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Hospitality Insights

4 Top Tips for Hotels to deal with complaints on-line

01 May 2016


Hotel Complaints best practise

In today’s day and time, the easy access to smartphones and internet connectivity has made it possible for everyone to share their experiences online – instantly and across multiple platforms. Social media has given people the platform to praise, review, criticise or vent about people or places instantaneously. Hotels also have to accept the fact that their guests will share their experiences on social media and that guests want to be heard (especially if they have had a bad experience). Therefore it is important for Hotel managers and owners to have a strategy if the proverbial S**T hits the fan:

1. Don’t Take it Personally

This point is valid particularly for smaller and independent hotels for whom complaints, whether justified or not, can hurt. The key is to take it on the chin and ensure that the complaint is responded to without getting emotional and taking it as personal slight. Reacting in anger can make small complaints far larger and cause the issue to escalate and spiral out of control and go viral. Breathe, take it easy and make sure you don’t get angry in words online and remain objective.

Facebook Comlaint

Source – Blue Sky Hostel Facebook Complaint

2. Try and take things offline

Having an argument by text is bad enough. Having it by text in the public eye is worse. On TripAdvisor you have one shot to respond as a Hotel owner, whereas via Facebook or Twitter, it can go on longer than the argument about who gets to chose what to watch on the TV at home on an evening! When it is on social media, try and get it offline. Speak to your receptionists to see if they know who it is, what the issue was all about and get it offline and deal with it appropriately. Social posts and complaints DO NOT go away so don’t try and ignore it, deal with it! The faster you can respond to a complaint offline, the better are your chances to appease the guest and resolve the issue.

3. Transparency 

The example of Tesco stuffing horse meat into our every day frozen burgers and getting rumbled, is a prime (excuse the pun) example of how with todays hyper connectivity and technology, one HAS to be transparent with one’s offerings and responses. Deleting a bad post from your Facebook stream (if it is justified and non abusive) will only stir a complainer into using other channels. Don’t try and hide from issues you may have and hold your hands up and be honest & transparent, as you would do if your customer was face to face with you in the reception area of your hotel.

4. Take the rough with the smooth

Responding to complaints online is important, but try not to be too “British” about things and respond to compliments too. Give a balanced view of the good and the bad and customer will appreciate the transparency and honesty, especially in smaller, more independent properties, where the personal touch is so vital.

Hotel Football Tripadvisor Response

Source – Tripadvisor

Social Media, (TripAdvisor being one of the first!) will not be going away anytime soon. Embrace, react and have a strategy to deal with both good and bad comments. Hope this helps!


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