We recently received a bad review – not for GPC Marketing, but for our holiday rental in Spain. We were upset, it isn’t nice to have someone rubbish your property or business but in this instance it was unjustified. All our other reviews are 4 or 5 stars but this one was only 1 star. Why? Because we withheld the guest’s deposit due the state he and his family left the property in and the damage he caused.
Fortunately, we have had lots of experience with reviews so we knew what we needed to do. In our case it has become a damage limitation exercise and I suspect that it true of most unwelcome reviews.
These are recommendations for what to do should you get a bad review.
1. Report the review to the website it has been left on.
If the review in question is malicious or fake report it to the hosting website. All review sites have ways of doing this, Google My Business and Facebook have ways of doing this automatically. In our case HomeAway decided that the review did not break their policy rules and so it has been left on the site. This is despite us sending photos of the damage caused, the mess and copies of several threatening emails from the guest demanding his deposit back. We do understand their position, they have to retain the integrity of their reviews and can't take down every bad review. However in our case we could back up our belief the review is malicious with evidence.
We have written before about responding to all reviews and in our case it really is a case of “do as we do” and we respond to everybody.
We wrote our response but were aware that we were not only responding to the reviewer but also anyone who sees this review in future. We responded to each point and stated why we think the review is malicious.
3. Be honest with yourself
This is hard - but are some of the reviewer’s points valid? In this case the reviewer mentioned things that were his fault or that other guests would think were minor and had not spoiled their holiday. However, even before this review there were a couple of things in the previous good reviews that were mentioned and that we need to address. Sometimes less than glowing reviews can alert you to things that do need fixing.
4 Get better reviews
We don’t mean fake reviews or ones written by family. We will be asking the next few guests to leave us a review hoping that we can return to almost consistent 5 Stars.
5 Set up a system to ask for regular reviews
We have set up a system to get reviews. We email guests to leave us a review when they have completed their holiday and we have checked they have had a good time.
Getting reviews for your business is one of the “Easy Wins” we advise when we start working with businesses. Good genuine reviews are a very powerful marketing tool.