What is written in a negative review is not the only thing that is important. How you respond to a review is just as important as the score and what is being said in the written portion. Prospects and residents are reading reviews, but in some cases, they are more interested in how you handle problems. Do you take ownership? Do you problem solve? Do you sincerely apologize? Hopefully your answer is yes to all of these questions.
When you respond to reviews, you aren’t responding only to the unhappy resident. You are responding to the entire online community that includes prospective renters. How you handle a difficult situation is immensely important, because it is available for all to see.
Whether it’s a simple customer complaint or a troll, how you respond more or less stays the same. The first thing you have to do is listen. Unhappy residents want to be heard. This is the secret to managing negativity. People want to be acknowledged by you personally. And not with a scripted response. They want to hear from a real person.
If a mistake has been made, own it and share yours plan to correct it. Maybe even explain why the mistake was made if it is appropriate to do. However, be cautious of sounding defensive.
If the reviewer is a disgruntled resident, they’ll appreciate being heard, and your response can potentially turn frustration into brand loyalty. If the resident is a troll, then your response isn’t really for the individual, but rather for the community. The troll may or may not continue the dialogue, but the important thing is that you let your community and prospects know that you care.
Misty Sanford, Founder
North of Creative