Monday, August 18, 2014

Improving Hotel Ratings With Review Responses

It cannot be overstated how vitally important it is for hotel management to respond, directly and quickly, to online hotel guest ratings and reviews. Besides providing guests with good customer service, direct responses to their comments, reviews and ratings can directly benefit a hotel in the form of an overall higher rating. This is because studies have clearly shown that direct responses from management showcase the fact that hotels which respond are more highly rated, whether the initial review was positive or negative. The public perceives the responding brand as truly caring about their guests and practices outstanding customer service.
There is clearly a correlation between direct responses to guest reviews from hotels and higher overall ratings. Therefore, hotels which practice customer service excellence through review responses will see an additional boost in brand visibility through higher SEO rankings, which in turn drives up website visitation by potential guests. With the gravity of hotel review responses most assuredly established, it is crucial for the hotel’s comments to always be polite and professional in nature.

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 a online hotel review can clearly illustrate to a unsatisfied guest that the hotel and its management truly care about their experience enough to make changes, gaining their hotel brand loyalty in the process. Responding, rather than ignoring hotel guest reviews can only result in increased revenue for any hotel, despite the efforts required.

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