Negative Reviews 101: How to Respond & Resolve

by | June 25, 2019

Responding to negative reviews online is difficult. What should you say? What should you not say? Should you even respond? With the impact and importance of review response growing, it is hard to know how negative reviews should be handled. In this webinar, we offer a crash course on how to properly respond to negative reviews and resolve them. Watch the recording, as we share tips and best practices to help better prepare you on how to address negative feedback about your hotel online.

How to Respond to Today’s Reviews

With more hotel reviews online than ever before, the bar for guest service has risen significantly. Nowadays, a simple apology response won’t make the cut for guest satisfaction. Travelers want to see hoteliers take meaningful responsibility in their responses. Some of which include:

  • Acknowledgment
  • Empathy
  • Resolution
  • Possible Compensation


Negative-Reviews-Board Sometimes, you may receive negative reviews where people encourage others to book with your competitors because of their poor stay. We understand the emotional and mental exhaustion these types of reviews can bring to hoteliers. While it’s easy to get worked up, we recommend that you respond to negative online reviews the same way as you would in person. Attempt to make the issue better as you would naturally do so in person.

Also, it’s best to address all the reviews. If you only respond to a few, you are ignoring others. If you provide the same copy-and-paste response to all reviews, then you may appear as cold, robotic, and ingenuine. Don’t forget to address the positive reviews too by using the same front-desk-response tactic.

Market Your Hotel

Negative reviews give you a unique opportunity to market your hotel and it’s guest service. When it comes to short reviews, they can be tough to respond to.

65% of travelers are more likely to book a hotel that responds to online reviews. 1

Transform the negative review as a marketing opportunity by appreciating the guest, thanking them for any positive sentiment, and turning a negative review element as an opportunity to communicate with other travelers who might see the review during their search process.

Explain Policies

87% of guests say that an appropriate response to a bad review improves their impression of the hotel.2

Don’t take a combative approach when responding to negative reviews. If you get a negative review about a hotel or brand policy that is out of your control, mitigate the damage with an explanation. Appreciate their time for feedback and explain the hotel procedures and methods. Apologize for inconveniences, and make sure you always politely explain why certain policies are put in place. This can help educate future travelers about your hotel policies.

Demonstrate Superior Customer Service

Fortunately, the way your guests are treated by your staff is a factor within a hotelier’s control.

78% of guests say managers who respond to reviews care more about guests.2

Your review response is an excellent way to express your superior customer service. If you receive a negative review of your property that contains a positive note about your staff, start by highlighting the positive. Then, address the issue and add extra precaution about their needs and how your hotel will address the issue for future travelers.

Showcase Problem Solving Abilities

80% of travelers read 6 to 12 online reviews before making a decision to stay.2

Travelers are looking at many reviews before booking their stay. That said, there’s no need to worry about one negative review. However, you must keep an eye out for negative reviews so that you can respond appropriately and show future guests that you take guest concerns very seriously. Show that you’re taking immediate action to bring their concern to your attention. Addressing issues, and demonstrating that you’re taking action helps give travelers a peace of mind.
Count on 100% response rates within 48 hours on review sites across the board when partnering with Travel Media Group’s Respond & Resolve™ solution.



1.“5 Tips Inspired by Our New Traveler Survey.” TripAdvisor Insights, 14 Aug. 2018,

2. “24 Insights to Shape Your TripAdvisor Strategy.” TripAdvisor.


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