10 Management Response Examples for Online Customer Reviews: Stay Safe, Save Time and Win Back Upset Customers by Jon Symons
Every once in a while, I am surprised by a book. I admit I had low expectations for 10 MANAGEMENT RESPONSE EXAMPLES. I had never heard of the author, and spotted the title by chance, when I was looking for books about online reviews.
This book is short, and cheap—in fact, free! I assumed the value of the book would match its price.
Okay, I was wrong. Happy to eat crow. Reading the first chapter, it became obvious that the author, Jon Symons knows his field.
The book starts with a “Bonus Chapter.” Once again, I assumed this would be just a bunch of “fluff” just to pad the book. (That is usually what a “bonus chapter” is.) In this case, the bonus is not fluff at all—it’s a serious business idea.
Jon asks the question, “What's Your Magic Number?” The point is, consider the “Lifetime Value of a Customer,” or LVC. When you lose an influential customer, the total value of his influence can be massive. Jon gives an actual example of a dissatisfied customer of a sushi restaurant. By not seriously responding to the mad customer, who happened to be a major influencer, the restaurant lost a total of $100,000 in revenue.
Each chapter presents a single idea on the proper way to handle reviews. This idea is summarized by a “Key Point” that gives a quick summary. For example, when responding to a negative review, the “High Road” means, “Find a way, using humor, creativity or kindness to reach your audience and go beyond taking a review personally. “
Of all the ideas suggested, one really stands out, and surprised me: “Negative reviews offer you, the business owner, opportunities to demonstrate caring, correct facts, and even go viral.” I admit I never thought that a negative review could be turned around to be a positive thing.
Here's a point that management should pay attention to: When responding to a negative review, management needs to put themselves in the position of the customer. In other words, “Customers Need You to Put Them First.”
Jon calls the typical (wrong) response to a bad review the “Middle Management” mistake. The firm gives little weight to the customer, and just restates its commitment: “It is all about their hotel and its improvement, rather than acknowledging the upset of the actual person that is complaining.”
I have written lots of reviews, and I often see the above mistake. The worse companies respond to a terrible review with a canned, “We strive to always maintain high standards, and value you, blah, blah blah.”
All in all, I found 10 MANAGEMENT RESPONSE EXAMPLES to be an outstanding guide, with excellent ideas on responding to both good and bad reviews. Do not be misled, like I was, by the short length of the book. There is no fluff in this book--it gets right down to the key points. The author uses actual examples of real reviews to make his points. One nit: I would have liked to see some reference information when a research "study" is mentioned.