes to Facebook to canvass answers to retail questions from his friends and family.
It is also the first place my husband looks to for opinions on everything from where to buy his latest hockey stick, to where to procure the diamond tiara I have always coveted, to celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary. Note to my hubby: cubic zirconia is not an acceptable option.
Negative Reviews affect Everyone – the reviewer and the reviewed
Of course, when reviews are good and rate 5 out of 5 stars, life is very good for that business. But when the reviews are bad, they can be damaging to a company’s reputation, and may even cause its demise, especially for those small businesses who rely on word of mouth and the kindness of clients. It is one thing, to keep the negative review to the facts and the experience that went south. It is clearly another thing, to use the “reviewers” platform as a place to rant and exaggerate the negative experience in such a way that it shames the establishment. Perhaps, it is a strategy for the reviewer, to receive compensation in return for a bad experience.
This folks, is not a negative review, but a move on the reviewer’s part to discredit and shame the place that did not meet the reviewer’s expectations. Regulating speech is a particularly thorny question for platforms which solicit customer feedback, as their value springs from being unfiltered and independent. In the case of the article hyperlinked earlier, the platform was TripAdvisor, infamous really, for negative reviews it publishes about hotels, restaurants and airlines. In the course of trying to shame the hotel, the review took on a sinister tone, with the reviewer implying quite flagrantly that the staff acted disrespectful and discriminatory towards them. This review appeared spiteful and malicious, and it reflected poorly on the reviewer.
Turning a Negative into a Positive
Nowadays, there are many more constructive and creative ways to respond to negative reviews. It is also the way in which a company responds that is key and crucial to their survival. It is best to take the time to prepare a well-thought-out response, that may or may not address the issue at hand, and this really depends on each review, their tone, their claim, and whether or not, this review holds any merit or water. It is also important for the response to be polite and proactive. The below response from the hotel was this:
This is a great example of how a company can take something negative and turn it into a positive just by taking the time to see the review for what it truly was, a nasty, subjective tirade, that was poorly communicated and extreme in nature. Although the response from the hotel did not address the actual complaint, the hotel took this opportunity to turn the tables on the reviewer, and expose their review as petty, and much less compelling to potential customers.
Spinning the Negative
Perhaps all businesses can learn from this hotel in Bristol. It took its time to respond, in a polite and directed way. Although the hotel did not address the mistakes that occurred during this case, it did turn things around, by spinning the negative, yet highly extreme and subjective review, to its advantage. And the hotel came out on top, smelling like roses.
Can a negative review reflect badly on the reviewer? It certainly can. Businesses can clap back too. Here are my thoughts: http://bit.ly/36pjvZv
Facebook: Last shameful plug for my fourth and final blog for my Algonquin Intro to Social Media course. Btw, I loved this course even though there was a lot of work involved!! Shout out to Alexandra, who is a really great prof! http://bit.ly/36pjvZv
Twitter: Read my blog: Negative reviews can reflect badly on the reviewer, true story: Clapping Back on Negative Reviews http://bit.ly/36pjvZv