Responding to Hotel Reviews: Appointing a Chief Reply Officer (Tip 3)
I get that it’s hard for a lot of properties to have a dedicated person to reply to hotel reviews. I feel like it’s still a big win to see more and more hotels replying at all. That said, the more properties that get in on the game, the more competitive the game gets, so Tip 3 is about making your game the very best it can be by appointing a Chief Reply Officer. Even if your CRO doesn’t respond to everything personally, she or he should be reviewing every reply and ensuring they all meet similar criteria and style.
Having multiple people responding to guest reviews means that the messaging can be wildly different. For instance, the following three replies were from the same hotel on the same site but from three different staffers.
Thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts and concerns. We are glad you liked our pool facility. We would like to apologize for the experience you had at check-in and our breakfast selections did not live up to your expectations. We also apologize you were not satisfied with our complimentary coffee in our lounge and the pull out couch in your room. Your feedback is very important to us as this assists us in continually improving the services and facilities we offer to our guests. Your review will be used to consider improvements needed and we hope that you can give us a chance to show what we have done.
Thank you for staying with us on your recent visit and for taking the time to write about your recent experience at our hotel. We strive to accommodate all of our guests and their needs and I’m disappointed that we did not meet your expectations. We're sorry you were not fully satisfied with your overall stay. We appreciate the candid feedback we receive and welcome any opportunity to improve.
Thank you for your kind words regarding my staff and the hotel overall. It is always such a joy for my staff to see that our friends, as we call our guests, have taken notice of the extra special things we do. I hope that the comfortable environment aided you in your business travel. It would be a pleasure to have you stay with us again should your travels bring you our way. Until we meet again Friend..
There’s really nothing inherently wrong with any of these responses, but as a guest who has written a complaint, if I see one response is really detailed (Reply #1) but the response to my issues is really generic (Reply #2), it feels like a blow off. Then Guest #1 and Guest #2 read down a bit and see that Reply #3 is from the General Manager: “Hey, wait a second, why didn’t the GM respond to my issues?”
Tip #3: Make sure one person is either writing or vetting all the responses so that you don’t leave a guest feeling slighted by reviews.