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?