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How to Respond to Guest Feedback in Online Reviews Part-1 by Gajanan Shirke

Whether it’s an online review, a guest survey or a comment at checkout, your hotel’s response to feedback can have a significant impact on guest perceptions, guest behavior and the overall success of your hotel.
If feedback is poorly managed, guests may not return to your hotel and may share their disappointment with others, affecting your hotel’s reputation and your ability to attract business.
If feedback is well managed, guests will feel more positive about your hotel, which in turn will reduce negative reviews and increase positive reviews, helping to attract new and repeat business.
In this guide we discuss managing feedback on three key channels: in person, on the telephone and electronic. We review best practices in responding to feedback on each channel, paying special attention to the most popular
types of feedback today: guest surveys and online reviews.
Whether you are new to hospitality or have been handling guest feedback for years, this article will help you to build the knowledge and confidence you need to respond effectively to all types of feedback in all formats.

Why Respond to Guest Feedback?

Responding to guest feedback is one of the most challenging and time-consuming tasks that hoteliers face. And it’s not getting easier. More feedback than ever is being shared publicly on review sites and social media channels.
It has never been more important for hotel employees - not just managers - to develop and fine-tune skills in responding effectively to all types of feedback.
By responding to guest feedback, you have the opportunity to:
• Thank guests
• Show that you’re listening & you care
• Change perceptions
• Explain & reassure
• Clear up misinformation
• Reinforce the positive
• Be accountable
• Say how you’re following up
Responses Generate Higher Ratings & More Booking Enquiries
According to recent research from TripAdvisor, hotels have even more reasons to respond to online reviews:

  • Properties that don’t respond to reviews on TripAdvisor have an average rating of 3.81 out of 5.0.
  •  Properties that respond to at least 40% of reviews on TripAdvisor have an average rating of 4.05 out of 5.0.
  • Properties that respond to at least 50% of reviews increase the likelihood of a booking inquiry on TripAdvisor by 24%.