benefits of cloud based pms guest reviews impact on hotel revenue how to respond to negative hotel reviews

How can "Reviews" feature become a boon in disguise for a Hotel?


How can 'Reviews' feature become a boon in disguise for a Hotel

Every hotelier is familiar with the impact of online reviews on the hotel industry. Online reviews and feedback are the main ingredients for a hotel’s success. Understanding the needs and preferences of guests is important for every hotel. Online reviews provide a way to know what your guests are expecting. Even after guests have checked-out, an online review system can be useful to make the necessary improvements to your business. Using online reviews to drive up the hotel’s business performance is part of every hotelier’s playbook.

Guest feedback can be great to improve all aspects of your hotel including physical infrastructure, quality of food and drink, and overall service. Reviews can also directly affect key metrics like RevPAR and occupancy. Additional amenities like a stable internet/WiFi connection are believed to highly impact the guest experience.

The Impact of Online Reviews on the Hotel industry

The internet is flooded with review sites and blogs that describe the first-hand experiences of individuals. Most vacation planners refer to these hotel reviews while booking accommodation. Therefore, it is critical to not only gather online reviews but also understand the importance of managing them. 81% of guests have said that they review hotels before making their buying decision. The impact of online reviews on the hotel industry has diverted the focus of hoteliers to online reputation management. Reading online reviews from other travellers has resulted in a surge of Online Travel Agents (OTAs) and review websites. Therefore, hotels aim to deliver a positive guest experience to create a lasting impression.

Importance of guest reviews for independent hotels

Research is a vital part of planning a trip. Before stepping out, travellers take time to analyze the culture and accommodation options available. This is a good opportunity for your hotel to showcase your service quality. Accordingly to a study by Barclays, online reviews can drive an extra £3.2 billion in the hospitality sector. This data indicates the importance of guest reviews for independent hotels to improve revenues.

So, even if you are a cosy bed-and-breakfast starting your business, it doesn’t mean your reviews will be rated lower than those of a five-star hotel. People base their reviews on their experience. Hence, if you deliver an exceptional guest experience, your reviews are sure to overpower big competitors. Recent research showed that there is only a 0.74 rating gap between hotels rated two-stars and five-stars.

Handling Negative Guest Reviews

A hotel’s performance relies on positive guest experiences and online reputation management cannot be ignored. To enhance the hotel’s performance, hoteliers need to have a well-thought strategy for online reputation management. Many hoteliers dread negative reviews. However, negative reviews, when managed correctly, can be a great tool to boost revenues. Negative reviews can help to create a positive brand image among your existing and potential guests. When a hotel receives an unfortunate negative online review it does not mean that your hotel and services are terrible. The reality is that no matter how great your business is, not all customers are going to leave happy. While you can’t prevent all bad reviews, you can have a game-plan for when it does happen.

How to Respond to a Negative Review:

Like any other business, negative reviews on customer satisfaction in the hotel industry is not uncommon. So, if you see a negative review, before drafting your response – take a deep breath. Do not let the initial emotional response make you feel nervous about your hotel and its services. If you have a good strategy, you can even turn your guest’s negative experience into a positive one. Avoid being defensive and maintain a casual conversational tone. If there has been a miscommunication, follow up with both, the guest as well as your staff. Once the problem has been solved, you can politely request the guest to modify their online review or in some cases even delete it.

Here are a few helpful tips on how to respond to a negative review:

1. Be sensitive and apologize:

Negative reviews will help you learn how to deliver a positive guest experience. At the time of handling negative reviews, you need to put yourself in the shoes of the guest. Whether or not it is your fault, a sincere apology can help to build a rapport with your guest. Believe it or not, using words like “I’m sorry” can mean a great deal in the business world. Even if you are not completely to blame, offering a sincere apology has the power to defuse a situation. If done well, you can have a loyal guest based on this very experience. By apologizing, you show your guest (and potential new guests) that you acknowledge their concerns. You can use this as a chance to display your commitment to providing superior service to all your guests.

2. Offer a solution:

Once you have apologized, offer real solutions to the problem. The solution should reflect that you have considered the matter. You need to be ready to put in the effort to improve. Avoid posting canned responses. Your solution needs to show genuine concern and thoughtfulness. To avoid a bad reputation online, offer to take the conversation offline.

If a guest is very angry it is advisable to speak with them offline. Don’t be afraid to provide them with your direct contact information in a private message.

3. Say “thank you.”:

As a hotelier, you need to realize that negative reviews are just as important as positive ones. It is important to let your guests know that you appreciate their time and feedback. But it is equally important to minimize the impact of negative publicity. Of course, getting more positive reviews is always great. However, handling negative reviews effectively is just as important. Once your guests have checked-out, email or message your guests for reviews. Studies have revealed that as many as 70% of customers will leave a positive review if asked.

How Hotelogix Helps?

Hotelogix is an all-in-one platform that allows you to access all your reviews in one place. You can also manage and automate all your hotel’s operations. Hotelogix’s easy integration with third-party solutions can help you automate the online review system when guests check out. And to make it better Hotelogix is offering a flat 50% discount on its property management software.

Hotelogix's all-in-one software helps you grow your business