5 Hotel Online Reputation Management basics:Negative reviews

Every property owner dreads having negative reviews on review sites. In the days of social media and scams being published on twitter without warning, having good reputation management is crucial for companies, even more so for the hospitality sector. More often than not, the common reasons hotels get bad reviews can easily be fixed and doesn’t cost anything at all. 

Let’s have a look at 5 reasons why your customers are dissatisfied, and how you can erase that:

  • Don’t put up an inaccurate and misleading property description

First things first, nobody would like it if they ordered for a really good and sturdy looking pair of boots online and received the boots, but in different material and colour than actually mentioned. Customer dissatisfaction is apparent at first go here. 

So whatever your hotel is named, however, it is, mentions the truth. You might think that mentioning a “bathtub” would get in more business for you, and while it may, it wouldn’t mean good for your reputation in the long run.

  • Don’t let guests have an uncomfortable sleep

Nobody would like to be disturbed when they are trying to have a good night’s sleep, and a guest would not like it even more. If there’s something wrong with the mattress, or there’s bed bugs or the bed is squeaky, you can pretty much know that the guest may not leave a good review about the stay. 

The same thing goes with the ceiling fan or AC. Basically, anything which gets in between your guests’ 8 hours is going to be a trouble for your online reputation management.

  • Don’t keep the surroundings shabby/unclean

Having a clean room and bathroom is something every guest is entitled to, irrespective of whether you are the owner of a small inn or big hotel chain. The lack of cleanliness immediately gathers the first impression of a cheap place, and the overall behaviour of both the host and guests get unconsciously modified. 

  • Don’t put up incorrect property location

If you place your property incorrectly on the map, then guests may be roaming around in circles, trying to find you. Maybe they urgently need to drop their luggage and go to someplace. The inconvenience caused due to deceptive locations can leave a bad taste in your mouth.

The thing with bad reviews online is that anyone can read it, and when somebody reads something like this about your hotel, they imagine themselves in the distraught traveller’s shoes and decide that your hotel is not worth the trouble. 

  • Don’t have broken basic amenities

Basic amenities such as electricity and toilet paper are the little things that can make or break the deal. If somebody has a broken light bulb in their own home, they would probably grumble about it and fix it themselves, because they live there after all. It can be really annoying if somebody is paying you to stay at their place and still faces broken and worn out amenities.

Should you be removing bad reviews?

Well, you got a negative review of your place anyways. What do you do next? 

You can, of course, remove that angry guest’s review and rating. You know, make the place look spick and span.

It doesn’t work

It doesn’t work well with hotel revenue management

If you are thinking of constantly removing the negative reviews and not trying to improve your hotel’s condition, then know that it won’t work. How long will you continue to do this? Your business will be slowly declining, you’ll stop seeing new faces at your door every day, and you’ll lose a good source of income. 

People suspect censorship when there are no bad reviews and don’t like it

Besides, when you keep cleaning your reviews, things look too suspicious. Everyone has faults and when the other inns and hotels show both good and bad reviews, but your particular property seems to be spotless, people get suspicious. It’s better to own up for your mistakes and improve on the reviews that seem shady. 

How to handle negative reviews online?

Then how do you handle the negative reviews online?  The key points to remember while responding to any kind of review are as follows:

  1. Acknowledge the time taken by the user to post a review.
  2. Address the positive or negative comment in a professional and polite manner.
  3. Make sure you let the user know that the issue has been fixed (in case of negative review) or say something which highlights the positive comment.
  4. Sign off with a simple but polite note (like thanks or kind regards)

Examples:

Thank you, Mrs Smith, for taking the time to let us know about your stay. I am sorry that the toilet got clogged when you had just got ready for a date, and we will make sure no other guest faces this bad experience. Thank you for bringing it to our attention. Kind Regards, Hotel Inn.  

Or 

Thanks, Mrs Smith for taking the time to let us know about your stay. We are pleased to know that you liked playing fetch with our little french poodle. Lily’s growing really fast and would love to play fetch with you again! Hope to see you again soon. Hotel Inn.

How to manage guest reviews online?

Fortunately, managing reviews online is streamlined using Roomsy’s review management system.

Let’s go over this step by step.

  1. Let’s say Mrs Smith booked a room in your guesthouse through the booking engine Expedia. The moment your customer checks out, an email is sent to her where she is prompted to rate her stay. 

2. If she gives a good rating, then the rating and comments are automatically transferred to your hotel’s listing in Expedia.

In this way, only good things are reflected in your online world.

What happens to the negative reviews, you ask? They do not get reflected in the online world. 

This is done for a reason. A few paragraphs ago, we strongly recommended you to NOT delete negative guest reviews from your listing. However, Roomsy wants you to give personal attention to each and every guest who stays at your place. 

If a particular guest left an angry comment about something…. let’s say about toilet papers, then you can personally reach out to them through email or phone number and apologise for the inconvenience caused. You can again try to turn negative things positive by using the above points mentioned. 

Why did Roomsy use this way of review management? 

This is because many guests will feel that a static and emotionless reply is often given to all kinds of reviews. But when someone takes the time to write a customised apologetic message to a particularly ruffled person, they feel special. They feel heard

And that’s what hospitality is all about, right? 🙂 

Conclusion

As you can see, the basic underlying thing in the hospitality industry is to stay human. Think of yourself in your guests’ shoes and you will soon understand why he is angry about the toilet paper or roaming around in the sun trying to find your guesthouse. It costs nothing to be kind and empathetic, you know?

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