b'Online Reviewsfrom page 34 the case with your stay. If youd like to discuss this further, please but to the point. Find a professional way to saycontact our property manager at XXX-XXX-that your property has rules for the greaterXXXX (use your public park phone number). good and that their disrespect affects others.Cochran mentioned that operators should If you remember the incident, mention how itlook for ways to give campers who had a was handled, but avoid angry finger-pointing.negative experience a way to reach staff di-Schmarder provided an example of how torectly, versus through a review site. respond to a negative review.One way to get in front of public negative Dear FORMER GUEST, reviews is to give guests the ability to provide We are sorry your stay did not live up tonegative feedback directly to you in the hope your expectations. Here at PARK NAME weof making it right, he noted. With Campspot, are a family park and as such, weve put inyou can automate post-departure emails and place quiet hours. Those were agreed to bycommunicate that if they had a poor experi-you at check-in. Your violation of the 11 pmence or have any negative feedback, to ad- Responding to reviews is important because it can impact your search ranking.quiet time disturbed other guests and we feltdress it with you directly. This would hopefully it fair to ask you to QUIET DOWN/LEAVE THEavoid negative reviews and instead encourageback and forth, Cochran added. Contactingand rely on your positive reviews to outweigh PROPERTY. It is only with mutual respect thatonly the positive ones to go public in thatthe person directly and resolving their frustrationthe inevitable bad ones, Cochran continued. a positive outdoor experience can be had bysame message.is better than a public conversation/argument.There are mean, crazy, illogical people in the all of our guests. Unfortunately, this was notThings typically get out of hand by goingworld, no way around it. Focus on getting pos-How do I keep emotions outitive reviews from everyone else. of my response?Schmarder uses positive reviews as an ex- Should I offer discounts or freebies to ample of how park owners shouldnt takeappease campers who are upset? things personally.Forrest noted that it is always important to Positive reviews are a pleasure. They makemove reviewers off the initial website and into us feel accomplished and happy to serve. Ona personal chat to gauge the type of service re-occasion, praise may be heaped upon you orcovery that is needed. another individual but typically, its about theDepending on what is warranted we ab-business. While wed love to take it personally,solutely will offer either a discount or maybe a its not usually meant that way, she said. Thegift certificate for a future stay, she explained. same goes for negative reviews. While easierEvery situation is different, and some guests said than done, try to remove yourself from thejust want to be heard, while others may want equation. Its not about you, even if you aresomething and some just complain to com-being personally attacked. There will always beplain. Internet trolls, those that feel wronged or simplyForrest said park owners should never get live to aggravate. Do not respond in the heat ofinto the routine of giving discounts and other the moment. Walk away, dont dwell on thethings away just to make campers happy. comments. Give yourself some space to de- Most of the time it isnt going to make couple from the harsh words and come backthem happy, she noted. If we did something later, when a cooler head can prevail.wrong, we are going to make it right. But I Cochran mentioned it is important to re- would say four out of five campers are just main professional.happy that we are listening and that we are tak-Parks and vendors alike do their best toing their feedback seriously. provide a great experience, but it doesnt al- Cochran said there is a time and place ways work out that way for every customer,when discounts make sense. despite your best efforts, he explained. Cer- I would make a goal to focus on dis-tain people simply like to complain aboutcounts or freebies taking place on the next everything or feed off public bashing. Stayingvisit, if possible, he said. This gives the professional, and sticking to the facts, willpark the ability to provide a more positive leave most level-headed potential customersexperience while giving the customer the feeling confident in your business and theability to keep spending at your park. This people behind it.isnt always possible, and often, you dont Stick to the facts, stick to what you offeredwant that customer back. In that case, part to compensate, apologize for the bad experienceways while making sure that a discount or free stay doesnt come with a bad review.Any other thoughts? Remember that reviews are subjective, both the good and the bad, noted Schmarder. Keep in mind that individuals chose to visit your park with certain expectations. Its unlikely that they arrived intending to be dissatisfied but rather with eagerness. Approach reviews with that in mind. While every situation cant be stel-lar, the way you respond to guest feedback can win hearts and mindseven yours. I always just like to remind our guest serv-ice associates and reservationists that when your rates go up, people are more particular about things, noted Forrest. And so, you just have to keep that in mind that typically people get nitpicky about things when theyre paying a higher rate. In season, we tend to get a few more of those disgruntled people than we would at other times. Also, make sure your response is not a cookie-cutter one, she added. People will see right through something like that. Ifrespondingtoandmanagingthese types of reviews isnt something you can leave emotion out of or you simply dont have time for it, find a company to do it for you, said Cochran. Its a fairly inexpensive service and they will take all the emotion out of the needed responses.WCM36 December 2022Woodalls Campground Magazine'