Spreading The Love: Responding to Your Hotel’s Guest Feedback

by | February 14, 2024

In the hotel industry, responding to reviews can seem like an odd practice if you are unfamiliar with the effects that it can have on a hotel portfolio. Review response is the foundation for a solid online hotel reputation and a comprehensive digital presence. By actively managing this crucial digital channel, hoteliers can strategically foster relationships with their hotel guests and future travelers that ultimately drive revenue. Hotel bookings are heavily influenced by what individuals see about your hotel and what other guests have to share about their experiences. This blog will cover the following topics, including: 

  • Why Responding to Reviews is Important
  • How to Navigate Guest Reviews
  • The Challenges of Responding to Reviews
  • Available Resources that Can Help when Responding

Why Responding to Reviews is Important:

The first benefit of replying to online guest feedback begins with the guest. Online reviews allow hoteliers to achieve key objectives when interacting with their audience. These objectives can include but are not limited to educating travelers, conflict resolution, showcasing property features, or simply thanking guests for their feedback. Whatever the goal may be, keep in mind that each review bolsters a hotel’s online reputation and undeniably affects property bookings. Many hoteliers do not realize that a hotel’s online reputation dictates how it ranks compared to other hotels in their respective markets. By not responding to guest reviews, you put your hotel properties in jeopardy of being rated lower on public-facing review platforms such as Google Reviews or TripAdvisor. Last but not least, review response allows you to set guest expectations before guests arrive at the property. If expectations are not set accordingly from the start, there is an increased likelihood of guest dissatisfaction after their stay.

How To Navigate Guest Reviews:

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Knowing all the intricacies of review response takes time to learn and understand. Optimizing each response that coincides with a review must incorporate various components that make up a well-crafted response. The different aspects include: 

  • Personalized greeting
  • Brand signature
  • Delivers the hotel brand voice 
  • Mentions specific pieces of the review
  • Conflict Resolution (if applicable
  • Insight into the guest experience
  • Highlights property features/associates 

With that said, remember that responding to each review in 48 hours or less is of utmost importance. The reason is, the longer you wait to reply to a guest, the higher the possibility that the guest will not even see your response and in turn spread negative word of mouth if they have a bad experience. Timely responses lead to a better relationship with travelers and promote open communication that encourages guests to leave feedback. 

The Reality of Responding:

Although responding to online guest reviews yields a multitude of benefits, there can be a downside to it. A lesser-known effect of review response is extreme stress and afflicted mental health. It is very common to feel mentally exhausted after responding to negative reviews because they can be pretty harsh. As necessary as responding to guest reviews is to a hotel and its business, it does take a significant amount of dedicated time that may not be available at your property. If staffing issues affect your hotel properties, finding an associate to respond to reviews will be challenging and lead to incorrect responses. Overwhelmed hotel team members result in poor guest service, which turns into unhappy guests. Even if staffing is not an issue, resources are available that outline the ROI of responding to reviews, which gives a comprehensive understanding of the matter.

Take It From the Experts:

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There is comfort in knowing that help is out there to assist hotels with their online guest reviews and optimize their digital footprint. The Respond & Resolve™ digital solution is the all-in-one answer regarding responding to guest reviews and crafting a tailored response to each individual traveler. A team of response experts learn your hotel voice and provide thorough responses to reviews across all major review platforms, ensuring your guest’s feedback is managed and documented in TMG OneView®. 

With over 40+ years of experience responding to reviews and improving hotel online reputation for the largest global hotel brands and their portfolios, Travel Media Group offers a suite of solutions that address the most prevalent headwinds impacting hoteliers. Take the first step in elevating your online presence with the experts who do it best so you always stay one step ahead of the competition.