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How to respond to online guest reviews

How to respond to online guest reviews

Reading hotel reviews is becoming one of primary factors when booking accommodation online. Tripadvisor reports that 80% of travelers read at least 6-12 reviews prior to booking. By responding to reviews, both positive and negative, you demonstrate to clients that you care about their feedback and take it into account. This does increase bookings.

65% of Tripadvisor users agree that they are more likely to book a hotel that responds to traveler reviews. 85% of guests say that a thoughtful response to a bad review will improve their impression of a hotel.

Not only does your response leave a positive impression on prospective guests, it also encourages loyalty with satisfied guests and turns them into your property promoters. Professional and personalized responses to negative ones will cool down the heated situation or help to clear out the misunderstanding. They will also let potential guests know your side of the story.

DO:

  • Reply to negative and delighted reviews. Say quick "thank you" to neutral ones;
  • Address the reviewer by name, when known, and let them know your name and title;
  • Start with “Thank you”, even if a review is negative;
  • Apologize if a guest had a poor experience;
  • Be sincere.

DON’T:

  • Be defensive;
  • Make false promises;
  • Offer complementary services in response to negative reviews;
  • Include hotel name in response to a negative review. It might show up in search engines;
  • Sound template-like.

Responding to positive reviews

Ask grateful guests to like you on Facebook and sign up to newsletter
Ask grateful guests to like you on Facebook and sign up to newsletter.

Show your personality

Make your response more personal to show that you appreciate your guests, and it was worth spending time on writing a glowing review for your hotel. Let it sound conversational: potential clients will see that there is a real person behind a comment.

Show your personality.

Highlight the positives

Reiterate specific compliments that reviewers make about your hotel. Positive reviews themselves build hotel’s reputation, but reinforcing certain benefits brings even more attention to your property.

Highlight the positives.

Responding to negative reviews

Avoid offering compensation online. It attracts those who complain for discounts
Avoid offering compensation online. It attracts those who complain for discounts.

Promise to share feedback with the team

Guests that had a bad hotel experience are likely to want an apology and a resolution of a problem. Show them that you admit the fault and understand their frustration.

Mentioning that you will share the feedback with your staff can ease guests’ anger. The fact, that you take steps to solve the issue, will show that you care about your clients.

Promise to share feedback with the team.

Tell about changes you are going to implement

If you say that you are making changes because of the feedback, it will ease guests’ disappointment. Moreover, future guests will see the changes you make to improve your hotel.

Tell about changes you are going to implement.

Show your side of the story

There are times when clients cannot understand certain aspects of hotel’s operation. Justify yourself, but try not to seem defensive or irritated. Invite guests to contact you directly to rectify the situation. The fact that you are interested in going through the issue personally will make guests feel better.

Show your side of the story.

Do not question the authenticity of the review

Even if you think that the review was not written by one of your guests, but by former employees or competitors, do not show this in your response. Potential customers might think that you just do not take the problem seriously. Profoundly apologize and explain why this could not happen.

Do not question the authenticity of the review.


Offering an appropriate response to reviews is a key to managing your reputation effectively. Keep in mind, that negative reviews require quicker response than positive ones. If time is limited, negative ones should be prioritized. Reply to them within hours. Do not miss a single review to spoil your hotel’s image with TravelLine Reputation. It will collect the reviews from the most popular review websites all in one place for your convenience.

Learn more about TravelLine Reputation

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