How to Respond to Negative Online Reviews

How to Respond to Negative Online Reviews

With a majority of Hotel bookings coming from online channels, online reviews are vital to the health of your Hotel. Even if they don’t book a Hotel online, many guests are starting with a search for a Hotel’s online reputation. This includes checking out reviews of your Hotel before booking a room.

In Hotel search engine marketing, you’re hoping to get more online reviews for your business. While you don’t want to see negative reviews, not every person’s experience will be spectacular. Unforeseen circumstances, bad timing or minor problems can leave the guest with a bad impression of the Hotel, which they will share with everyone on social media or travel booking sites.

TripAdvisor is one of the premiere sites for reviews and Hotel bookings, and they report that when prospective guests see responses from management, they’re more likely to book since they see understand the importance of customer feedback.

How to Respond to Negative Reviews

Some of the most positive review response examples will have a formula to them that you can replicate when you’re responding to the occasional negative review for your Hotel.

Thank the Guest for Taking the Time to Leave a Review

The very first thing you should write is a thank you to the guest for taking the time to leave a review. You should actually be grateful for the review especially if it’s negative. This gives you a chance to fix a mistake or problem in your Hotel instead of being blind to it.

Apologize to the Guest for Their Experience

Offer a sincere apology to the guest for their negative experience. This can be tough for some hoteliers who don’t believe the guest is leaving a true account of the experience, or if the guest’s expectations were unfairly high. If you’re angry about the review, wait until you can look at it objectively before writing your response.

Talk About Changes You’re Making

If there are changes you’re making to the Hotel, tell the guest about them. A complaint about old linens might have prompted you to purchase new ones. When you’re writing your review, think about the other people reading it. You’re also telling them of your potential changes.

Keep the Response as Simple as Possible

No potential guest wants to read a novel in your response. Be as brief, honest and sincere as possible when responding to a guest. Ask them to contact you for any further discussions.

Never React with Negativity or Defensiveness

As mentioned above, don’t react with defensiveness. You’ll never come out as the victor during an argument online with a guest. You’ll look like an angry owner who doesn’t value guest experience or customer service.

Invite the Guest to Return

Mention the changes and ask the guest to return to experience those changes. It shows that you value every single guest interaction and want to improve relations. Often, a guest who returns and loves it will leave another review for your hotel mentioning your improvements.

Follow Up and Evaluate Your Procedures

Once you’ve read a negative review, it’s time to follow up on your procedures. If they mention bad customer service at your front desk, find out where the issue is arising. Dirty rooms should send you straight to housekeeping to learn the source of the problem. The public and private response to negative reviews should give you a chance to fix mistakes and look at it in a positive light.

Customer feedback can’t be ignored. It’s a chance for you to correct problems in your Hotel, which is always good for your Hotel’s business. It would be worse if the customer kept opinions to himself and quietly refused to come back to your Hotel. You wouldn’t have the valuable knowledge you do after a review when you can make some vital decisions and upgrades based on that knowledge.

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Wassana, a digital marketer at Andaman SEO. She likes blogging, using Social Media and traveling.

About the author

Are Morch is the founder and owner of Are Morch – Hotel Blogger & Social Media Manager. Get more from Are on Google Plus | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram