In my last post, I talked about building your online presence to help new clients find your spa. Today, I want to talk to you about managing the reviews your business will inevitably begin to get as your online presence grows.

Today, consumers check reviews for almost every type of local business before trying something new. In fact, 88% read online reviews before making a purchase, and they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. So, it’s imperative that A) prospective clients can find your business when they search, and B) your business receives positive reviews.

Encouraging Positive Reviews

Review sites, such as Yelp, Foursquare, Citysearch, Google Local, and TripAdvisor, can help local consumers find your spa. If you haven’t already done so, you should consider listing your spa on those sites. And when you do, make sure that the spa services, treatments, staff, and facility information displayed on your listings pages matches what’s on your website. The information on these platforms needs to align to successfully benefit your brand and reputation.

One benefit of local business listings is they also contain reviews on your spa. That’s why it’s worth your time to solicit positive reviews of your spa from your clientele. The truth is that few customers will feel compelled to supply a positive review without being prompted—even if they’re happy with their experience at your spa.

Here are 6 ways to encourage clients to write online reviews:

  1. Just Ask. Ask clients to post an online review about your business. This is a great way to show your clients that you value their feedback.
  2. Make it Easy. Set up a computer or tablet at your spa for clients to use to post reviews.
  3. Email Clients. After their visit, email clients and ask them to review the service or treatment they received.
  4. Publish Positive Posts. Ask for permission to publish positive emails, letters and comments as testimonials on your website.
  5. Check it at Checkout. Ask your clients for a review during checkout. Print a friendly reminder on the receipt or provide a separate card with the relevant information.
  6. Say Thank You. Remember, your clients are doing you a favor by taking time to provide a review.

Managing Negative Reviews

Considering the impact a negative review can have on your spa, I’d say it’s probably even more important to learn how to handle negative reviews in a positive way. Doing this effectively can help you preserve a good online reputation. It pays to keep these 6 guidelines in mind when you encounter a negative review:

  1. Be Brief, Polite and Factual. Online forums are not the places for lengthy conversations. It’s more likely you’ll resolve a negative issue by responding briefly and politely. Also, try to use your post to update incorrect information, if necessary.
  2. Take it Offline. If a discussion is getting too detailed, you might get a better result if you take it offline using email or a phone call to discuss the issue in depth with your client. Not only do you not want a protracted, negative discussion to proliferate, your client will probably appreciate your desire to keep the details private.
  3. Act Quickly. The longer a negative issue sits unresolved, the faster you’ll lose credibility with customers.
  4. Ask for an Update. Once an issue has been resolved to the client’s satisfaction, ask them to remove or update their original post to reflect the positive outcome with your spa.
  5. Summarize Your Efforts. Sometimes, issues can’t be resolved. In these instances, post a brief summary of the steps you took to fix the situation. This will show other readers you made a good-faith effort to maintain a high level of customer satisfaction.
  6. Say Thank You. Regardless of the outcome, thank your client for visiting your spa and offer a sincere apology for their disappointing experience.

Monitoring and managing the online reviews your business receives can help you shape your online reputation. I hope these tips and guidelines help you do that successfully.

Tanisha George

Director of Vertical Markets