Our recently published webinar, "Guest-led feedback culture," was a great success! We hosted IDM Hospitality with Tara Peterson and asked many great questions from the participants. Unfortunately, there were so many that we could not answer all during the webinar. Here is a follow up with our answers.
Responses to negative reviews
Q: What if someone is unhappy? I answer with what I think is right and he is still unhappy when he answers back and says he wants a full refund. How would I handle it?
Ask the guest to contact you directly to resolve the issue. Do not promise to refund online to avoid setting precedents. But you can say something like this:
"I would like to continue discussing it. Please contact our reception and ask directly with me. I apologize again that your stay with us did not meet your expectations. "
Q: Can you give some tips on how to deal with a negative assessment that includes the name of an employee, especially if the employee was not responsible for the problem at hand, but only bears the brunt of the guest's dissatisfaction?
Try to put yourself in the position of the guest. Each employee represents part of your organization. If something is wrong with the guest's stay, it may be that his or her frustration falls on certain employees as representatives of the entire organization. In this case, it is best to avoid becoming defensive. Instead, focus on accepting mistakes as a team rather than singling out individuals. Focus on what you plan to improve future experiences.
This may be the case, for example, when a guest complains about a slow check-in time, mentioning in particular the name of the receptionist. It could be a problem of understaffing, not the fault of the individual employee.
"We sincerely apologize that our organization could not meet your expectations. We evaluated our staffing procedures at the front desk and took steps to ensure a faster check-in process. In the future we hope that you will come back and be satisfied with our improvement. "
Q: What is the best way to respond to a rating when a guest had a very difficult stay, but the problems he had were due to his likes / dislikes, and not necessarily that the hotel was to blame ? The hotel compensated them while they were at the hotel, but the guest went online anyway and gave a poor review.
It seems that you have already gone a few steps by alleviating the problems that have occurred during the guest's stay. You still want to respond to the review. I would suggest staying positive and doing your best to see the guest's perspective. Sometimes you can only do so much!
"How often should I answer?" And other best practices
Q: Tara, what percentage of positive return rates are you? Would you suggest responding not only publicly but also privately?
In general, it is best to respond to any negative feedback. If you have the guest's private information, be sure to send a personal message in addition to your public reply. Tara also responds to 30% of neutral and positive ratings. The guidelines we often give to hoteliers are close to IDM's approach. We usually suggest:
100% of 1 and 2 star ratings
50% of 3 star reviews
25% from 4 and 5 star ratings
Q: Would you then encourage me to respond to ALL reviews?
If you have time, absolutely! However, we know that this is not a realistic expectation for every property.
Q: When responding to negative and positive reviews, there is a maximum length for the response.
In general, brevity is the way to go. Do not write a short answer that seems too short, but you do not want to write an essay either. You can do this in just 4-5 sentences.
1. We thank the guest for choosing your hotel and taking the time to write a review.
2. Personalize your message. Take the opportunity to highlight the praise of a positive review and to recognize criticism in a negative review.
3. Apologize for criticism and highlight any changes you have made or intend to make.
4. Encourage the guest to return.
The guest is misinformed
Q: How would you deal with a great rating that was incorrectly rated by the guest? For example, if the written rating was excellent, but the guest just gave you a circle on TripAdvisor?
You can try to fix the problem with one of the following problems:
"Thank you for taking the time to write a review! Unfortunately, we are a bit confused because your written rating is glowing, but your rating is very poor. Is there anything we could have done differently to make your stay with us better than you expected? "That way, you'll alert the error without assuming that the guest is wrong.
Q: We've seen reviews of parking prices and found that our prices are not competitive with other nearby hotels. They refer to hotel rates, not to valet parking. How could you react to that?
You want to provide the correct prices without necessarily telling the guest that he or she is wrong. For example, you could try something like this:
"Thank you for showing us the parking rates. While this is the right price for valet parking, we are pleased to announce that there is a $ x self-parking option comparable to the self-parking option at other nearby hotels. I'm sorry that you did not make that clear when you arrived. We hope you enjoyed the rest of your stay with us. "
Q: What if someone writes a positive review but gives false information?
They want to correct the information but do so gently and / or subtly. For example, if a guest states that they have been given free Wi-Fi, and the Wi-Fi in your hotel is not free, you may say: "Thank you for writing such a glowing review! We are pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us and we are glad that we could take into account your specific circumstances regarding the WLAN. "Or:" We are pleased that you have enjoyed our temporary transport with the WLAN. "
Q: The TripAdvisor survey we made earlier lets us know what criteria the hotel's ranking takes into account. How are the individual criteria weighted in the process?
Unfortunately, the TripAdvisor algorithm is proprietary. Therefore, we do not have an exact answer.
Q: The management's answers have absolutely no impact on the popularity of the hotels.
No. The answers of the management have no influence on the ranking of a hotel in the popularity scale. However, management responses affect bookings. In one TripAdvisor study, 68% of respondents agreed, "If I consider two comparable objects, the presence of management responses would be in his favor."
Q: What is a rating that needs to be removed by TripAdvisor?
Fraud is a reason. If you have reason to believe that a review of your site is fraudulent, you can not ignore it. But you also can not get angry or defensive. Try this:
1. Answer and say something like, "We appreciate that you took the time to write a review. However, I believe your rating has been incorrectly assigned to our hotel as we have searched our guest records and logs and have no evidence of your stay. "
2. Ask for the removal of the review.
3.If you think you are being blackmailed, report this to TripAdvisor.
Another reason why a guest review could be removed is if your hotel has undergone extensive renovations. In this case follow these instructions to report the renovation to TripAdvisor. If it meets your criteria, some of your old ratings may be deleted, so you can start with a clean list.
Finally, there are guidelines for traveler reviews on TripAdvisor. click here to see her. If you believe a review violates these guidelines, TripAdvisor has a reporting mechanism. click here for more informations.
Questions about the cast
A few webinar participants had questions about the cast.
Q: I work in a larger resort with many departments. How do you propose to hold departments responsible for investigating complaints and tracking them to account?
Q: How many workers do I have to use for reputation management? We are a hotel with 400 rooms and we have difficulty with time management.
Revinate & # 39; s Online Reputation Management Platform is a great solution for both problems. It summarizes all mentions of your hotel online in one place. Sentiment Analysis automatically analyzes your online reviews according to trends and integrates reporting. ORM also has a ticketing system that allows you to delegate problems to specific departments and track their tracking.