Management Replies, Part III: Tips for Responding to Reviews
In our past few posts, we’ve been talking about management responses to online reviews. We squashed some of the most common excuses hotels use for not responding to guests online (there really is no excuse!). Then, we showed you just how important it is to respond: responsive hotels enjoy 6% higher scores, which equates to higher visibility, and likely higher revenue.
Now that we can all agree on the importance of responding to reviews, let’s get started on crafting those stellar responses. Here is a simple step-by-step guide to drafting responses so that you are on the right track to say the right things.
Important when responding to ALL reviews:
1. Remain kind, professional and genuine.
2. Always thank the reviewer for their feedback and for staying at the hotel. Tell them that you appreciate their business.
3. Respond in a timely fashion. Responding months later is almost as bad as not responding at all.
4. Address the reviewer’s specific praise or complaint and personalize the response as much as possible.
5. Let reviewers know that their opinions are shared with appropriate team members and staff.
6. Mix it up. You do not want guests to scroll down the page and see the same response six times. Find different ways to express yourself.
Responding to positive reviews in 3 simple steps:
1. Let the guest know that the hotel is delighted to hear about the positive experience.
2. Make the point that the hotel strives for this level of excellence with all guests.
3. Invite the guest back to the hotel.
Responding to the dreaded negative review in 3 simple steps:
1. Apologize for their problem or complaint. Do NOT get defensive. Underscore that this is not the norm for the hotel and that you always strive to exceed guest expectations; apologize for falling short in this instance.
2. Address the specific problem mentioned and offer a solution/explain how the hotel is taking action.
3. Invite the guest to contact you personally and tell them you would welcome the opportunity to win back their trust during a future visit.