keyboard with a red thumb pointing down reflecting impact for a hotel on not crafting exceptional responses to online reviews

Within the last couple of years, even months, the world has seen a rise in bot and AI responses via phone calls and online. While this reduces stress and time consumption for the business, it leaves guests and clients further disappointed or angered.

NB: This is an article from Travel Media Group

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Robots and automation tools cannot feel human emotion and therefore inefficiently respond to the problem at hand. As these tools continue to flood the hospitality industry, hoteliers must find ways to put the guest first rather than just checking off a box to complete the task.

image of guests leaving reviews at front desk rather than online

Imagine the reviews are not placed online but at your front desk. The guest is providing feedback about their experience at your property face-to-face. How would you expect your front desk team to respond? In the same way you hope they respond appropriately, kindly, and with the guest in mind, the same approach should be applied to online reviews.

Let’s take it a step further. Recently, we have seen hoteliers using reviews to appeal to or respond to the next traveler who may be reading their reviews online. This method puts the original guest to the side, causing them to phase out.

Through this exercise, we will examine a review left by a guest and a response that puts each of these titles at the #1 position: the guest, the next traveler, and checking a box.

Here, the guest left a review highlighting the price and service. With current inflation and staffing shortages, these reviews are more common. Within the property’s response, there is a complete disregard for the guest’s concerns, but rather a sales pitch trying to convince the next traveler to book with them. This way of responding will make the original guest feel dismissed and their experience unimportant.

Checking a box off first and putting the guest last comes across as an AI or bot response. It is effortless to respond to reviews if you use the same cookie-cutter approach or have a robot answer them. But, it shows the guest you don’t care about their issue, how you will solve it, or show future guests you care.

Let’s examine how our professional response writers responded to the review by putting the guest first. No matter what the review says, always thank them for taking the time to leave a review. Acknowledging every aspect of a review lets the guest know you have fully read their concerns and want to make an effort to improve for the future. Although the hotel is apologizing for their high prices, they also justify why that is. Future guests will most likely respect their upfront honesty and trust them more. Remind them that their experience was not the norm and invite them to give you another chance.

Read the full article at Travel Media Group