Customer reviews have always been important in business, but today with the internet, business owners have to face them in a lot more public forum. It is important now more than ever to not ignore customer reviews and address them right away so that negative reviews don’t snowball into a bigger problem.
Here is why reviews really matter to your hotel management strategy:
Online Reviews Shape Customer Decision
With sites like TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Facebook, and Google ranking most consumers feel safer checking online reviews before making any final decisions about where they spending their money. In addition, these reviews often become full conversations between online audiences that can really impact your business.
Not Responding Looks Bad on You
While negative reviews can hurt our egos, it is a bad idea to completely ignore them. If they have some truth to it them then you need to address those issues and make for a better experience for your hotel guests.
If they are not true, it is a little trickier, but you shouldn’t ignore them completely. You should try to address the situation as best as you can to make your customers feel like they are heard, but also defend your truth.
They Can Help You Be Your Best Self
The best thing you can do is to learn how to weed out the fake reviews or the ones with unrealistic expectations and zero in on the ones that can help you be the best hotel in your market. No matter how hard you work as a business owner or manager you can’t know what is happening at all levels of the hotel at all times. In this way, negative reviews can be helpful. They can let you know of any potential problems in your hotel so you can fix them.
Here are some tips for navigating hotel guest reviews:
- The first thing you should always do is to distinguish whether the negative review is a result of a disconnect between brand communication and actual experience or if there was actual poor quality service.
- If it is a disconnect between brand communication and actual experience, then you need to revisit all your advertising and marketing including the website, and other types of customer communication to make sure you are not promising something you are not going to deliver.
- If it is an actual lapse of customer service by your employees, then you should look at the work processes at your hotel to see where the problem is and fix it right away.
- When there is a written negative review or comment online, you need to respond quickly as honest as possible and offer a detailed explanation how you will correct the problem so it won’t happen again.
- Offer customers who have had a negative experience some sort of compensation for their trouble, whether it is a discount on their room or a free spa experience or dinner in your restaurant.
- Don’t just apologize, but make sure that the needed changes actually happen. The same problem will keep resurfacing causing you more problem if you don’t fix it. You don’t want to get a bad reputation for not truly caring for your hotel guests.
- Proper employee communication is an essential ingredient for good customer experience in your hotel. You must make sure that all employees get the information they need to do their job correctly. It is also important to hire employees who are passionate about what they do and share your values and goals for the hotel.
- Don’t take positive reviews for granted. While it is natural that we tend to direct most of our energy to putting out fires, we should also show appreciation to customers who give us shout outs and praise for a job well done. Respond back to them in gratitude and try to cultivate a stronger relationship with them. Invite them to stay with you again by offering special deals as a thank you.
- Create hotel guest appreciation events to your loyal return guests know what they mean to you.
- Give all your employees the power to address customer complaints right away. Often times, there is a long convoluted process for complaints to be addressed which can be very frustrating to customers who are not happy with the service they are given. Instead of having all complaints deferred up the ladder, allow every employee the freedom to find an immediate solution to the problem.
MBB Management is a consulting company that work restaurant management, hospitality management and franchise development. They work with hotels with everything from attracting more guests, their hiring and training processes and how to strengthen their brand. If negative reviews have been dogging your hotel for a while then the experienced consultants at MBB Management can help you pinpoint the problems and help you fix them.
They also work with restaurants looking to expand their business through becoming a franchisor as well as with those who are already franchisors, but who are looking to grow and improve upon what they have already established. Whether you are new or established, MBB Management can help you every step of the way.
MBB Management can help you with all aspects of the franchise business. Some of the services include franchise development for new franchise programs, strategic planning for franchise growth as well as help with all the legal documentation involved. You can also get help with developing operations and training documentation and franchisee recruitment marketing strategies.
They also works with other businesses that want to franchise including manufacturers, dealers and distributors. For existing franchisors, services include franchise system best practices and benchmarking and organizational audits, improved franchisee support systems and franchise sales coaching.
MBB Management has a passion for the hotel industry just like you do and they have the experience to help you fulfill all your dreams for your hotel. If you are considering a hotel consulting company in Philadelphia then check out MBB Management. Let them put their experience to work for you.