“Horrible”, “bad”, “worst experience”. These are a few of the most common phrases which have become a nightmare for some hoteliers operating in the industry today. In a survey conducted in 2012 by TripAdvisor, it was found that 84% of the users didn't find the services provided by hotels up to par.
The hotel industry is changing every second, where losing even a single customer can cost hoteliers huge annual revenues. Studies show that customers who aren’t happy with a hotel’s service performance could become the most loyal customers if their queries are carefully handled.
Hoteliers must understand that despite working on all the possible problems within an operation, there will come a time when guests won’t be happy about something. But this doesn’t mean that your services were necessarily inappropriate or were substandard.
How should you react to negative comments then?
Hoteliers must not forget to thank guests who are happy with their performance, since this can help guests become increasingly more loyal towards your hotel. It has been seen that about 65% of the travelers visit a hotel after going through the reviews. The more a hotel is involved with the reviews, the more a guest you builds trust in your services, even without having stayed with you in the past.
Addressing Negative comments over various booking engines, shows your guests that you care for them. So, it is important that hoteliers personalize their responses to make guests feel valued, especially at the time of complaint (before or after checking out). To make a difference in the attitude of a dissatisfied customer, hoteliers can take the following steps: -
- Don’t defend: Defending your hotel’s shortcomings can bring you down as a hotelier. Customers will feel that all the hotel cares about is money and that they are not valued. Appropriate compensation is valued, no matter how frustrating the situation.
- Thank your guests by name: Even if you have received a horrifying review, you thanking guests by their name for taking the time to provide feedback makes them feel heard. By handling situations gracefully the handling of bad hotel feedback can become much easier than originally assumed.
- Apologize guests for a poor experience: Apologizing for such things doesn’t mean that the hotel is at fault. Instead this could show that guests had expected too much and for that you are apologetic.
- Share the changes you’ve made or intend to make: There are various hotels, which provide their guests with a complimentary upgrade from a regular room to a high-end room. This is done with the intention to ensure that the customer knows they are important to you.
- Reach out to your dissatisfied guests: It is best to share personal communication with these guests along with an appropriate offer to make up for X problem. You should also ask them a few more questions to know the source of the problem.
The best time to react to a negative comment
Responding to negative feedback is extremely important for hoteliers and must be done urgently. However, it is pointless if advanced research about the guest and their stay has not been done. Since this gives another chance to repair your relationship with a guest, responding to negative feedback within 24 hours is advisable for hoteliers. This will give you your hotel an edge to make up for unsatisfied guests. It even helps the hotel in maintaining a strong CRM system and would notify if the hotel changes from one rating to another.