Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Management Response - Something New

(1:05) The most common request we get from marinas is about how to respond to reviews. I think that every review a boater writes should receive a response. For the vast majority, it should be a personal message sent privately to the boater using the ActiveCaptain messaging capability. If you are unfamiliar with this feature you can find instructions here:

(0:57) We have also allowed marinas to write a review for their own marina to respond publicly or to clarify reviews left by others. We require you to make it clear that the review is from your marina and you may only have one review, although you can change the review. However, our Sponsors are telling us that they would like a more direct way to respond to a specific review.

(0:49) Based on this feedback we're releasing a new capability for Sponsor marinas called, "Management Response." A Management Response will allow you to add a message to a specific boater review. I will be writing a Minute with the particulars of how this works next week but wanted to prepare you for the capability by discussing when and how this feature should be used.

(0:41) I believe that this new feature is a powerful way for marinas to communicate with their current and potential customers. Used properly and sparingly, a Management Response can be a great way to tell boaters that you are interested in their feedback and that you take customer service seriously. Now is the time to develop your strategy for responding to reviews. Don't leave it to chance.

(0:33) When to Respond
In general, you should respond to all negative reviews and perhaps, a few positive ones. Responding to every review will simply create clutter causing your message to be lost. If a positive review calls out something spectacular or has led to a change in your services, by all means thank the boater and tell them how the review impacted your business. If the negative review is from an Internet Troll (a rare user I'll discuss in a future Minute) it may be best to just ignore it completely.

(0:21) How to Respond
It is important to respond quickly. Make sure it is someone's job to respond so it doesn't fall between the cracks. Always be courteous and professional. Remember it is not the reviewer you are writing to but every potential boater reading your response. If appropriate, address the specific issues that were mentioned and what you have done or are doing to make things better. Don't forget to highlight any positives that were mentioned and even point out related services you offer.

(0:12) According to a TripAdvisor poll of hotel customers done in 2013, 77% of customers stated that seeing a management response to a review made them believe that the hotel cared more about its guests. And 62% said it made them more likely to book a room.

(0:07) Use the new Management Response feature to show boaters that you care about their feedback and want to improve. They'll reward you with more business.

(0:02) And that's the marina minute.