Today, guests have more information on your hotel available to them than ever before. Online travel agents (OTAs) make it easy for guests to read and write reviews about their experience at your hotel property. Reviews can either help or hinder your hotel’s bookings. In 2011, Tripadvisor conducted a survey to see how people felt about reviews and bookings and the results had a clear message. Guests overwhelmingly depend upon hotel reviews before making decisions and look for hotelier engagement.
Reviews are increasingly important when guests are deciding between hotels. And even more telling is how influential hotel management responses are in a guest’s decision process.
81% of respondents said user reviews were ‘very important’ when determining which hotel to stay in. And 49% responded they would not book a hotel without any reviews (TripAdvisor).
Your hotel property relies on reviews on OTAs such as TripAdvisor and Expedia, to help guests make the decision to stay at your hotel. But, what happens when you have a not-so-satisfied guest? It is never a good feeling to know that one of your guests left unhappy or unsatisfied.
Here is how you can respond to negative reviews in the best way possible.
Yelp, the current leader in online consumer reviews, offers three reasons why you should always respond to negative reviews:
And they are right. Your reviews reflect on your business and your team. Use a negative review as an opportunity to reconnect with an unhappy guest and turn a negative experience into a better one. If you leave just one negative review unresponded to, it can unfortunately deter potential guests and hurt your property’s reputation.
According to Social Media Today, choosing to ignore or delete a negative comment will cause more harm to you and the guest. By responding in a thoughtful, timely matter, you show that your hotel cares about your guests.
Once you have identified a negative review, you need to decide how you are going to respond. Revinate, a company who creates guest feedback and reputation management solutions, shared excellent ways to respond to a negative reviews. We included some of their tips below.
Every guest review is an opportunity to learn; both positive and negative experiences have benefits. However, a negative review will usually give you more insight into how you can improve your property. When reflecting on a negative review, identify whether or not the guest’s experience was an isolated event or if it reflects a systematic problem with your hotel. For example, was the guest complaining about something like outdated accommodations? If so, it is unlikely you can fix the problem overnight, but you can take note of the guest’s complaints and factor them into future plans.
But, if the guest’s complaint was related to an isolated customer service experience, take the necessary steps to fix the problem. Identify whether the problem is clear across many reviews or if it was one event. Use the reviews to decide whether your front desk may need a refresher course on customer service or if your cleaning process is up-to-par, for example.
One of the best ways to check your reviews is to simply google your property and the many sites that offer review services should pop up. We listed some of the most popular sites below.
Check out travel sites like:
Reviews are a great way to gauge what your guests like or don’t like about your hotel and its processes. As you respond to guest reviews, taking the time to reflect on their implications will help you in several ways. You will effectively manage your hotel’s reputation, keep guests happy, and learn how to improve your guests’ experience.
There are many types of reputation management tools out there, but these basic tips will help you get started.