Oct 10, 2018 |

How a partner network can bring destination success

We’ve been writing a lot recently about marketing for Destination Management Organizations (DMOs). You can check out our free eBook ‘The Destination Marketing Handbook’, which is filled with useful tips on how to market your destinations and experiences.

Skift recently published a blog titled '4 Trends Defining Tourism Marketing in 2018.' Dan Peltier wrote, ‘We’ve seen a lot of tried-and-true marketing tactics from destinations this year, but we also saw some newer, smarter strategies on how to use the masses of content and opinions available these days, thanks to social media.’

One trend in the article stood out as an excellent marketing strategy for destinations. It's easily achievable, makes business sense, and surprising that more destinations are not utilizing opportunities to collaborate.

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Published by Stephanie Kutschera | Oct 2, 2018 | | 2 MIN READ

How to manage negative customer reviews

In an industry where we rely heavily on customer feedback, negative reviews are an unfortunate part of the package. 

There are steps we can have in place to try to avoid negative reviews, for example dealing with a negative experience before a customer completes the tour, by emailing visitors for direct feedback soon after the tour, and being responsive to comments. 

Sometimes we can miss if a customer has had a negative experience or we can think a situation is resolved until we receive a low rated review.

Once these reviews are posted on an independent website and live for potential customers to see, how do we manage the impact?

Here are 4 simple tips to put in place: 

1. Always respond to negative reviews

A feature offered on most platforms is that you, the business owner/representative, can add a response to these reviews. It's a great way to show you care and gives you the opportunity to explain. Not enough companies take advantage of this tool!

A response is not just for the benefit of the review writer, but (more so) for potential new customers. They can see that negative reviews are rare for your company and can read what happened from your perspective or the steps you have put in place to ensure that it doesn't happen again. 

Remember - Your response will also be posted online and will not be removed. Always keep your feedback professional and concise. 

Here is an example:

Dear Mrs Briggs,

I am so sorry to hear about your recent experience on our sunset boat cruise. This is one of our most popular tours and most well reviewed by our customers. We can assure you that your experience was a one off and certainly not the experience that we promote. 

Then reference a key point they have commented on, and a short explanation.

You referenced that the queue was too long for our delicious lunch buffet. Did you know that we have another buffet station on the other side of our boat to avoid any wait?

Lastly, always finish your response on a positive and thankful note.

We really appreciate your feedback and will use this to continue to improve our service. I hope to welcome you and your family back soon. 

John Smith, Managing Director, Sunset Boat Cruises

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2. Make direct contact with the customer

Don't go into specifics in your review response. To do this, speak to the customer direct. Contact them by phone or email to apologize, explain and offer a solution to make it right. Ask for more details if you are unsure about anything written in their feedback.

This customer may not return, but by showing you care you can be satisfied that you have given a professional service and (hopefully) the customer will not write another negative review on another online platform.

3. Know when to admit a mistake

Where you understaffed that day or was it just one of those days? Mistakes happen, and honesty really is the best policy in a customer-facing business.

During the tour explain what has happened and offer a solution that is fair. For example, give the customer an opportunity to come back, extend part of the tour, offer something unique, or finish the tour with complimentary drinks. 

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4. Make a change when it's required

If you receive negative feedback for the same issue repeatedly then you should consider what steps you can put in place to change it. If customers are complaining about the condition of the toilets, looks at options to refresh or refurbish. If they are unhappy that they didn't know that they needed to print their tickets in advance, then add this to a communication email prior to their tour. Small changes can make a big impact to your customer's experience. 

 

Here are the 10 qualities every tour guide should have:

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Stephanie Kutschera
Published by Stephanie Kutschera
Stephanie is Senior Marketer & Content Writer at TrekkSoft. She has worked in marketing for over 8 years in various business sectors across the UK. She loves exploring and taking part in tours & activities around the world.
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