A bad hotel can ruin your entire vacation. After all, the guests return to it after a day full of excitement, wanting to relax, get a good night’s sleep and eat a regenerating meal. If the rooms are dirty, food not fresh and beds uncomfortable – it is hard to talk about a successful vacation. One of the most common preventive measures is to check the accommodation reviews before booking. They are crucial and often prevail when it comes to deciding on a particular place. Positive reviews reinforce the decision, negative ones make you look further.
If you manage an accommodation facility – hotel, guesthouse, holiday resort – it is extremely important to follow the reviews that appear about you on the Internet. You should check if anything has appeared at least daily, and even several times a day. It’s also a good idea to set up different types of alerts (such as Google Alerts) to receive notifications when your brand name appears online. If you don’t have time to manually search for comments, and a lot of them show up too, an online reputation management platform can help.
Running a hospitality business is particularly prone to negative reviews. Of course, they are inevitable, because – apart from obvious shortcomings – guests have different preferences and expectations. Some are looking for peace, quiet and classic breakfasts, others want masses of attractions and food that they won’t experience at home. A negative review will always appear and it doesn’t mean the end of business, but in such a case the owner’s reaction is important. Sometimes a cultural apology is enough, but it may also be an attempt to explain or even convince the guest to change his mind and issued an review.
If you’re conducting a manual search for your hotel’s reviews, start with the most popular travel sites, such as Booking, TripAdvisor, and Holidaycheck. Then search for your name on smaller sites and, of course, Google. If you have social media accounts, keep an eye on them as well – they may appear as reviews of your company (e.g. on your fanpage), but also as comments under posts or as reviews expressed by tourists on thematic groups.
The evaluation of a hotel is not always dominated by “objective” factors, such as price, location (close to the center), facilities, including a swimming pool, spa, sauna, Jacuzzi. Often facts are not enough. People appreciate the hotel’s features, which are often very subjective, e.g. professional staff, whether the hotel is clean, breakfast and dinner are tasty and varied, and rooms are well equipped. Unfortunately, according to the same criteria are evaluated facilities such as five-star resort, as well as a small hotel. One thing is certain, the best rated places have the best chance of being booked.
The more tourists we host, the more reviews about us will appear on the Internet – this is natural. Positive comments are not a problem, but it is always worth responding to them as the property owner – to thank and encourage for another stay – and make sure that there are as many as possible. How to do it? The easiest way is to ask satisfied hotel guests to leave a review on a designated service. You can do this by passing the request through people working at the reception desk, leaving information in the hotel room or sending an e-mail or text message with such a request. If we know that a tourist may have been dissatisfied, because, for example, reported defects, we must make sure that such a message did not reach him. In this case, the risk of issuing a negative review is high, so it is not worth encouraging it.
But what to do with negative feedback? Definitely do not bury your head in the sand and pretend that it does not matter – as it does and it is very important! It’s always a good idea to clarify the matter, preferably if you can move the discussion to private messages. If you have something on your conscience, you need to apologize, it is good to offer a discount or a large discount on the next visit. If the negative review is unfounded, we never argue with the guest, but try to clarify the matter, explain. Often it is a subjective feeling – such an impression was simply made by our facility or service. However, in such a case we can gently try to persuade them to change their review.