Online hotel reviews can have a major bearing on the success or failure of modern hotels and similar types of guest accommodation. Many customers actively look for reviews to help them to make decisions on which hotels to stay at, and the proportion of positive and negative reviews goes a long way towards forming your overall reputation. Here, you will gain insights into some of the strategies that can be employed to manage negative hotel reviews online.

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What is the Significance of Online Hotel Reviews?

Online hotel reviews provide an opportunity for the guests of a hotel to share their thoughts on the service they received and their overall experience. Through reading hotel reviews and understanding the points made, those in the hotel industry can learn about what they are doing well and where there is room for improvement.

However, while reviews can serve as valuable feedback for hotel managers and others in key roles, they serve an equally important function as a way for potential customers to gain a sense of what they can expect when they stay at a particular property. Indeed, many customers actively seek out customer feedback before booking their stay.

Positive reviews can help to convince potential customers to book a hotel room, but negative hotel reviews can have the opposite effect. Readers may turn to online reviews to learn about what the staff are like, what the rooms are like, how customers are treated, and whether guests feel they are receiving value for money.

Why is it Important to Manage Your Hotel Reviews?

Those in hotel management positions need to take appropriate steps to manage hotel reviews. After all, these reviews can go a long way towards determining what your hotel’s reputation actually is. This explains why the process of managing reviews online is sometimes referred to as online reputation management.

Reviews may be left on a variety of platforms, from online travel agencies and hotel metasearch engines to sites like Google, or social media platforms like Facebook. Ultimately, reviews have the capacity to generate engagement, boost online search engine placement, and encourage bookings, but they need to be managed carefully.

The aim of reputation management should be to use legitimate strategies to attract as many positive reviews as possible while minimising the damage caused by negative hotel reviews. This means learning from feedback, optimising customer service within your hotel, and responding appropriately to any negative reviews that are left online.

Where Can You See Your Hotel Reviews Online?

Any attempt to manage hotel reviews needs to recognise the sheer number of different channels where these reviews may appear. Hotel guests may opt to leave their feedback on dedicated travel websites, like TripAdvisor, Trivago, Booking.com and Expedia, on social media channels like Facebook, or on review platforms, like Yelp.

Google and other search engines also allow customers to leave reviews and these can be especially influential. Today, a large percentage of modern hotel customers utilise search engines to find hotels and they will then be presented with this feedback. Additionally, in some cases, reviews could also be left on your own hotel website.

How to Answer Negative Hotel Reviews

No hotel manager likes to read negative feedback, but it is vital that you do not ignore negative reviews left online. As a general rule, the best approach to dealing with negative reviews is to adopt a polite tone and take the feedback seriously. You could begin by thanking the customer for their visit and for taking the time to write their review.

When possible, you should acknowledge legitimate criticism in hotel reviews, and try to view it as meaningful feedback that you can learn from. If there have been failings on the part of your hotel, apologise and stress your intention to make amends. Avoid becoming confrontational and ensure you maintain a professional tone at all times.

Video: How To Manage Negative Hotel Reviews

 

What Are Some Extra Tips for Dealing With Negative Hotel Reviews?

Dealing with positive hotel reviews is relatively simple, but handling negative reviews is where your reputation and review management skills will really be put to the test. Below, you will find some extra tips that are intended to assist you in dealing with negative feedback and responding to it in the best possible way.

Always Answer a Negative Online Hotel Review

First, and most importantly, you need to commit to always responding to negative hotel reviews and feedback, wherever those reviews are posted. Negative reviews have the power to harm your business by putting new customers off and causing long-term damage to your reputation, so you need to respond in order to limit this.

Potential customers will see the negative reviews, but they will also see your response. This is your opportunity to address any shortcomings, put your own perspective across, explain what you have done to correct the situation, and provide an explanation for why other customers will not experience the same disappointment.

Acknowledge the Problem and Provide Solutions

In addition to committing to a response, you also need to actually acknowledge any criticism you receive from hotel reviews and try to provide solutions. This means you need to take the complaint or criticism seriously, reflect on the level of service you provided, and take steps to improve.

In some cases, it may be appropriate to personally respond to the customer writing a review and try to make amends with them on an individual level. This could be achieved by offering them a discount if they return in the future, or providing them with something else of value as a means of apologising for the disappointment.

Negative reviews may not necessarily put other customers off on their own, but these potential future hotel guests are going to look at your response and use it to help them to draw conclusions about your business. Try to appear professional, in control, and like a business that genuinely cares about its guests’ experiences.

Is it Possible to Avoid Negative Hotel Reviews?

The other side of reputation management occurs before hotel reviews are actually posted online and this means placing a strong focus on customer service and delivering the best possible customer experience.

In general, the best way for hotels to avoid negative reviews is by being attentive, providing a high-quality service, helping customers when they have questions, and providing a clean and pleasant environment for them to stay in. However, there are further steps that can be taken to avoid negative reviews too.

For instance, a key part of avoiding bad hotel reviews involves meeting or exceeding customer expectations. This means keeping up-to-date with the latest hotel trends and ensuring you are providing a similar level of service to other hotels. Sending customer surveys out can also help with this because it allows guests to make suggestions.

It may also involve making effective use of the very latest hotel technology. After all, if your hotel does not offer the latest gadgets, tools and technology solutions, you risk providing rivals with an unnecessary advantage, and you also risk leaving guests disappointed that your property does not positively compare with other places they have stayed.

Hotel Reviews: A Guide to Hotel Reputation Management Software

When attempting to deal with online reviews, you can also turn to hotel reputation management software. These solutions can help to bring all online reviews into a centralised location, making them much easier to manage and respond to. Software of this kind also allows multiple hotel properties to be managed at the same time.

You can learn about hotel reputation management software in more detail – with insights into how the software can help you and a breakdown of the main features – in the “Hotel Reputation Management Software Guide”.

Tips for Managing Online Hotel Reviews and Feedback

Aside from the advice provided, there are a number of tips that can assist hotel managers, marketers, and other business leaders to manage their hotel reviews. These range from identifying trends within the feedback and highlighting common complaints, to drawing attention to positive reviews on your own hotel website.

You can learn about these and several other ways to actually manage online reviews and the feedback you receive from guests by reading the “9 Tips to Manage Online Hotel Reviews” article.

Hotel reviews have the power to drastically impact business performance because so many potential customers actively seek out reviews before making bookings. Therefore, it is essential for hotels to take appropriate steps for managing reviews, such as responding to negative reviews and learning lessons from them.