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How to handle negative guest reviews?

No matter how hard we try, negative guest reviews can always happen. Do not take it personally but respond to your guests and listen to what they have to say as it can help you identify the areas of improvement you should prioritize.

How Should I Respond to Negative Guest Reviews?

Responding to guest reviews is essential, especially when they are negative. There is nothing worse than an abandoned negative guest review at the top of your page because you will come across as indifferent, and a management response offers you a great way to practice damage control.  A few guidelines when responding to a negative hotel review:

  1. Respond fast: when responding, timing is key. Ideally, a response is published within 72 hours, so the first reviews on your page always have a response. These are the reviews future guests will read the most. Prospects won’t look at reviews on page six, they will only look at the ones on top of the page.  
  1. Thank your guest: Even if they left a negative guest review, thank them for taking the time of leaving a review and show your guests and future guests that you take guest feedback seriously.  
  1. Be empathetic: Reply to a review the same way you would when facing a guest on property. Show understanding for their experience and apologize if needed.  
  1. Personalize: Personalization is vital, nobody wants to read the same response over and over. You will come across as robotic and cold, which is the opposite of what you want to achieve in hospitality.  
  1. Take action: Make your company guest-centric and take into account the feedback your guests have left you. If the issue has been fixed, let them know so that future guests aren’t scared off by issues that might have already been resolved.  

Try to Understand Your Guests

In the end, it is important to understand that when you reply to a guest, you are not just speaking to them. You are also addressing all those future bookers who are researching their next stay and landed on your page. Before making a booking decision these travelers will first read your reviews and their responses, so the way you handle feedback will weigh in their decision. Dealing in a correct manner with your guest reviews will positively impact your online reputation.

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