The Dangers of Silencing Your Guests

Your Mission: Create A Positive Experience For Your Guest

If your mission is to build a Powerhouse Brand with REAL staying power, your mission better be to create a positive experience for your guests. In today’s social media driven society, bad news travels fast…and bad feedback from your guests can spread like wildfire! This is especially true if you make the FATAL mistake of attempting to silence your guests’ voice!

IF you truly want to provide value to your guests…IF you want to improve your customer service…IF you want to improve the overall experience for your guests…you should WANT to hear their feedback. Your guests want the opportunity to have their voice heard, and want to feel like their feedback is valued by the business they chose to spend their hard earned cash at! One sure fire way to tell your guests that their voice doesn’t matter…and that your real intention is to ‘take the money and run’ is to turn off your Facebook reviews.

© Alexis Abare and Benjamin Selecky, Haunted Farms of America, Inc.

Facebook Reviews: Dos and Don’t

 

DO
  1. Answer reviews promptly and professionally
  2. Encourage guests to contact you via private message to discuss further
  3. Show genuine appreciation for their feedback
DON’T
  1. Turn off Reviews on any social media sites
  2. Ignore bad reviews and comments
  3. Argue or respond to guests aggressively or defensively

Spillover & Collateral Damage

Do you also run daytime Agritainment? Be especially careful!!! There are two ways that other aspects of your business can be affected by poor management of your Haunted Farm Brand and Social Media.
1. Your daytime Agritainment guests that visit your Haunted Farm may be soured on your business as a whole if they have a bad experience during your night time events. This is particularly damaging, since there was some cost associated with acquiring that customer…AND that they likely will share their experience with friends and family.
2. Unhappy night time guests may leave reviews and comments on your daytime social media pages (even if you have separate pages). These reviews may deter someone from visiting your farm for daytime activities. It also will damage your overall Brand since these reviews are factored into your overall rating…both on the social media platform and on Google itself.

How Guests React To Being Silenced

It is tough to tell exactly how guests will react if you turn your Facebook reviews off…but there are definitely some reactions that we have seen in more than one instance. Some general responses are predictable…and others are not.
If a guest had a bad experience, they will likely go to Facebook FIRST to leave a review. IF they are able to leave a review there…then their actions MAY end there. However, if they CANNOT leave a review on your Facebook page, they will very likely seek out ANY other platform to voice their dissatisfaction…Google…YELP…Groupon…Trip Advisor…and MANY others!!! The drive to do this stems from the fact that you did not give them an outlet to voice their issues to you!
The second common reaction is for the guest to leave comments on your regular posts. These comments can be particularly damaging because they often lead to a chain reaction of other people chiming in too…which increases the visibility of the comments. Every time “Mike” comments…it pops up in the newsfeed…then his friends…then others…see where I am going with this?

How To Handle Reviews

You should not ignore bad Facebook reviews and comments. Potential visitors often look at reviews, and like to see that Management and Ownership is responsive to issues. Many times, if you craft the right response, the person who left the negative review can be discredited in the eyes of the potential customer. Do NOT become defensive. Do NOT get into a fruitless exchange with them. Do NOT get into a he said/she said battle.

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Instead, let them know that you appreciate their feedback…that you are always striving to improve…that your mission it always to entertain them and create positive memories and experiences for your guests. If a situation warrants further discussion, encourage them to contact you via private message or even by phone!

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Here are a couple of examples:

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Guest: It wasn’t scary at all!
Haunted Farm: Thank you for visiting our Haunted Farm! We understand that not everyone gets scared, but we hope that you were entertained. Our goal is to create positive, fun, haunted experiences! Thank you for the feedback…we are always looking for new ways to scare our guests…and we would LOVE to know what scares you!

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Guest: We caught up to the group in front of us and it ruined all of the scares!
Haunted Farm: Thank you for your feedback! We do space out groups to avoid the “catch up” issue but since all groups move at varied paces (some run and some creep along) it is not an exact science. We will try harder!

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A back shot of a girl with an axe - Haunted Farms
Your mission should always be to provide your guests with an overall positive experience. Do not try to silence them…THEIR FEEDBACK lets you know how you are doing! Their reviews and feedback is a key component to identifying issues EARLY…BEFORE they become systemic. It helps you to identify and fix systems and processes that are broken. It also helps you to keep the pulse of the consumer and provides valuable insight about the quality of the show you are producing!


IF you want to destroy your Brand…it’s easy! Just ignore your guest’s feedback and turn off reviews anywhere you can! However…IF you genuinely care about providing VALUE to your guests…and making sure that your Brand has REAL staying power…you should WANT to hear feedback! And NOT just the fluffy stuff that strokes your ego!


SILENCE YOUR GUESTS AT YOUR OWN PERIL!!!!

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