You see a check-in, and you want to reply, but wondering how the other side will react. What's the best way to handle this situation?
Responding to check ins as your brewery (or via your Verified Venue account) is a great way to learn from and build goodwill with your most vocal customers. Either way, you can respond by use of public comments that all users can see.
Proceed with caution before commenting on reviews, as your good intentions may come across badly. To help guide you to the right path, consider the following points:
- Your reviewers are your paying customers
- Your reviewers are human beings with (sometimes unpredictable) feelings and sensitivities
- Your reviewers are vocal and opinionated (otherwise they would not be writing reviews!)
Being mindful of these three things should help you better interact with your patrons. Keep in mind, though, that not everyone is going to like your beers. Untappd was created to help users keep track of the beers that THEY enjoy, regardless of whether your beer is a perfect example of the style, etc. However, there is still value in the feedback gained from these customers.
How Should I Respond to a Negative Review?
We know it's hard to see negative reviews for your beers. When someone gives you a poor rating, it can feel horrible, especially when thinking about all the hard work you have put into the brewing process. As a small business, founder, or sole proprietor, sometimes these reviews can even feel like an attack on you personally!
Before responding to a negative review, take a deep breath and think very carefully about what you are going to write. Or even better, don't think too much; just keep it simple by thanking your customer for their patronage and feedback.
The good news is that by adding a public comment and establishing a genuine human relationship, you have a chance to improve the situation and maybe even change this customer's perspective for the better. We've heard lots of success stories from brewery owners who were polite to their reviewers and were accordingly given a second chance.
But please be very careful here. If your reviewer perceives that you are being rude, condescending, or disingenuous in any way, there's a chance he or she could get angry and make the situation even worse. Keep in mind that this is a vocal customer who could very well screenshot and post your message all over social media. Any comments that you post as the brewery are public for all to see. Mishandling a response could result in users boycotting your brand due to your customer service (or comments), so just keep your message simple, i.e.: "thank you for your business and for your feedback." If you can specifically point to something about the customer's experience that has resulted in changes, you should mention that fact as this could go very far in earning trust.
Am I obligated to respond to my negative reviews?
Not at all. Sometimes it’s best not to comment, especially if the situation or customer seems volatile.
Remember everything that you say reflects back on your business (and therefore, you as well). Take time to think about the rating or comment; there may be legitimate concerns brought up that you can address constructively.
What if a review isn’t accurate or true?
We recommend you explain your thoughts to your customer as directly and politely as possible and consider how it may be perceived. Don’t go on the attack; remember that potential customers may see these comments. A thoughtless reply could hurt your business without you knowing.
Can a check-in be deleted or removed from my page?
We only remove comments that clearly violate our Community Guidelines. These include and aren't restricted to: nudity, offensive drunkenness, obscenities, racist statements, and photos or check ins that seem to be spam.
How Should I Respond to a Positive Review?
Responding to a positive review should be easy, right? However, sometimes it can lead to your customers to getting the wrong impression of your brewery.
When leaving a public comment, you should not press the customer to sign up for a mailing list, or ask for personal information, etc. This can be perceived as spamming and should be avoided.
Also, make your responses personal. Be genuine, and try not to copy and paste the same message over and over again. If you're pressed for time, a simple click of the Toast button can make your customer feel seen. The idea is to make the customer feel special, not like they're being responded to by a bot. Both of these practices could lead to users blocking your account from commenting on their check ins.