Unfortunately, people are more likely to write an online review after a negative experience than a positive experience. This means that although you may have mostly satisfied customers, review sites such as Yelp!, CitySearch, YP, Google, Facebook, etc. may tell a different story. But don’t be discouraged! Review sites are not only for customers, they’re also a way for you to learn about your tattoo parlor. Here are some tips on how to respond to your online reviews, positive and negative alike.
#1 ALWAYS RESPOND TO NEGATIVE REVIEWS. It is important to respond to negative reviews in a timely manner, hopefully within a day or less, so check your review sites regularly. This is your opportunity to show that you are proactive and care about addressing your customers’ concerns.
#2 NO FLAME WARS! A “flame war” is a hostile and insulting interaction between two people online, which you must avoid at all costs. Instead, thank the reviewer for their criticism and note that your studio will address their concerns. Even if the reviewer never comes back, the fact that others will read that his concerns were noted and addressed and they won’t experience the things they claim to have experienced will instantly minimize the damage.
#3 OFFER TO MAKE IT RIGHT. Show you genuinely care to correct a negative review by offering the reviewer a free or discounted service to make up for their previous experience. By suggesting that the guest returns, you show potential customers that you value their business by addressing their needs.
#4 NO GIFTS! Offering gifts for reviews can have the adverse affect of appearing that you are buying positive reviews. If a review site like Yelp! determines that you have “purchased” positive reviews they may make it known to all of your readers that you have done so. This destroys all of the positive comments made about you and makes you look untrustworthy. Even if it was done honestly and without any inappropriate intent, it can really negatively impact your business. Don’t do it!
#5 RESPOND TO POSITIVE REVIEWS TOO! Referrals are a BIG part of how tattoo parlors and piercing studios get new customers. By thanking positive reviewers for their kind words, you can solidify a customer as a “brand enthusiast” that will promote you to all of their friends. Also, if someone is willing to say something nice on Yelp! make sure to thank them, which may encourage them writing additional reviews on other platforms.