Responding to negative reviews is the best way for a business to redeem themselves. In fact 79% of people also say that seeing a response to a negative review is reassuring (Forrester).
According to another survey conducted by PhoCusWright, 84% of travelers agree that appropriate management responses to negative reviews improve the impression of the hotel. Moreover, 64% of respondents agree that an aggressive or defensive management response to a negative review makes them less likely to book.
It can be intimidating to know that you are responding to a customer who has had a bad experience and that your comments will be public for the whole world to see. It's trite to say, but if you put yourself in the customer's shoes it becomes much easier. How would I feel if I just spent my hard-earned money on a hotel room and I had a disappointing experience? I would feel cheated. I would tell my friends and post a review. If I didn't get a response I would think the hotel doesn't care at all about customers. I would expect a response and in it, I would want the hotel to tell me that I am right and they are sorry.
When a negative review is posted, it is important that you respond immediately (when allowed by the review sites) to show that you care about your customers and you take their feedback seriously. Reply as a person, not as 'the business' to give your reply a personal touch. All replies are moderated so there might be a delay before you see your response posted. For all public responses, Revinate will capture the reply once it is posted live on the review site.
Your response should be tailored to each review, but you can use these steps as a guideline.
1. Thank the reviewer for taking the time to post a review
2. Acknowledge the positive comments where applicable and natural
3. Apologize for your business not living up to its high standards
4. Never offer compensation, as it might encourage more complaints (A good tip from Daniel Craig)
5. Depending on the severity, provide the GMs name and number in case the customer would like to discuss the situation in more depth
6. Let the customer know that you will make sure that the right department is made aware of the review
7. Show personality and tailor your response to the review (don't just use a template for every response).
Then, follow through with your staff to make sure that the problem doesn't happen again. Also make sure you respond in a professional manner.
Please let us know if you'd had any success stories by responding to negative reviews, or any other tips/suggestions.