Revinate has identified these as the top ten things to keep in mind as you develop your management response talking points:
1. Management response should come from as high up in the organization as possible. GM is best; Director of Sales and Marketing is also good.
2. Time is of the essence. Respond within 24 hours, because responses are moderated and can take a while to be posted.
3. Apologize for an "atypical stay" if the guest felt slighted or didn't have a good experience. He chose to spend his money with you and, if he was disappointed, he deserves an apology.
4. Have someone else proofread your response to ensure that it is well-written, on-brand, and grammatically correct.
5. Let the reviewer know that you will use the feedback to improve operations, commend employees, or retrain. In other words, her feedback will be used to make a difference.
6. Thank the reviewer for taking the time to write a review, and call out any positives from the review. For example, say, "I'm sorry that you experienced an issue with housekeeping, but I'm glad that you did enjoy our spa services."
7. Never put your hotel/restaurant name in the same sentence as a problem that was reported, because it may come up in search results. For example, don't say, "Sorry to hear that you thought the Rex Hotel was noisy." Instead, say, "Sorry you found your stay noisy."
8. Invite the reviewer back for another visit. If the first experience wasn't great, tell him to let you know when he returns, so you can personally oversee his visit. (Don't include your number or email in the response; that is not allowed by the review sites.)
9. Be sincere. If it wouldn't sound natural coming out of your mouth, don't say it.
10. Put yourself in the reviewer's shoes. Most people just want to be heard and acknowledged. Understanding that makes it much easier to write a response. Remember, the most important quality of voice is that it seems to come from the heart.