If you have been in the hospitality industry for a while, you know how reviews can make or break your day. Hotel reviews or restaurant reviews are a powerful resource for your business, both good and bad. There are many ways you can turn a bad review into a good review, here are some of our top tips:
Do Not Ignore Your Reviews
You should be constantly checking for reviews on Google, Facebook, TripAdvisor, etc. and answering every single one. Your guests are writing reviews because they are passionate about you, even if it’s bad. Take that opportunity to reach out to that person and let them know you care and are willing to do what it takes to make them happy.
Be empathetic, do not blame them (even if it is their fault), and do what you can to turn it around.
Reply to Your Reviews Promptly
Replying to a review seven months, seven weeks, or even seven days after it was posted will do little good for anyone. It’s possible the reviewer is over whatever anger they had in the first place, and is less likely to respond in any way.
Address the Issues So They Can Be Resolved
Make sure you are addressing whatever issue the reviewer had — don’t just say sorry and move on. Ask them about specifics, and look to actually solve those issues. You would be surprised how many people are surprised someone responds to them in the first place, but then also actually tries to address what happened.
Invite Your Guests to Return
Whether you are a restaurant or hotel, passionate customers are something you should actually strive for. When responding to a review, invite them to return. You do not necessarily need to offer them a discount to do so, but ask them to give you a second chance.
If you truly believe in your product, then a bad review should be the result of a fluke or a bad day (it happens to all of us). If a guest returns, they should then experience the true quality experience you offer on a regular basis.
Educate Your Customers, Without Accusing
A bad review could also be the result of a lack of knowledge about your restaurant or hotel, and stating facts is always a good way to respond to users. Of course, there is a fine line between stating facts and blaming the customer.
For instance, I recently had a hotel experience where facts were unnecessary. I had asked the front desk for additional waters, and said that two of my friends had had their waters refilled in their rooms.
The front desk agent responded with “we don’t refill waters in rooms.” So instead of just handing me the water (something included in the stay), I felt accused. And I will always remember that experience.
If you can respond in such a way that it is not accusatory, then education on your practices and products can be an incredibly useful tool.
Don’t Forget About Your Good Reviews
According to Inc.com, “It takes roughly 40 positive customer experiences to undo the damage of a single negative review.” Your happy customers are your best ally, and you should be responding to every good review that comes into your platforms as well.