Can You Respond to Hotel Ratings with No Comments?
Oftentimes, hoteliers will get hotel reviews with a rating but no comment. This can cause confusion as to whether or not you should reply. In this article, we'll discuss what to do in this type of scenario.
Should Hoteliers Reply to Rating-Only Reviews?
Although it may seem like hoteliers should respond to rating-only reviews, it's actually an unnecessary practice. In fact, it can damage your hotel's credibility. We highly recommend you do not respond to rating-only reviews because there's no traveler content to respond to. Ratings by themselves don't give you an opportunity to be specific and address any praises or issues. In this scenario, you might fall into the comfort of writing a canned response, which is typically a copy & paste response. In many instances, these generic responses make travelers feel that hoteliers aren't putting in the time or effort to give real responses.
Even if someone leaves a 5-star rating with no details, it might be tempting to respond. However, there's not much you could say other than "Thank you!" Without personalizing the response, readers might think that your response was generated through bots that push out the same response to reviews. That said, it's ultimately better for your hotel's reputation and time management if you acknowledge them within your hotel, and not online.
Do Review Websites Allow Responses to Ratings Without Comments?
It's important to understand how OTAs and review websites handle ratings and reviews. Essentially, OTA sites have different rules for writing and receiving reviews. Keep in mind, some of these OTA sites block repetitive responses from going out on your property's review site. When it comes to responding to reviews that only containing hotel star ratings, in some cases, the review website has already made the decision for you.
- TripAdvisor: Does not allow guests to leave a rating-only review. Guests must leave a comment in order to fully submit the Tripadvisor rating. That means in every instance, you can provide a personalized response to your guests.
- Google: Google is the only review site that offers hoteliers the ability to respond to a rating-only review and will publish your response. If travelers leave rating-only reviews, we don't recommend responding to them to avoid repetitive or canned responses.
- Expedia: Travelers can leave a rating-only review. If this is the case, hoteliers receive the review and have the opportunity to respond. If the hotelier responds, the guest will privately receive the response and your response will not appear on the website.
- Booking.com: Doesn't permit any response to rating-only reviews. However, they do not count this against you in your response rate.
As a whole, we encourage you to keep these OTA rules and limitations in mind the next time you consider whether or not you should write a response. Responding to written reviews is extremely important in assuring customers that you care about your guests. However, responding to reviews that only provide hotel star ratings don't fall under hotel best practices. We recommend investing your time and resources into responding to reviews where guests have shared the details of their experience along with their rating.
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