“How to respond to guest reviews?”

According to research, reacting to internet reviews—especially unfavourable ones—improves the trust that potential guests have in your hotel and increases their likelihood to think that you genuinely care about your customers.

Online reviews are a significant deciding element for potential guests as well as a tool to establish and maintain a relationship with past or current visitors. As a result, if you answer a review, you are also communicating with every other potential guest who is going through your Tripadvisor, Bookings.com, or Google reviews.

However, while responding to reviews is clearly a vital management task, it isn’t always an easy one. It’s sometimes difficult to know what to write, which reviews to respond to or how to address complaints. So, we asked a few experienced hoteliers to share some of their tips and tricks for responding to satisfied and not-so-satisfied guests online.

  • Unique, Personalized responses

Regardless of whether a review is great, negative, or mixed, it’s crucial to answer to each customer individually. No computer-generated input or “copy-paste.” Visitors want proof that you paid close attention to their compliments, complaints, or general remarks. This is the customer’s manner of interacting with your company. Your reaction not only affects how they feel about their relationship with you, but it also serves as a marketing tool by letting potential customers know what kind of service to expect from your organisation.

Always respond to any review with honesty and sincerity, shown by using language that connects with what the guests are saying to you and not these overly formal and impersonal responses that look like they are computer auto-generated responses. Responses from management should be viewed as a chance to build relationships with each customer and prove that you value their input.

One of the most essential aspects of drafting a response is replying professionally and individually. We examine each review individually, and we never make use of “copy & paste” or pre-written comments. They ought to be unique for each response.

We respond to negative reviews positively by (often) thanking the author for their helpful feedback. We frequently explain any factors we think contributed to poor remarks and keep in mind to respond to the reviewer, but keep in mind that even with negative reviews, you are advertising your brand to a global audience. Visitors are reading your comment and may decide whether to stay based on what has been written. Above all, we always appreciate input from everyone and reassure them that all remarks are valuable.

It’s crucial to approach each review as an opportunity to engage in communication with a specific customer who has chosen to get in touch with your company. It is courteous to address them as a special guest. In the end, this will result in higher client happiness, client retention, and word-of-mouth marketing. Simply  taking some time to write down your responses.

  • Respond To Every Reviews – The Good, The Bad And The Nondescript

You must take the time to reply to every review, was another unanimous expert opinion. Each review is an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with an existing client, encourage follow-up reservations, address problems, and show prospective clients that you are a personable company that values every client equally.

You should never pass up the chance to interact with customers who have taken the time to leave a review. It is crucial that you take the time to thank both the reviewer and the client who left it. Use your judgement to engage with your product or service throughout the guest journey. Not only for the purpose of that visitor, but also for the readers of the review’s perception of your hotel. According to research conducted by academics from Griffith University, The provision of an online answer (vs no response) strengthened inferences that potential consumers draw regarding the business’s trustworthiness and the extent to which it cares about its customers.

Hoteliers to contact the reviewer, but remember that you are marketing your business, even with negative reviews, to a global platform. Visitors are reading your comment and might decide whether to stay based on what has been written.

Whether you manage a small, medium, or large establishment, this should be considered one of your most crucial marketing initiatives. Customers anticipate that their reviews will be read, acknowledged, and promptly addressed. This will undoubtedly increase consumer satisfaction and retention.

According to Tripadvisor, one of the world’s leaders in the guest feedback industry, 65% of travellers agree that they would be more likely to book at a hotel that has replied to guest reviews than one that has not.

  • Respond To Positive Reviews With Thanks

It takes just as long for a customer to write a positive review as it does a negative one, and both should be acknowledged by your company. Responding to positive reviews can increase brand loyalty, result in more reservations, and serve as a billboard to advertise your company to potential customers.

You ought to express gratitude to the client for taking the time to write a review. As was also previously stated, make it unique; note what the client praised and emphasise that. Responding to favourable reviews is a terrific way to highlight your own accomplishments, attract more customers, and persuade the reviewer to make another reservation.

This solidifies the idea that participating in these mini-dialogues can have a significant impact on your hotel’s booking rates. These comments might make guests who were already happy with their stay and the positive review extra happier. Referrals and word-of-mouth marketing can benefit greatly from feeling acknowledged and appreciated.

