TripAdvisor Reviews – will the truth set us free?

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TripAdvisor Reviews – will the truth set us free?

By @kuki

April 24, 2019

So a few weeks ago, we had our first 3* review on TripAdvisor. GULP!

The truth is, it was really really really hard to handle!

Click here to see the reasoning behind the TripAdvisor Review

Since we started in 2011, we’ve had nothing but 5* reviews on TripAdvisor, plus a couple of 4*, but the way they were written, was also very glowing, so they were, to us, just as good!

Our overall star rating is still 5 out of 5 ! Yay!

TripAdvisor Review Rating for Farm Adventure Yorkshire

TripAdvisor Review Rating

Then we also started getting reviews in other places such as Facebook & Google – all of them 5* and a couple of 4* again. Phew, we’re on the right track!

Fiona Taylor, 8th April 2019 :

“I can’t even begin to put into words how amazing our time at the farm was this weekend! “

However, in a fleeting moment one evening, I checked to see if we had any new reviews lately, and I saw that fateful 3* review.

Now this isn’t about having a go at the person who wrote it … it’s about how WE handle it! It might happen again.

Isn’t the point of these reviews that as well as giving the general public an opportunity to see if what we offer will be worth it, it’s also a point of feedback for US. To make sure we’re providing something which is durable for the future.

This then becomes a battle of brain & logic versus the heart!

Personally, I’m fairly sensitive ? (Who isn’t really?!!), but I need to learn how to see it for the constructive advice & feedback it is.

It is written in a way which points out that maybe we need to look at some of our marketing. Setting the expectation. The website needs to explain what you’re getting before you get here. It’s a luxury bunk barn, and there are 3 x bedrooms, plus all the facilities. You know … blah blah! I could go on, but I’m not doing this to “defend” … I want to create a rationale in my “heart”, to make me feel at ease, and that it’s “OK” to get this review, having looked at their points.

So, this is some of what they’re presented with before they get here : https://www.farmadventure.co.uk/self-catering-group-accommodation/cow-byre/

My jobs list now includes :

  1. blah blah blah
  2. more work work work
  3. NEW : We need to make our message a little more obvious about how our accommodation is set out … I think that’s this person’s main point about their review would you think?

There are of course points which we can’t do anything about, because really, they are only likely to be important to this one individual and maybe a couple of others, and the business is really about the bigger picture.

There is always that fear running our own business, of wondering if everyone will love it and enjoy it. We are asking people to pay to come along to enjoy something we’ve built. Have we done it right? Is it what they want? And 98% of the feedback is perfect! So there will be some people who maybe things don’t suit. That should be OK. But by ‘eck, that’s hard to accept!

I literally could write a list of the positives I can get out of this, but that little voice which won’t be tamed, will always let me feel a little bruised.

Is that what helps us to push on and keep trying? Or does it just make things a little more stressful – living in fear of it happening again?! Seriously, I know I’m over-analysing this, but I can’t ignore it!

Plus, these reviews, be it on TripAdvisor, Facebook, Google, or wherever else, aren’t the number 1 place for our reviews. Word of mouth is. It is said so often that a person found us because of a personal referral from a friend / family member who has already experienced Farm Adventure first hand.

All three of these groups, were referrals for us!

As a business owner, I need to develop my own skills & ability to interpret, to grow from the feedback, and revel in it in a way.

I mean, in the greater scheme of things, we are an SME, with ONE mediocre review. In 7 years. How the heck do business owners handle multiple mediocre/bad reviews, and be OK with it?

I’m going to have to toughen up, whilst at the same time listen to the feedback, keep talking to our guests, keep checking in, keep it so prevalent and important in what we offer, being something which always delivers beyond expectations, not below expectations.

Feedback IS appreciated on your methods to handle this! ?

Watch this space! Laura;

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