How many times have you heard the phrase “Nobody’s perfect?” Unfortunately, no matter how much you do to make sure every member in your club is taken care of there is are always going to be people that can make your life miserable online. Bad club reviews, whether they’re truthful or not, can make you lose some sleep and downright piss you off when you know the person writing the review isn’t being truthful.
Here we are in 2015 where club members have the power whether you like it or not. Over the course of this year, you may find that you’ve received one or two bad club reviews. Those reviews might influence others not to come into your club and join. How you handle these reviews can make all the difference in the world.
Here are a few DOs and DO NOTs when it comes to handling bad club reviews:
DO acknowledge the problem
– whether the person writing the review is right or wrong in your eyes:
DO feel free to contact the website that hosts the bad reviews…
if you have physical proof that you tried to remedy the situation before the review was written. Many websites, including Yelp, will remove false reviews.
DO make sure that you ALWAYS keep your cool:
People can sense when you’re hostile. If you’re not very good at responding to people that have offended you or your club in a nice way then write the response and have someone that is more level-headed review your response and make changes, if necessary, to tone your response down.
DO stick to your policies and procedures…
and support your responses with proof of those policies on your website or in writing.
DO encourage your members to write honest reviews:
More than likely, writing a review isn’t on the top of their “to-do” list. Giving happy customers a friendly reminder to drop a nice line on your page is a great way to collect those 5-star reviews that are genuine!
DO NOT feel like you have to advertise or pay the site hosting reviews:
Many people feel like paying Yelp for advertising will help the situation when the truth is that you can actively tend to bad reviews without paying any money.
DO NOT respond harshly…
in any way, to any members online – EVER. It doesn’t matter how much you are right about your club. As soon as you put your protective armor on you will be causing more problems than you have time for.
DO NOT ignore negative reviews:
This will give the overall feeling that you are not engaged with your member’s needs.
DO NOT remove negative comments from Facebook unless they are rude and demeaning:
If the review has genuine concerns do not remove it. Simply construct a thoughtful response. If you remove the comment the person who created the review could make your life miserable. More than anything your members and potential members want to be heard (hint: “Social” media). If you take away their voice it can make you miserable. If someone is deliberately trying to destroy your fitness center then report them (to Facebook, Yelp, etc).
DO NOT lose sleep:
“You can’t make everyone happy.” Do your best to stay engaged with members and prospects and the social aspects of your online marketing will have a way of working out positively.
Above all, do not ignore or delete bad club reviews…
but instead handle them all with kindness, honesty, and integrity. By consistently following these dos and don’t over a period of time you will solidify your reputation online and any bad club reviews you get will be less frequent.