The following post is from Meghan Veroneau, Marketing Coordinator.
It was once thought that a single negative review on TripAdvisor can make or break a potential guest’s opinion of your property. That’s no longer so. With proper monitoring and proactive responses, you can turn lemons into lemonade and mitigate the effects of a negative review on sites like TripAdvisor, social media outlets like Facebook and more.
Here, we offer proactive tips to ensure your review pages are always in the best possible shape.
1. Check your profile regularly
It may seem simple, but remember to check in with profiles regularly. This doesn’t just mean responding to reviews (positive or negative) but posting pictures, updating property information and generally making sure that your property’s web appearance is as clean and shiny as possible. Being proactive may seem like a lot of work, but in the end it will work to your benefit. Engaging through review sites will show your guests that you are genuinely interested in their feedback. You’ll also know what areas of the experience you need to work on making better and the areas that are already doing well.
2. Nature of the complaint
Usually there is a seed of truth behind negative complaints, but some patrons will take the bashing to the extreme. After all, you’re likely to tell people about the very good and very bad – not the very average. An easy way to verify the nature of the complaint is to look and see the profile history of the reviewer – it is easy to tell if the person is a “constant complainer” or if they are simply bringing to light something that you and your team should specifically note. The nature of the complaint shouldn’t affect how you respond.
3. Public response
Your public response to a negative review should not be a rebuttal of the comments made. Keep it simple and publicly apologize, letting them know you appreciate their feedback and would like to resolve the situation. This shows other reviewers that you value their feedback. If you had already reached out to the guest or the review is inaccurate, you can address that as well.
4. Private messages
In addition to a public response, a good rule of thumb is to additionally send the reviewer a private message. Don’t make excuses for why X, Y, or Z happened, instead acknowledge what happened and apologize for it. This would be the place to offer a suggestion for how you can make this up to them and provide them with your direct contact information.
5. More reviews
The easiest way to negate a negative review would be to try and get more reviews. Assuming all of the new reviews are positive, they will minimize the effect of the negative review on your business. By letting your guests know you welcome their feedback, you are showing them that you are interested in honest two-way communication. Ideal ways to get more reviews are to mention it at check-in or check-out, as well as have an icon on your website that directs them to a review platform. Data shows that websites that integrate reviews onto their home page keep users on the site longer than those that do not have reviews. TIG Global can help integrate reviews onto your website using technology like SocialBuzz, which allows properties to choose which reviews appear on the hotel homepage.
TIG Global has a partnership with Revinate that can further assist with your online reputation management, including detailed reporting and access to their Social Buzz product.
If you follow the above suggestions, you should see less of an impact from negative reviews. Do you find any of the above suggestions more effective than others? Is there another solution that you’ve found works well that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments section.
Interested in ramping up your online strategy? Check out the full suite of TIG Global interactive marketing tools, send us an email, or give us a call +1 301.841.4700(US) | +44 (0)20 3004 9468(UK).