Social Media is like fire. It can be a force of great power or a cause of great harm.
According to Google, 93% of all hotel booking decisions made online are influenced most by the guest reviews on hotel and 3rd party websites.
80% of online bookings are now made through OTAs, whilst Facebook is the world’s fastest growing channel for hotel content, so the guest reviews is a very powerful weapon indeed.
So what happens when a guest posts a negative review? How do you respond, and more importantly how do you minimise the impact of that review on any future bookings? Here are our 10 top tips:
- Monitor all guest reviews – good and bad – using tracking tools if necessary.
- Don’t panic. Even the best hotels get negative feedback at some point.
- Don’t rush to reply. A response within 24 hours of posting gives you time to compose a calm response.
- Don’t take it personally; every review is subjective.
- Develop a series of templates for responses.
- Thank the guest for taking the time to write
- Acknowledge any positive comments
- Address the specific complaint directly
- Sometimes, just saying sorry is all it takes
- Explain what steps you are taking to prevent a repeat
- Avoid using industry jargon
- Always invite the guest back
- Keep it brief and make it as positive as possible.
- Don’t include guests’ names, rates paid or other personal information in your response. It’s a breach of data protection laws.
- Take note of what the negative reviews say. Seeing a string of complaints about the same thing just tells a prospective guest that you aren’t doing anything about it.
- Use the tools available to you as a hotelier on TripAdvisor. Report reviews you feel are incorrect or fake.
- Remember that your responses will be read by other potential guests too.