Even if your team strives to provide excellent customer service at every turn, negative apartment reviews are still hard to avoid. It’s impossible to please everyone 100% of the time, and some factors are beyond anyone’s control.
Read below for some fresh insights into crafting the perfect apartment review response.
You Care About Reputation – Respond Accordingly
Not only are bad apartment reviews hard to avoid, they’re also notoriously difficult to have removed. Unless the review violates the review platform’s policies, it will most likely remain online. Ignoring negative reviews will send the message that you don’t care. So, you need a plan for how to respond effectively when a one-star apartment review appears in your queue.
The No. 1 best practice when it comes to dealing with bad apartment reviews is this: You must respond. Even if you contact the reviewer privately to resolve their concern, you should also write a public reply to the review. Keep in mind that prospects are also reading your apartment reviews, and how you respond may influence their decision to sign a lease with you.
Here are some steps to crafting the best response to negative apartment reviews.
1. Use the reviewer’s name.
People who write reviews (especially negative ones) want to be heard and want to be treated as an individual, so open your response with a friendly, “Hi, [NAME].” Most apartment reviews are on Google and Facebook, and more often than not, you can see the reviewer’s first name.
2. Thank Them.
Demonstrate that you value the reviewer’s candid feedback by saying thank you in your replies to apartment reviews, even the negative ones. Here are some ways to phrase your appreciation:
“Thank you for taking a moment to share your thoughts with us.”
“We’re grateful for your valuable input on your experience in our community.”
“We truly appreciate your honest feedback.”
“We thank you for sharing your experience with us.”
Saying you’re sorry shows that you care. Even if the apartment community isn’t at fault, say it anyway. Keep it short and sweet like this:
“We’re very sorry to hear that your stay in our community fell short of expectations.”
“We regret that this happened, and we apologize for the inconvenience.”
“It’s important that we provide excellent customer service at all times, and we’re sorry to have disappointed you.”
“Please accept our apologies for this situation.”
After you’ve submitted your response online, what’s next?
Telling people that things will change or be addressed around your community is one thing. But it’s another to actually make it happen. Each negative review is an opportunity to prove that your community takes all reviews seriously and show that there actually is a face behind the responses.
Here are some ideas for taking action:
1. Take the review offline.
The best thing you can do to create a lasting impression is to reach out to the reviewer offline. In your response, make sure to leave contact information for the reviewer to reach out and discuss further. This gives you time to validate the complaint, understand the full situation and address all of the reviewer’s pain points.
You may even have contact information if you know that the reviewer is a current resident. You can also leave a note in their mailbox to again address their concerns and make sure they know their voice is being heard.
Taking it a step further, if you address the situation, you can even show your appreciation for their feedback and thank them with a gift card or some incentive.
Negative reviews are a good thing for communities, especially when something slips through the cracks, thank your community for pointing them out and bringing them to your attention.
2. Don’t make promises you can’t keep.
If you know that certain issues or situations cannot be easily solved, make sure you communicate that properly to the reviewer. Let them know you are working on a solution. You don’t need to give them all the details but being honest will make reviewers feel like they aren’t just being brushed off. Giving them a little more detail will make reviewers feel good.
Also, don’t forget to follow back up with reviewers as a solution progresses or any updates arise. This will reassure that the issue is being addressed and their concerns have not been forgotten.
It's all about how you respond
While you can’t stop someone from leaving a bad apartment review, you can actively participate in improving your apartment community’s reputation by carefully responding to all of your reviews.
If you need a hand, Respage can help! We offer DIY and Full-Service Reputation Management packages.