Online Reviews – The importance to your park and how to handle them
“Marketers must find ways to reassure consumers and position their brands as trustworthy. And in order to succeed, they’ll need to be relevant during the moments that, together, will add up to another big year for them in search.” Google 2016
A simple Google search for “RV parks in Arizona” will show a few parks on the Google maps (Google+) along with customer reviews. Whether they are bad or good, they all serve the purpose of helping potential guests find the perfect spot to stay. For RV park owners, customer reviews can make your day or cause you to suffer through a day of indigestion but responding to all of them in the right way can help your business thrive.
According to Yelp, only about 33 percent of customers write reviews if they had a really good or really bad experience. People tend to notice the bad before the good, which makes it crucial for RV park owners to respond to them. Some common concerns that campground owners have with reviews include:
- The potential of harm the review can cause the park
- Owners/managers personal issues in dealing with criticism
- False information on the internet that increases negative reviews
Despite only a certain number of customers writing reviews on Yelp, 68 percent of those who write reviews are giving the businesses 4 or 5 stars. Only about 15 percent who are giving 1 star reviews. So, overall guests who leave reviews on Yelp, Google, Facebook etc. are benefiting the park they are reviewing.
With the multiple platforms, such as Yelp, Google My Business, and social media, customers can leave reviews more easily and more accessible to other potential guests. This is why it is necessary for you to leave a good impression and respond to negative reviews.
Good RV park owners respond to bad reviews in several ways:
- Apologize if this was the park’s fault and accept responsibility for the disappointments the guest had
- Inform them that the park will or has corrected the problem
- Reach out to the guest to take the conversation offline, so you can give it your personal attention. At this point, you can privately offer an incentive to entice them to give your campground a second chance or at least they might add an update their original review.
The guest could also be complaining about something the owners have no control over or is not the park’s fault such as the weather, issues with another guest, or maybe they are just unhappy campers.
For those types of reviews, the reality is there is nothing you can say that will satisfy them. The one thing you cannot afford to do is NOT respond. This shows them and other potential guests that you do not care about their comments. And if you don’t care about them, then you might not care about your park.
By responding to reviews, it increases the trustworthiness of your business and will not only establish better relationships with the past guests but also provide potential guests reasons to book a reservation at your park.
Scott Charters – MorePro Marketing