Before a guest ever steps foot in your hotel, they will often experience it through the eyes of your previous guests through online review sites. With the increasing use of review sites such as TripAdvisor, Google Reviews, Expedia, Booking.com, and Hotels.com, it has become easier for guests to share their experiences with others. While positive reviews can help attract more guests to your hotel, negative reviews can have a damaging effect on your business for years to come. In this post, we will take a look at how you can make reviews a strong point for your property.
First things first! If you have not claimed ownership of your property on the various hotel review sites, you should do so right away. This will allow you to modify important details about your hotel, such as phone numbers, email address, website, address, and more. Most importantly, it will allow you to respond to customer reviews publicly.
A quick note: When you respond to reviews, you are not just responding to the customer that left it. You are responding to them in front of EVERYBODY. Imagine if you had your lobby full of people considering to stay at your property, and they are all listening in to your conversation with the guest leaving the review. Choose your words carefully!
Handling Positive Reviews:
Positive reviews are a great way to promote your hotel and attract new guests. Here are some tips on how to handle positive reviews:
- Respond promptly: Respond to positive reviews as soon as possible. This shows that you value your guests and appreciate their feedback. It also helps build a positive relationship with your guests.
- Show gratitude: Thank the reviewer for taking the time to leave a review. Expressing gratitude helps create a positive impression of your hotel and encourages the reviewer to return.
- Personalize your response: Make sure to personalize your response to the specific reviewer. This shows that you are taking the time to read and respond to their feedback. (Never reveal private guest information, of course)
- Use the opportunity to promote your hotel: Use the opportunity to highlight your hotel's unique features and services. This can help attract more guests to your hotel.
Handling Negative Reviews (Most important part!!!)
Negative reviews can be challenging to handle, but they can also be an opportunity to learn and improve your hotel's services. Here are some tips on how to handle negative reviews:
- Don't get defensive: Avoid getting defensive or argumentative in your response. This can further escalate the situation and damage your hotel's reputation. If you only take away one thing from this post, let it be this. Never-ever-ever argue with a guest online. Don't be passive-aggressive, don't reveal their identity publicly, don't threaten, and don't shame. Even if you are right and they are wrong, you will always look like the bad guy when you argue with a guest online.
- Respond promptly: Respond to negative reviews as soon as possible. This shows that you are taking the issue seriously and are committed to addressing the guest's concerns.
- Apologize and empathize: Apologize for the guest's negative experience and show empathy for their situation. This can help defuse the situation and show that you value their feedback.
- Offer a solution: Offer a solution to the guest's issue. This can be a refund, a discount on their next stay, or an offer to rectify the problem. Make sure to follow through with your offer.
- Use the feedback: Use the feedback to improve your hotel's services. Analyze the guest's feedback and look for ways to improve the guest experience.
So remember, online reviews can have a significant impact on your hotel's reputation and success. By handling positive and negative reviews in a professional and timely manner, you can build a positive relationship with your guests and attract more business to your hotel.