In the accommodation industry we thrive on customer feedback and positive online reviews for success, new customers and high occupancy year round. Unfortunately, as we all know and have probably experienced first hand, not everyone leaves positive reviews… This can be very annoying and frustrating for owners and operators, as they always hope customers would come to them directly if there was an issue to remedy.
So, how do we effectively deal with negative online reviews?
Contact the review site that has the negative review
Contact the site and ask them for assistance, while most online review sites will not remove the negative review, it’s always good to have a better understanding of the rules and standard best practices, each individual site may be different and it is important to adhere to their rules.
If you believe you have a fake or fraudulent review it is important you express this to the reviewing site, there is a good chance they will take down this type of review. If you do not know how to identify a fake review, check out our blog: “How to identify fake of fraudulent online reviews”
Join in on the conversation
Reviewing sites are publicly available to anyone wishing to review, comment or have their say. Therefore, there is absolutely no reason why you as the hotelier shouldn’t reply to the negative review, obviously keeping a professional standard in mind.
If you do not wish to comment publicly you can always contact the unhappy customer privately, however, keep in mind that this doesn’t give prospective customers a chance to read your defence or demonstrate how you remedied the issue.
Encourage positive reviews
There is a good chance that you will eventually get a negative online review, it’s almost impossible to please everyone and most reviewing sites will probably not take them down. So, the only logical thing to do is to drown them out with positive reviews. This means that you need to encourage your happy customers to post positive online reviews and incentivise your staff to ask the customers to do so. Ask guests on checkout to review, send reminders with links once they have left, and even ask them while they are staying! If you don’t ask you don’t get.
Develop a strategy for dealing with online reviews
Responding to online reviews is a very delicate task, therefore it should only be handled by owners or management. Most owners will not have the time to deal with the negative reviews and would probably delegate this to the most appropriate person/people in the team; this is why it is important to have a strategy! Lets say you have three people who are responsible for responding to the negative reviews, they each probably have a different idea of what is appropriate, how to affectively remedy the situation and what to give for the inconvenience etc.
As a team you should collectively decide how you will respond to reviews, this ensures all customers get the same treatment and that people don’t threaten you for free accommodation etc.
Note: Its important to take the time to respond to all reviews not just the negative ones; customers like to feel their good work is appreciated.
For more information on how you can run your accommodation business on Autopilot so you can focus on the important things, like your customers and staff members. Contact Allotz.com today for a free demo of Allotz Autopilot.