With positive reviews, thank the guest for all of their compliments. If any employees were mentioned, let the visitor know that you will congratulate them for a job well done.

In addition to increasing customer happiness, this method of using positive reviews can also be utilised to boost employee morale or provide incentives, which motivates staff to consistently provide top-notch service.

  • Respond To Unsatisfactory Reviews With Empathy And Honesty 

Responding to bad reviews is crucial in order to regain the dissatisfied customers’ trust. It also becomes equally important for potential guests who are reading the reviews.

It’s crucial to maintain empathy and consider the answer from the perspective of the client, as many experts have stressed. If you take the criticism personally or become irritated or defensive, it won’t assist anyone. As we’ve previously indicated, now is the moment to spread the word about your company. The manner you respond to criticism will be observed by potential consumers as a sign of what to anticipate from the business if they decide to check in. Avoid trying to hide behind the negative feedback; both the unhappy visitor and potential customers will see it.

Additionally, you should thank the consumer for bringing up the constructive feedback, agree that possibly there is something that needs to be addressed, and explain how you intend to handle the issue. The consumer must understand that there is a clear plan of action to address their problem.It’s critical to address all concerns and work toward a successful conclusion.

Prospective visitors can learn a lot about your company and how they will be handled at your hotel by observing management comments that are combative, verbose, or attempt to avoid the issues.It’s crucial to remain composed when reading negative evaluations. Do not personalise the critical remarks. Inform the visitor that you will deal with his specific problems right away.

Every review must be responded to with empathy as each guest who gives this feedback is trying to communicate a message to the business. Responding to a bad review shows you care enough about your product to take constructive criticism. This also goes to show you respect your guests for being honest with their feedback based on their experience of your product or service as a business. Include aspects of what the feedback means to you and offer a trackable course of action that can be implemented and guests can see the sincerity in your organisation to embrace feedback.

As already stated, it is crucial to approach critical comments honestly and sincerely. We want our customers to know that we value their opinions, have listened to them, and will do our best to find a solution. Again, it’s crucial to reply to each review in turn, politely, and promptly.


  • Top Points Every Review Should Include

  • Be sincere, honest and empathetic

Try to see the issue from the perspective of the visitors, address any grievances, and consider the constructive feedback of the customers. Celebrate positive feedback and draw attention to compliments by sharing them with your team or other important stakeholders.

  • Respond timeously 

Quick customer service responses demonstrate a commitment to your clients’ needs as well as a level of professionalism to both current and prospective clients. The best way to ensure you don’t miss any reviews that require a response is to use online reputation management software, which will quickly notify you of any reviews that don’t meet a predetermined standard and will make replying to them quicker and simpler.

  • See each comment as a way to market your property

Emphasizing positive reviews and certain aspects of the customer’s experience that stuck out can be ways to persuade them to make another reservation. It also gives you the chance to try and utilise the response, where appropriate, to quietly point the consumer back to your website or specific deals.

  • Be appreciative and courteous 

Thank each customer for their input. Speak in a personable yet formal way that fosters a feeling of concern for the client. Pieter Van Rooyen, general manager of the Bon Hotel Bloemfontein Central, advises guests to “always thank you for leaving a review and to always extend an invitation to return to your property.”

Be thankful and courteous, even if they have given you a bad review. You can (but shouldn’t) discredit the reviewer if necessary. Always finish with positives so that future guests can see your business as a place worth visiting. This is also the best marketing tool you can use, so mention about booking directly, visit our website and sign up for news and offers. Anything you can think of to be creative.  Don’t write “BOOK DIRECT FOR BEST RATES” in capitals on every review, it’s not subtle and won’t work.  Just the odd mention, particularly in good reviews.  Use them to promote your business.

Conclusion :

This advice from experienced hotels can ease the burden of replying to guest reviews, and they also highlight how crucial it is to interact with clients through review responses.

Excellent customer service is what guests expect both during and after their stay. With just a few characters, you might be able to win back a dissatisfied customer or convert a satisfied customer into a brand advocate by responding to their feedback.

For more details contact info@vafion.com

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