By now your hotel is most likely taking the time to respond to reviews on major sites such as TripAdvisor and Yelp. Management responses are a great way to show that the hotel cares about guests and takes feedback seriously. Aside from these major review sites, hoteliers should also be monitoring reviews left on Google+. Though Tripadvisor and Yelp are bigger review sites, the star rating shown on a Google search and on Google Maps is based on the reviews left on Google+. Here is some advice directly from Google on how to handle management responses:
1. “Ignore minor complaints and resolve issues privately when possible.”
Don’t get stuck on the little things. If a guest leaves an overall positive review and mentions one tiny complaint, don’t focus the entirety of the management response on this one tiny detail. On the other hand, if a guest mentions a huge complaint that cannot be resolved simply through a management response, or has mentioned a variety of different complaints, it may be best to the take the conversation out of public view. Ask the guest to contact the hotel directly so the matter can be discussed further and be settled in private.
2. “Address issues constructively. Don’t use responses to advertise.”When travelers are looking through hotel reviews, they are not looking to be sold to but are looking for a genuine portrayal of the property. If a previous guest leaves a positive review, it is not very constructive for the management response to say something such as “Thank you for your compliment, we are the #1 rated hotel in all of Hollywood with the best amenities in town!” Make sure responses are appropriate and fit the situation.
3. “Do not ask users for anything or offer them anything.”If a guest has left a positive review for your hotel on Google+, it may be tempting to ask them to leave that same positive review on other sites such as TripAdvisor or Yelp. Don’t do this. As mentioned above, management responses should address issues constructively. In addition, if you offer a guest something for free on a management response, other guests may come to expect the same treatment, even if the circumstances are not the same. Avoid this by not offering anything to guests in your management response.
4. “Be professional and polite. The world can read your response.”
Though you are responding directly to the person who left the review, it’s important to keep in mind that they are not the only ones who will be reading this response. If a guest leaves a negative review, it can be easy to feel defensive and want to prove them wrong, but remember that the way the management response comes across is there for everyone to see. Do you want potential guests to view your hotel as one that does not take guest complaints seriously? Or one that does not care about guest satisfaction? The answer to this is most definitely no.
Take the time to monitor your hotel’s reviews on Google+ and respond in a timely manner. Just as with other review sites, encourage guests to also leave reviews on Google+ in addition to other review sites. Reviews are important for your hotel, so make sure to keep an eye on them.