Hoteliers know that regardless of how smoothly they attempt to run operations around the hotel, there is always the chance that a guest could have a negative experience. Even worse, the guest could detail the negative experience on a review site such as TripAdvisor. A hotel's online reputation is extremely important since the majority of travelers will read through a hotel's reviews in order to obtain a better idea of what they can expect if they choose that particular hotel. Do not be discouraged if your hotel receives a negative review. Instead, take the time to craft a well-thought-out management response. Here on some tips on how to respond to negative reviews:
1. Thank the customer for taking the time to write a review
Thanking a guest for writing a negative review about your hotel may not be the first thought that comes to mind when crafting a management response. It is, however, a friendly, and professional way to begin communication.
2. Acknowledge any positive comments
Though the guest may have given your hotel a low score and detailed a negative experience, there still may have been aspects of the stay they enjoyed. If the guest has listed anything positive about their stay, take notice. If they loved the breakfast at the hotel, acknowledge the comment and let them know the kitchen staff works hard every morning to prepare delicious meals for guests.
3. Apologize for the complaint
By apologizing, the guest will feel heard and that their complaints have not fallen on deaf ears. It may feel natural to want to provide a response defending your hotel, however it is important to be sensitive to the guest's feelings.
4. Provide a specific plan of how the hotel will fix the problem
Tailor the plan based on the specific complaint. Was the guest complaining about rude service at the front desk? Explain that front desk agents will be given a refresher course on providing excellent customer service to all guests and new employees will receive a more rigorous training in the type of service they expect customers to receive. Whatever the issue, explain a plan that you actually intend on carrying out. Do not make false promises that cannot be kept.
5. Invite the customer to visit again
You do not want to lose future business from a guest simply because they had one negative experience. After apologizing and explaining how you hope to prevent similar occurrences in the future, invite them to give your hotel another chance. If they are happy with your response, they may be willing to stay at your hotel again.
Be sure to monitor online reviews regularly and respond in a timely fashion. The sooner you respond to the negative review, the fewer the number of people that will see the negative review without an explanation. When potential customers see that your hotel cares enough to address any issues guests have had, it will give them confidence in choosing your hotel.
About the author
Arielle Sanchez is the Content Marketing Coordinator at E-Marketing Associates, where she writes personalized copy for hotel websites, assists independent hotels with social media, and blogs regularly for the E-Marketing Associates Blog. E-Marketing Associates works exclusively with independent hotels and builds innovative online marketing products that increase direct bookings and drive top-line revenue.