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How Not to Respond to Reviews | Shockingly Real Reviews

Top Contributor
# 1
Top Contributor

Recently, the Google Small Business community discussed how to respond to reviews, even bad ones, which provided some really great advice about review responses. The reviews posted here are actual reviews I found while doing some work as a Google Local Guide & GYBO partner... and the responses from the manger are actual... and actually quite sad, too. 

 

Let's read the two reviews and the responses from the guest relations manager.

 

Review #1:

 

We booked a room through ***pe and it was prepaid.

 

The day before a lady from this hotel called and said my credit card information will not go through and that she needed my info for our booking, so I gave her another credit card number. Then today we check in and about 9:25pm get a call to our room saying our credit card on file will not work!! So we check both accounts and realize they charged us through ***pe and the *****inn on different cards!! When I go down to try and tell the manager that we were charged twice, it was like he didn't want to hear me and just wanted another card number to pay for our rollaway bed! I showed him the phone number that I was called on (thinking I was scammed) and he said "oh well that's not our number and told me I've been scammed" in the mean while I call the number and it rings through to the front counter! Then he tells us there's nothing he can do! Plus to top it off he claims he's the manager!

 

Then after having ***pe call the so called manager, he call and told us to leave, after we had already been charged twice and wouldn't see a refund for anyone for 7-9 business days! I then told the man that my 7 year old was already asleep and it was late and we weren't leaving. So he came up to our room and started yelling at us even telling my 10 year old to "quit playing a victim"! (Because she ask him to stop yelling at us and we are trying to get our thing)  


By far the worst hotel and manager! He was an older gay gentleman! Although a gentleman is not the name if like to call this man!

 

Guest Relations Manager Response:

 

No scam was committed against you or anyone else at this hotel. As I reviewed your situation, I saw that you had an ***pe reservation, and that on this occasion the ***pe credit card declined. The reason our Front Desk Clerk contacted you was to ensure that you would have a room upon arrival, since the Hotel was sold out, and had we simply cancelled your reservation--as we typically do when a credit card is declined--you would have arrived to find that there was no room in the inn. She made the exception for you in this case simply because you had used ***pe and to have one of their credit cards decline, did not seem fair to you. That being the case, in reviewing the tape of your encounter with our manager--to hear the foul language you pummeled him with we were not surprised that he invited you to leave. Such ill-manners are never pleasant and are something that more than anything reflect your poor up-bringing. Because of your ungrateful attitude perhaps we should re-visit our policy of being helpful where we can to prevent a guest from arriving only to find that their expected room is gone.

 

 

Review #2:

 

I picked this hotel because of the good reviews they had, needless to say I was very disappointing. I did book through a 3rd party, as I have always done with my rooms. When I got there after check in, I reserved 2 rooms one was suppose to be handicapped, which I called both the 3rd party and the hotel directly to verify that they had this info, both confirmed. The front desk person was pleasant although he answered the phone while I was standing there, yes I was there before the phone rang and was not acknowledged. He told me that I did not book a handicap room, after he checked his computer he saw that I had. We went up to the room only to find out that the room had not been cleaned AT ALL. **rah came right up to clean it. Not a problem she was nice and made everything better until we got to our room. The room was not outdated like some of the reviews said, it was nice. A random guy walked into our room and was told that he had the room also. I went downstairs and was told that it was my fault that someone walked in on me. If I had not booked through a 3rd party then it wouldn't happen. Now I don't work a hotel or anything but I do know that the 3rd party did not issue another key to my room. The next day the same thing happened twice, once from a random guy and the other one from the cleaning crew. I had to pack my things up and take them with me due to random people walking in my room, I'm not sure why I was experiencing such problems but this was by far the worst hotel experience that I have had.

 

Guest Relations Manager Response:

 

After years of doing this job, one comes to recognize from the start the guests who come to a hotel interested in having a great time, and those who--especially these days--come only in the interest of getting something for free. When you came in, I was watching on the security camera, and saw the desk clerk acknowledge you before he took the call--which our records indicate he answered by saying: "Thank you for calling **** Inn, will you hold please?" At which point he put the incoming call on hold and turned his full attention to you. From the look on your face, it was clear that you were--from that moment on--not going to be satisfied with anything the hotel had to offer, and that before your stay was over you would seek an up-grade, a free night, or some other compensation for whatever 'wrongs' you could manufacture. At first you tried with the handicapped room, which records indicate our clerk countered by moving your 'mother, I believe' into an available handicapped room without the slightest objection. Next you complained that your room was not clean to your satisfaction. The front desk clerk countered this by instantly sending up **rah, one of our hourekeepers. Following your directions she detailed the room to the point where you told her you were satisfied. Due to moving your mother from the non-handicapped room into the handicapped room, the computer erred and attempted to put arriving guest into the room that she had not taken, which it turned out YOU had taken. That computer error was the reason for having someone come to your room. The desk clerk upon learning of the UNINTENTIONAL (although, if he had simply left your third party reservation the way it was, and if he had not shifted your mother to the handicapped room the error would never have happened) error upgraded you to a suite (although not to the whirlpool hot tub suite you wanted). It was at that point--when you realized that we had other suites beside the heart-shaped whirlpool you had seen in photos online--that it became clear that you were not going to be satisfied until you had manufactured a reason to get moved into one of them. This untruthful review is our punishment from you for not granting your wish for a hot tub, and that is a shame. A shame on you for your greed, and your inconsiderate nature that allows you to malign people who went to extremes to meet your ever desire. I regret only that I did not ask you to leave the minute this nefarious nature became obvious.

 

If this was your business, would you be pleased that your "guest relations manger" provided such guest relations? I hope not!

 

There are so many ways these could have been handled that would have made the business look great through a not-so-great situation.

 

If your business gets hit with a bad review, think slowly and calmly and do not use it as a platform to belittle the reviewer or try to one-up them with insults. Keep it short & simple, consider all facts and possibilities, offer solutions and be sincerely concerned. 

 

Remember that a bad review is laced with opportunities to show that you are a caring and considerate business. With the right response, anyone reading the review and your response will get a clear understanding of each side and their respective personality. Your response should win over future readers of the reply by seeing how you react under fire, under pressure... which is a direct reflection of how you run your operations and treat those on your team and doing business at your establishment.

 

The guest relations manager's responses to these reviews is what would make me stay far away from here, not the actual reviews!  

 

Kind Regards,

 

James

 

_________________________________________________________
Google AdWords Top Contributor | Google Partner | GYBO | Local Guide | My Profile


 


 


 

4 Expert replyverified_user

Re: How Not to Respond to Reviews | Shockingly Real Reviews

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Where these both from the same hotel? They were actually kind of entertaining as far as flame wars go LOL

Re: How Not to Respond to Reviews | Shockingly Real Reviews

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor

Hi @MikeJohnston,

 

Same hotel. And I agree on the entertainment factor. Robot LOL There were many others, too. 

 

Happy Monday... Laughter,

 

James

_________________________________________________________
Google AdWords Top Contributor | Google Partner | GYBO | Local Guide | My Profile


 


 


 

Re: How Not to Respond to Reviews | Shockingly Real Reviews

Google Employee
# 4
Google Employee
Yikes! While I must say I can understand the business owner's interest in sharing their side of the "whole story," it definitely sends the wrong impression! If I went to their business and had a bad experience, I certainly wouldn't want to be verbally attacked in response. If I was the business owner, I'd much rather work out the situation privately with the customer and then perhaps ask them to revise their review to reflect the resolution.

Re: How Not to Respond to Reviews | Shockingly Real Reviews

Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor

Hi @Brielle B,

 

You are so right... and far too many review replies do try to tell the whole story and as they type they turn it into a verbal attack. Absolutely the wrong approach.  

 

I would suggest that they first write out the reply in a word document, print it and read several times and bounce it off a co-worker, family member or someone else for a "critical eye audit." Think through the reply and how it makes the business look and remember the lack of known emotion with digital words... and that every person will flatten one sentence, scream another, and take something out of context.

 

In essence, be critical of yourself and your reply... but not with the reviewer.

 

Kind Regards,

 

James 

_________________________________________________________
Google AdWords Top Contributor | Google Partner | GYBO | Local Guide | My Profile


 


 


 

Re: How Not to Respond to Reviews | Shockingly Real Reviews

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 6
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
@J_Clemens and @Brielle_B,

I feel that keeping the response short and sweet is the key. Users reading reviews will tend to side with the customer over a "big business" so the more they attempt to defend and defame the reviewer, the more they turn the angst on themselves. Keep it short and saying "I'm sorry you had that experience, please PM us so we can address your concerns" or something like that is really the best way to go.

Best,

Nick

Re: How Not to Respond to Reviews | Shockingly Real Reviews

Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor

Hi @Nick C,

 

Short and sweet is a great goal. The more words they use to reply, the more words there are for something to go wrong.

 

Great advice that I hope you never need it to use. Robot Happy

 

Kind Regards,

 

James

_________________________________________________________
Google AdWords Top Contributor | Google Partner | GYBO | Local Guide | My Profile


 


 


 

Re: How Not to Respond to Reviews | Shockingly Real Reviews

Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor
An article I published on Responding to reviews last year: http://goo.gl/iE3pOa



Tim Capper, Google My Business Top Contributor
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