In the digital age, online reviews are a pivotal element of any hotel’s reputation.
Travelers often turn to platforms like TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google, and Booking.com to inform their choices, seeking the experiences of others as guidance.
For hoteliers, these reviews represent valuable feedback, whether it is a shower of praise or constructive criticism. Engaging with these reviews, both good and bad, is essential.
In this guide, we will explore why and how hotels should address online feedback.
1. The Importance of Responding to Reviews
- Building Trust: By acknowledging and addressing reviews, hotels display transparency and commitment to customer satisfaction. This cultivates trust among potential guests.
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Benefits: Responding to reviews, especially on Google, can positively influence search ranking.
- Constructive Feedback: Negative reviews, while not always pleasant, provide insight into areas that might need improvement.
2. Responding to Positive Reviews
- Show Gratitude: A simple, “Thank you for your kind words” goes a long way in showing appreciation; visitors feel seen and heard by such acknowledgements.
- Reinforce Positives: If a guest compliments a specific service or amenity, mention how proud you are of that particular feature.
- Invite Them Back: Encourage the guest to visit again and maybe even try out other services.
3. Addressing Negative Feedback
- Stay Calm: It can be natural to feel defensive, but it is essential to approach the situation with a clear head and an open heart.
- Acknowledge and Apologise: Sometimes, all a guest wants is to be heard. Recognise their concerns and offer a genuine apology.
- Offer a Solution: Whether it is a full or partial refund, a free service, or simply a promise to address the issue, showing a proactive approach can appease an unhappy guest.
- Take the Conversation Offline: If the issue is complicated, it is often wise to ask the guest to contact you directly. This prevents a back-and-forth in a public forum and can lead to a more productive, timely resolution.
4. Tips for Crafting the Perfect Response
- Personalise Your Responses: Avoid generic replies. Address the guest by name and mention specifics from their review; visitors appreciate such responses which better address their experience and demonstrate a genuine commitment to customer satisfaction.
- Be Prompt: A timely response shows you value and prioritise guest feedback, and fosters better communication between your hotel and its guests.
- Stay Professional: Even if a review is unfair or overly harsh, maintain a professional tone. Remember, the response is not just for the reviewer but for all potential guests reading it.
5. Going Beyond the Response
- Internal Reviews: Discuss feedback in team meetings. Celebrate the positives and brainstorm solutions for the negatives.
- Encourage More Reviews: The more feedback you receive, the clearer the picture of your hotel’s performance. Encourage satisfied guests to share their experiences online.
- Continuous Improvement: Use the feedback loop as an essential tool for refining your services and improving guest experiences.
“In an era where digital word-of-mouth can make or break a business, hotels cannot afford to ignore online reviews.”
A proactive approach, marked by gratitude for praise and constructive solutions for criticism, can significantly bolster a hotel’s reputation and ensure a steady stream of satisfied guests.
So, next time you spot a new review, remember; it’s not just a comment; it’s an opportunity!
To make more time to respond to your visitors and action any points raised in a timely manner, why not try Guestroom Genie – a property management and reservation system, which simplifies bookings and streamlines processes, saving you time and money.