Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Handling Online Hotel Reviews - Responding

It is well established that online hotel reviews have become a powerful driving force behind the traveling public’s hotel booking decisions. Monitoring the ongoing conversations regarding their hotel properties is vital for hoteliers. But the most critical and sensitive step in maintaining any hotel’s online reputation is the response. A hotel’s responses to property reviews will come to represent, in the mind of many consumers, the brand’s voice. Therefore, responses must be carefully crafted and phrased diplomatically.





To begin with, ignoring reviews is the worst response decision any hotel can possibly make. It does not matter whether a review is negative or positive, some form of response is required and expected by the customer. However, it is not possible to monitor every conceivable review website or social network. Therefore, it is crucial for hotels to figuratively keep their finger to the pulse of their guests to determine which social channels and review outlets are most important.

Another factor to be taken into account is offensive reviews. Any review containing language of an inappropriate nature or deliberately using false information to ruin the hotel’s reputation, should be deleted immediately. These are the only circumstances when it is acceptable for hoteliers to delete a review.  Any other reason for deletion of a review gives the impression to consumers that the hotel is hiding something.

In responding to any online hotel review, whether good or bad, always begin by thanking the reviewer for their comments. If the review is negative, apologize for any aspects of the guest experience they reported to be less than satisfactory and then explain what the hotel will be doing to correct their issues. If the reviewer mentions any positive facets of their hotel stay, try to focus on those points while assuring them that their bad experience is outside what is normally found by guests at the hotel. Keep a dialog open, but steer the ongoing conversation offline by offering an email address and phone number.

Responses to all reviews must always be made in a timely fashion. Remain positive and maintain an upbeat tone throughout all replies to online hotel reviews. Taken with a proper attitude even negative reviews can provide hoteliers with valuable feedback, marketing intelligence, and the tools needed to make constructive changes to their properties where and when needed. A correct response to an online hotel review can clearly illustrate to a disgruntled guest that the hotel and its management truly cares about their experience enough to make changes, gaining their hotel brand loyalty in the process.

Posted via OnFast -

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