The introduction of online reviewing agencies such as “TripAdvisor” and inbuilt review capabilities in the OTA’s such as booking.com etc has single-handedly changed the game on how guests rate and comment on hotel visits. Jump into a time machine and stop off in 2003 and the closest thing we had to TripAdvisor and OpenTable was a simple ballot box marked “suggestions” in the hotel lobby/reception.
This new digital age of reviewing hotels “online” has become a vital part of any hoteliers responsibilities. They are tasked with ensuring they are ready to answer any customer queries or issues. Recent statistics show that 97% of all customers check online ratings of an establishment before committing to booking with them, so you really do need to ask yourself whether or not you’re really doing everything you can to nurture your ratings.
Prior to the introduction of TripAdvisor hoteliers could get away with a poor customer review/stay to an extent as a customers reach for negative comments could only ever go so far, but it today’s modern era one singular bad review can prove highly costly and spread to thousands of potential guests, acting as a deciding factor on whether guests choose to stay or not at a certain hotel.
Another negative associated with trip advisor and hotel owners is the fact that reviews made upon your establishment do not get deleted and remain on the internet forever, meaning every new guest will be able to access previous reviews and use it as a deciding factor to stay or not. How many times have you looked online and immediately clicked on the low reviews just to check? I do it all the time on Amazon.
Therefore Hoteliers must take TripAdvisor extremely seriously and must try to limit mistakes and need to deal with any issues directly to the customer and explain why his/her stay was compromised. The best thing to do is to give everyone the ability to raise issues before they checkout. Ensure you’re always asking them if you can do anything to help, make sure there are helplines and approachable staff ready to assist mid-stay.
How to deal with negative reviews on TripAdvisor
However hard you try to keep your customers happy, you will always have complaints and suggestions from your guests. If you do find your hotel at the end of some criticism on sites such as trip advisor, the worst mistake you can make as an hotelier is to ignore them! It is essential to reply to every negative review and show that you are not ignoring people. Sometimes a positive response to bad press can actually build constructively on your brand. In the same way that guests will see the bad review, they will also see your efforts to fix it!
Embrace your constructive criticisms and reply first hand to your poor reviews by either apologising for your mistakes or providing a reasoning behind the issue, whether it being staff confusion etc.