Reviews come in all shapes and sizes, so to speak.
NB: This is an article from GuestRevu
While you probably love getting the warm and fuzzy positive reviews that spur you on to work another day in the crazy world of hospitality, you also have to contend with gut-punch negative reviews that occasionally burst your bubble – on Tripadvisor and on the inside.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and stay up to date
As tempting as it may be to turn a blind eye to these reviews, statistics show it’s imperative that you respond to every review, especially the negative ones. According to Podium’s State of Reviews research, “56% of consumers say that a business’s responses to reviews have changed their perspective on the business.”
A good management response will enable you to turn negative reviews into a tool to build a better online reputation, facilitate open lines of communication with your guests, and can change the perception of both the aggrieved guest as well as any potential travellers looking for their next holiday
“Obtaining feedback is only the first step. The more critical step that a lodging operation must engage in is the use of that feedback to implement strategic change.” says a case study by two top universities. While we can’t go back and change what has already happened, we can start to atone for the customers’ dissatisfaction. When responding to any negative review, a four-step approach is suggested.
According to Tripadvisor, 87% of users agree that an appropriate management response to a bad review “improves my impression of the hotel” while 70% of users agree that an aggressive/defensive management response to a bad review “makes me less likely to book that hotel”
The “Four R” method of dealing with negative reviews
The Golden rule is never, ever ignore a negative review. A timely response is one of the most effective marketing tools you could possibly have at your disposal. You are not just responding to the person who wrote the review, but you are talking to the hundreds of people reading it too.
If you handle criticism well, take the complaints on board and are respectful and even thankful to the guest for writing it, your response creates a human element to your business that instils trust and forgiveness in other readers. As SEO and marketing guru Neil Patel says, “a negative review will only stay negative forever if you ignore it and never address it.”
Here are the four R’s of turning a negative review into a better reputation: