Should hotels be responding to every single online review?

Mar 11, 2019

Online Reputation

In the hospitality industry, you always want to put your best foot forward. A good impression online perpetuates a positive image and helps a hotel register more visits from guests. Reports from Tripadvisor show that before settling on a hotel 88 percent of guests venture online in search of what other people are saying in their reviews about the place. OTA’s? Here are some tips;

It can be a puzzle for a hotel to ensure that all the visitors are satisfied and that they find their stay enjoyable. However, due to various reasons both within and without a hotel's grip, there’s going to be a few complaints which may ultimately lead to negative hotel reviews online.

So how should hotels respond to these reviews? Is it necessary to respond to each review on google? Below we explore the answers.

Read all reviews and respond only when necessary

The first reliable source of information for both the hotel and the guest comes from online reviews. It is imperative for a hotel to keep its eyes wide open by reading all comments and reviews online whether on google or on renowned Online Travel Agencies-OTA’s like Tripadvisor. By doing so, you may realize specific issues that need improvement and address urgent matters.

Take a minute or two to choose specific reviews to respond to. There are reviews that stand out and others that do not. Respond only to those comments that instantly grab your attention and seem genuine.

While offering no response at all is discouraged, it is equally damaging to respond to all the reviews. Research shows that hotel returns rise significantly when a hotel responds to selected reviews. However, the same cannot be said when the hotel does not respond at all or when the hotel responds too much. Keep the response rate below 40 percent and your guest numbers will either grow or remain the same.

It is advisable to respond to negative responses in a way that shows concern and action. Simultaneously, appreciate positive reviews.

How to properly respond to hotel reviews

It is easy to respond to positive reviews online, but what about negative ones? How can a hotel properly respond to negative reviews on OTA’s? Here are some tips;

Respond on time

Promptly responding to reviews helps your hotel to address complaints when they are still fresh. It is an unwritten rule that a hotel should address an isolated negative review usually within 48 hours from when it was posted.

Exercise respect

reviews are bad, other reviews, on the other hand, can be outright ugly. It's easy to get provoked into responding in a way that shows emotion and negatively represents the hotel. Remain composed and show rectitude by responding to all reviews negative or positive with respect.

Show dedication

Make an effort to address specific reviews by showing that you have made improvements or taken deliberate steps to better the circumstances of the guest. Even if the guest may have already left the hotel, any reader will see that you have responded to previous concerns in a manner that paints your hotel in good light.

In the long run, how a hotel responds to reviews is powerful enough to influence a guest’s decision to book with you or to look elsewhere. With the above pointers, it is clear how your hotel should professionally handle online reviews.