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Answering to your clients’ critics makes part of your online reputation

It’s unavoidable: in Internet, your hotel will be well reviewed by users in some website.

How do you go about these reviews, both positive and negative, that are published on your website or in booking sites?

Nowadays, online travellers’ communities are multiplying and the hotel’s transparency is very important for users to trust it when booking with you. One way to show your desire for transparency and dialogue is answering your clients’ reviews. This is indispensable for your prospective customers that may read them, so they can value your establishment. The time invested in this activity will be recovered through the improvement of your image and with regards to the competition.

Why answering the comments published about your hotel

Answering your clients’ comments will allow you to:

  • Satisfy the customer who’s given his time to type his opinion: A satisfied customer is a free source of advertising for your hotel. Word of mouth will work even better if it comes from a client who received a personal answer to his commentaries.
  • Project a good image of your hotel: What will users looking for a hotel room think when they see your answer? “What a wonderful customer service offers this hotel. If the hotel makes the effort to answer its customers personally, then they will probably go the extra mile for their customers”. The image of your hotel will improved thanks to this personal service.
  • Stand out from your competition: There aren’t many hoteliers yet who dedicate time to answer the comments of their clients personally. Several websites like Tripadvisor.com and HotelSearch.com, let the hoteliers answer directly to users’ comments and the answers are published. Take advantage of this opportunity to differentiate yourself from your competition, displaying that good customer service and consideration you have for your customers.

What way would you react and answer to negative and positive reviews.

I think that one of the biggest mistakes one could make would be to answer only the comments of those users that publish a negative review and what would be even worse, would be answering denying their point in an aggressive way. I don’t mean at all that the customer is always right, but there are always constructive ways of answering, so other users don’t get the wrong impression of the hotel’s level of customer service.

What could be a good answer?

  • Always thank the client for his time, even if the comment was negative.
  • If the comment is positive, pick 1 or 2 points that the client mentioned he liked and elaborate on them: If you liked your stay in the hotel, then elaborate on this aspect by saying that you work with a professional team and that that it’s always a pleasure to welcome clients like him. If the customer liked the decor, talk about it. In this way, besides talking with this client, you will be able to provide more information for your future customers, and your answer will be personalized and will be more valued.
  • If the comment is negative… it’s time to be more subtle.
    • Even if the client’s comment contains negative criticism, it is possible that it has also talked about his satisfaction about other aspects. In this case, just do the same you would do with a very positive comment, just elaborate more on the details of the positive comments. In this way, the negative parts of the comment won´t look so strong.
    • Apologize for the problems the customer encountered during his stay.
    • As far as possible, explain to him what could have happened. In this way, the other customers will also have the chance to listen to your version of events.
    • Tell him about the measures you are taking to solve those issues, saying that, thanks to his comment, your service level will improve.
    • Depending on why the client is unhappy, it would also be a good idea to ask him to get in touch with you. When other users read your comment they will realize how much you care about your customers, even after they’ve left and they will immediately have a good image of your hotel.

Example of good answer:

” We thank you for your comments. Murmuri rooms may seem small, but they correspond to the medium to big sized rooms in hotels of similar category in the centre of Barcelona. Besides, the decoration and the furniture have been optimized to make the most of the available space for our guests. The rooms that overlook the alley are the Classic rooms. The Superior or Privilege rooms offer a bit more space for a very reasonable price increase.”

A real example of how you should NEVER answer:

“You may not like the location for the amount of prostitutes, most of them from Rumania and Ecuador, but obviously this is not our fault, it is the government’s fault. The government has let so many people from these countries to come in, by the way you are one of them, and it should put a stop to his situation somehow. We apologize if we have offended you so much, but we believe that here in the guesthouse we have strive to give you the best possible customer service. There is nothing we can do about the street situation and if those in power don’t do anything, please, understand that there is nothing left for us to do except remain quiet and put up with it.”

Many hotels don’t bother answering their customers’ clients, and it is a shame when it is clear what positive impact it may have in their sales and their image. It is a very inexpensive way to advertise your hotel and make it stand out from their competition.

How do you deal with your clients’ reviews? If you don’t answer your clients’ comments, why is it? What could encourage you to answer? Do you encourage your customers to leave comments about your hotel?

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4 thoughts

  1. Buenos Días,

    Me parece muy interesante tu artículo , la verdad es que casi nadie suele dedicar tiempo a contestar a las opiniones negativas de los clientes y aún menos a las positivas, pero tal vez es una cuestión de medios, es decir, que si se tiene en cuenta los portales en los que puedas contestar la crítica , las IDS en general sólo te permiten leerlo y nada más.

    Un abrazo,

    David

  2. Muy acertado. Como en el comentario anterior quiero mencionar también el hecho de que muchas veces no es posible contestar pero cuando podemos por supuesto que lo hacemos y estoy en la línea de todas las recomendaciones. Además es bueno aplicar la máxima discrección de manera que nuestras explicaciones se ciñan a las circustancias objetivas que son objeto del comentario pero que de ellas no se deduzcan las circustancias personales del cliente, no sólo porque nos obligue la Ley de Protección de Datos sino por delicadeza con esa persona que se ha molestado en hacer el comentario y dejando así más de manifiesto que el interés del hotelero es dar un servicio inmejorable, venga de donde venga el cliente y pague lo que pague.

  3. Desgraciadamente el cliente no siempre tiene razón y en numerosos casos las críticas no tienen en cuenta lo que se ha pagado. No obstante, hay que intentar que todo el mundo quede contento.

  4. Viendo un comentario de unos clientes de este establecimiento,me parece asombroso,lo bien y lo mal que nos ponen limpieza 10,ubicacion 10, servicios,10,en cambio negativo el personal de la Hosteria,el 99% de los comentarios en este sentido,hasta este momento habian sido favorables.Y esto porque,se les llamo la atencion pidiendoles por favor cerrasen la ventana de la habitacion,ya que estaba la calefacion puesta.En cuanto la habitacion ellos mismos lo reconocen,se les dio una suite,por cortesia hacia Booking.com,ya que nos quedaban libres esa noche.Salon,calefacion,2TV.una en la habitacion y otra en el salon, servicios gratuitos de hervidor,con sus utensilios para hacer cafe,the ect. ,minibar.El precio de esta Suite les salio por 48 euros.las dos personas.Espero que lean esto y recapaciten,en otra ocasion antes de hacer un comentario de ravieta,con el que pueden hacer mucho daño.Detodos modos gracias,siempre se aprende algo nuevo,gracias tambien por el resto de la puntuacion.