Finding timeTo say that hotel managers are busy individuals might just be the understatement of the century. Between balancing your books, managing your staff and thinking of ways to improve your revenues, there’s hardly any room for anything else – including responding to online reviews about your hotel.

I know, I’ve said it a hundred times before, but let me tell you once and for all. No matter how busy you are, you must find time to respond to online reviews about your hotel. Why? Well, let the following research conducted by TripAdvisor answer the question:

  • 71% of travelers agree that seeing a response to online reviews from a hotel’s management is important.
  • 79% of hotel guests agree that a management’s response to negative reviews reassures them.
  • 78% of travelers say that seeing a hotel respond to positive reviews online makes them think highly of that hotel.
  • 68% say that if they were choosing between two hotels, they will select the property with a management that responds to online reviews.

Suffice to say; responding to online reviews is extremely important if you want your hotel to have a great reputation online.

That said, how (or where) in the world are you going to find the time to respond to all those reviews? Well, it’s kind of like finding time to hit the gym. We have to make the impossible, possible. Plus – a lot of hotel managers who are as busy as we are manage to do it just fine. If you don’t know where to start, here are a few tips.

Delegate your other tasks

Here are two general rules of thumb when it comes to delegating tasks:

1. As an hotelier professional, you’re only considered productive if the tasks you are doing contributes directly to the growth of your business. If it’s something “mechanical” or clockwork, you should assign it to someone else (especially when someone else in your hotel is capable of doing it).

2. For more complicated tasks, if someone else can do these tasks 80% as good as you could, then you can delegate. It might not be perfect, but instead of doing 100% of the work, you just have to do 20% to make it perfect.

Based on the statistics I’ve presented above, responding to online reviews can directly impact your revenue because it relates to your online reputation. To make room for this, you have to delegate.

Respond to reviews in bulk

Did you notice that when you perform similar tasks at the same time, you accomplish more? Whether it’s doing your invoices or responding to emails, if you do similar tasks within a specific time frame, you become more efficient.

It’s the same thing with responding to online reviews. Once you get the ball rolling, you will be more efficient because your mind is already into it. If you work five times a week, schedule two hours every other day to respond to online reviews about your hotel.

Train one of your staff who can help you respond to reviews

For sure, there is someone among your hotel employees who is a good communicator. It can be one of your front desk personnel or probably someone from your reservations team. Once you’ve identified the strongest communicator on your team, set aside a few hours each week so he or she can go over your hotel’s online reviews with you. Teach that person the do’s and don’ts of responding to reviews and slowly ease him or her into the role.

We all get 24 hours in a day. Yes, we are busy, but it is crucial that we find time to respond to online reviews about our properties if we want to maintain a good reputation online. Use tools and resources to make customer reviews fun and actionable. Plus more reviews mean more business – I promise!

About the author

Rupesh PatelRupesh Patel, hotelier and founder at SmartGuests.com, a U.S.-based hospitality marketing website that is dedicated to helping hotels make connections with their guests, using tools that result in positive reviews and increases in customer service scores. He regularly shares his passionate for entrepreneurship, customer engagement and marketing on numerous social sites and blogs.