The Power of Responding to Negative Reviews Of Your Hotel

Imagine that you just finished an unenjoyable stay at a hotel that is part of a reputable brand you typically enjoy. You had some issues during your time there that were less than ideal and not addressed to your satisfaction. You take the time to stop at the front desk and let the staff member know you were disappointed. Imagine them staring blankly at you and offering no response to your concerns as they wait for you to leave. It is safe to say that you would be upset and even more disappointed that they did not acknowledge your concerns in any way whatsoever. I know I would be!

Well, as unlikely as this is to happen while talking to a customer service professional, this scenario plays out daily in cyberspace when guests take the time to send a business their feedback on a review site only to receive nothing in return. This online interaction is worse than if it happened in real life because not only are you failing the customer that left the review, but you are showing potential new customers reading that review that you don’t care.

Now, I don’t know anyone in the service business that wants to let their customers down and would actively avoid apologizing for any shortcomings experienced by their guests. However, it can be tempting to ignore a review because you need to figure out what to say in this public forum. Maybe you disagree entirely with the customer’s version of what happened, or perhaps you get angry when you start writing and are tempted to blast the customer to let others know they are lying. Just know that in the world of review sites, a well-written response can let people know that, if nothing else, you are hearing them and care enough to respond.

The hotel review management team at Positive Sentiment has seen the benefits of responding to hotel reviews professionally and courteously. In the following article, we aim to share our experiences with you so that you can see first-hand how powerful it is to respond to negative reviews of your hotel.

Why Responding to Hotel Reviews is Important

  • 4 out of 5 travelers agree that hotels that respond to reviews care more about their guests.
  • 85% agree that thoughtful review responses improve their impression of the hotel.
  • 91% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Online reviews are the new “word of mouth.”
  • 97% of people that read online reviews also read the responses given.

What does all of this mean? In a nutshell, online reviews and the responses you give to them can and will affect your bottom line. While positive reviews are fantastic for your business, take advantage of the opportunity to respond to a negative review in a public forum.

The Benefits of Responding to Hotel Reviews

It helps your business

If you can identify where the issue occurred, you can take steps to prevent it from happening again. Let the customers guide you on how you can improve your services.

It shows potential guests that you care

Whether you are apologizing in general or pointing out a specific reason that the experience was poor (technical difficulties, new employee, etc.), responding to negative reviews lets people see that you care enough about the situation to address it. Leaving no response gives the disappointed reviewer the last word and can convey that you agree with their statements or perhaps didn’t even see it.

It allows you to make it right

Responding to hotel reviews is an excellent way to convey to unhappy guests that you would like to speak with them directly to try and alleviate their disappointment. Some situations require a refund or credit of some kind, and you can ask the guest to contact you to see how to resolve their issue.

We never recommend fully offering those options in a public forum, but leaving your contact information and asking the guest to follow up with you puts the ball in their court. Even if they don’t take you up on the offer, it lets other potential guests see that you want to make it right, which can help boost their opinion of your business. Also, when an upset customer has been made happy, they will occasionally remove their poor review. It isn’t always the case, but it happens!

Online Review Management for Your Hotel

In conclusion, responding to negative reviews in a measured and polite way is essential to maintaining your integrity and reputation in the world of online commerce. While it would be amazing to have nothing but positive reviews, that is unrealistic, and every response is an opportunity to gain new customers.

If you are uncomfortable responding to hotel reviews or, like many of our clients, don’t have the time to do it, we can help. As a leader in digital marketing for hotels, you can count on our proven hotel review management process to improve customer interactions and drive business. Contact us today for more information on how we can help!