Eek!  You just got an apartment review!  What do you do now?   Whether it is a positive or negative review, you need to respond promptly and thoughtfully.  Identifying your evaluation process now makes it much easier to manage responding to apartment reviews when they are posted in the future.

Assess the reviewThe first thing you should do is assess the apartment review.  This is a simple step.  Is it positive, or is it negative?  Once you can characterize the apartment review as positive or negative, you can best determine what to do next.

Positive or negative, respond promptly and thoughtfully

Responding to a positive review

If the review is positive in nature, ask yourself, “Self, do I want to respond?”  The answer is always YES!  You have to respond even if you only say thank you.  Not responding to an apartment review is not an option.

 

With a positive apartment review:

  • Ask yourself if your response will add value.  If it doesn’t, just say thank you and move on.
  • Determine if there is any opportunity. If so, respond with kindness and share and engage with the person leaving the review.
  • Remember a thoughtful, public response is a fantastic marketing and customer service opportunity!

Responding to a negative review

Sadly, it can’t all be sunshine and rainbows. So what do you do with an apartment review that is on the negative side?  You have to handle responses to negative posts delicately.

With a negative review:

  • Evaluate the customer’s motivation for posting the review.  Is the reviewer a dedicated complainer – a typically ‘glass-half-empty’ person?   Will your response make a difference or is he just baiting you?  If the customer is trying to pick a fight, it might be best to handle the response entirely offline.
  • If the review is very emotionally charged or outlandish, do a little investigating. Look at other reviews that user has posted to evaluate their general sentiment. Determine if the facts in the review are accurate. I said facts and not statements or thoughts.  Then point out the inaccuracies, but very gently.  The last thing you want to do is sound defensive or even worse, like a corporate robot.
  • After an initial public response, ask the customer who posted a negative review if you can continue the conversation offline.

Discuss the review with your teamWhat if you get a negative review and the facts are true but you know you are not doing anything to fix it?  Well, you certainly should not say that you are fixing it if that’s not the case. Dishonesty or overpromising is never a good thing.  Instead, use the apartment review as a conversation starter with your team to discuss how the issue can be resolved to avoid more negative apartment reviews in the future.  What could have been done differently?  What will be done next time?  Can the issue be resolved so that there is not a next time?

Responding to negative reviews must also happen very quickly and the response should address if possible exactly what steps are being taken.

Reviews are a reflection of the customer experience

The customer experience is a team effort.  Before you close your examination of an apartment review – positive or negative, talk with your team about it. You are all accountable to each other, your residents, and your prospects.  There are three words you should always keep in mind when it comes to reviews and the customer experience.  Listen, learn and share.  This will keep you focused and growing.

 

Misty Sanford
Social Insight Thought Leader
Renter’s Voice

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