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September 6, 2012 / BSP Marketing

Ratings Rise and Bookings Increase when Hotels Respond to Guest Reviews

Would you ignore a customer who walked up to the front desk and had a complaint about his or her room? You certainly would not unless you were trying to drive away business. Customer service is of the utmost importance in the hotel and hospitality industry. When customers take the time to write a review of their experience at your hotel, someone on your staff should read those reviews and respond to some of them.


Numerous studies have been done that show that hotels that do respond to both negative and positive reviews, create a positive image for the hotel brand. According to a study by Forrester and TripAdvisor, 71 percent of travelers believe that management responses are helpful when reading guest reviews of a hotel.

Management should respond to both negative guest reviews as well as positive ones. The study showed that, all things being equal, guests prefer by a more than two to one margin, a hotel that has a policy of responding to guest reviews.

A hotel can gain credibility and trust of the potential customer by responding to issues online, rather than letting them linger with no response. Customers will be assured that a hotel’s management cares about their guests. When management apologizes publicly for a visitor’s bad experience and then makes a promise to investigate the problem, the situation is usually resolved promptly.

Major issues should always be addressed, not just for the benefit of the review writer, but for future possible visitors. If, for example, there are 10 complaints about the rather paltry continental breakfast, management can take the opportunity to respond and say that they are upgrading the offerings to include more than just cereal and biscuits.
That will show that they understand the deficiency and are taking active steps to remedy the problem.

When responding to a guest review, there are certain things to keep in mind. Even if a guest writes a horrible review that is far from the truth, a response should be professional and non-combative. Respond by first agreeing with a guest if there are some things that were not perfect and then sympathizing with them for their unfortunate experience. Thank them for pointing out problems and tell them that you will look into each and every complaint.

Good reviews or bad reviews are an opportunity to reach out to customers and invite them back. Let them know that you will personally make sure their next stay will be more pleasant. To learn more about the statistics and impact of responding to guest reviews, please visit  www.tnooz.com and  www.hotelmanagement.net

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2 Comments

  1. Dilip Sanchez / Jan 23 2013 2:53 am

    I agree to a certain extent with what the article is saying. Responding to guest reviews online is essential in showing customers that you care. However responding with apologies and a promise of improvements when it comes to negative reviews isint necessarily going to make the guest any happier. Guest still usually remain unhappy. The trick is to be able to allow guest to feedback and listen to them on site and allow action to be taken in real time before they get a chance to leave the hotel unhappy. Myself being in the hotel industry have encountered this issue several times and lucky for us, we found a good tool called Geteco ( www. geteco.com ) that allows the guest to leave a comment (Speak into a phone or use in room phones) and for us to directly respond to that. It all goes into a database and we can analyze feedback given on site.

    • Rajiv Angural / Jan 28 2013 2:41 am

      Hi Dilip, agree with your comments about cutting out the problem before it even has a chance to get out there in terms of not letting guests leave unhappy in the first place! Guest satisfaction is hard to come by these days with guests there days having more and more feedback/comments about hotel services and we cant get to all of them at once and cant resolve them on site as a result. I have actually heard about the Geteco tool you were referring to in your comment before and also been to their website. Quite interesting and my hotel is currently under talks to include such a tool for our guest operations. I think its time we in the hotel industry do more for our guests 🙂

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