(0:54) Criticism is tough whether it is directed at you personally or at your business. A common reaction is to rigorously defend yourself publicly, explaining why the reviewer is wrong. This is rarely a good idea. With tens of thousands of boater reviews in ActiveCaptain we have worked with numerous marinas to help them learn from and respond to negative boater reviews.
(0:45) Whether you decide to respond publicly or privately to a negative review you should always remain upbeat and positive. A good response will have the following components in order:
(0:40) 1. Thank you. Start out by thanking the boater for taking the time to comment on their experience. Any boater feedback, bad or good, is an opportunity for you to improve your business.
(0:35) 2. List the positives. Few reviews are all negative, most will mention some positive aspects of the experience as well. Mention that you are pleased they enjoyed aspects of their stay. This is particularly important if you decide to respond publicly as you will want to ensure that others note these points. But it is also important in a private communication as you want to remind the boater what was positive about their experience.
(0:26) 3. An apology. Sincerely apologize that their experience was less than perfect. Even if you feel the review was unfair or inaccurate. Remember, your apology is about what they feel they experienced.
(0:21) 4. Statement of your actions. Tell them what you have done to remedy the issue, if possible, so that future experiences will be better. If, for example, the review complains about a policy you feel is needed, explain why it is in place and how it is a benefit to the boater.
(0:13) 5. Reach out. Give them a way to communicate with you directly to resolve their issues by providing them with a phone number or email address to contact you. By doing this you can avoid an ongoing public debate and make them feel that you truly care about them.
(0:06) By properly handling a negative review you can readily turn it into a positive for you and your business.
(0:02) And that's the marina minute.