How Hoteliers Can Manage Bad Reviews

by | June 16, 2022

Bad reviews: they come with the business and every hotelier has had to deal with them. Take a look on any review site and you’ll probably find a bad review written about your hotel. Many times your knee-jerk reaction is to jump to the defense of your property, service, cleanliness, or whatever else was critiqued. 

You may even remember this particular customer and just know that they are being unreasonable. However, before you log in to any hotel review sites to tear into the reviewer who left your hotel a scathing review, consider the ramifications of your reaction. Your responses say a lot about your hotel, so follow these tips to help prevent driving travelers away from your property.

Keep Future Travelers in Mind

Although your response is being written to the review-writer in order to acknowledge their experience and comments, think of your response as a billboard advertising your brand’s attitude. There’s a chance the initial reviewer may read it and feel better that their thoughts were taken into consideration. However, it’s the users that are considering traveling to your property who you’re trying to win over with your response. They’re browsing Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google to find out what past guests have experienced at a hotel. 

The numbers don’t lie: 81% of people frequently or always read reviews before booking a hotel. That’s a lot of eyes on your reviews, and thus, on your responses. While the rating of your hotel and what is being said in reviews has an impact on travelers’ impressions of your property, 85% of individuals say a hotel’s thoughtful response to an online review improves their view of the hotel. That being said, professional and considerate reviews can go a long way in convincing a traveler to book with you, even if you have a few bad reviews.

Redeem Your Hotel with Review Response

According to TripAdvisor, 89% of travelers say reviews are influential when choosing where to book – this means that nine out of ten of your potential guests are looking you up online before deciding to stay with you! If you respond to a bad review by blaming the guest, making excuses, or using the space to complain about the guest, then other travelers reading the reviews will not want to do business with you. Why would they spend their money at a property with abysmal guest service? 

The review response is a space for you to redeem your reputation, explain situations professionally, and subtly encourage other readers to give your hotel a chance, despite the bad review. Providing a kind, professional, and thoughtful response gives travelers a better impression of your hotel and makes them more forgiving of any negative reviews of your hotel.

Put Your Hotel’s Reputation Back in Your Hands

Hotel review sites vary and there are different ways that you are able to access and respond to bad hotel reviews. You can find more in-depth information on how you can respond to hotel review sites in our white paper Hotelier’s Guide to Responding to Online Reviews. Or, for a great example of one hotelier’s successful response to a bad review, download The Anatomy of a Response.

Ready to take charge of your hotel’s online reputation? Learn more about our Reputation Management solution, which allows you to track your reputation, manage and respond to reviews, and encourage more guest reviews to improve your ranking. Or, for even more help nailing the tone of your review responses, consider our Review Response solution. Our professional writers craft individual responses to your reviews that you can then approve. Save time and ensure all reviews are addressed with Respond & Resolve™.




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