No one likes negative reviews, and even less if it is online for everyone to read. Luckily, there are ways to avoid them! Here below, we outline five tips for you to prevent negative guest reviews and boost your online reputation:
1. Offer Enough On-Site Communication Touchpoints
One way to prevent negative guest reviews is to deal with issues while your guests are still on the property. Via an in-stay survey, for example, you can check in with your guests on how their stay is going. If any issues are reported, you still have the time to fix them and avoid your guests leaving unhappy.
Another way of preventing negative guest reviews is by opening different lines of communication, so your guests can easily get in touch with you when they want to report something. A great way to do so is via guest messaging. Let your guests reach out to you via their favorite messaging channels, instead of making them queue at the front desk.
2. Follow-up on Issues Quickly
Establishing different channels of contact is only half the battle, what will make the difference is then how you follow up on those requests and issues. When a guest reports something, they expect a fast response. Make sure you have the necessary systems in place to follow up quickly and correctly.
An automated case management system can really set you apart here. You lose the risk of a request falling through the cracks due to a lack of communication. By setting up standardized processes, you ensure every issue is dealt with in a correct manner, and by adding escalation rules which will alert higher management about overdue cases, you also encourage a timely follow-up.
3. Encourage Guests to Leave a Review
Asking for guests to leave a positive review can feel a little uncomfortable, but when a guest comes up to your staff to give unsolicited positive feedback, ensure your staff is trained to personally encourage the guest to then leave a positive online review.
Another way is by participating in a review collection program, like the ones from TripAdvisor, Google, or HolidayCheck. This way, after filling in the survey, they will be prompted with a review solicitation form. Often, they are already pre-filled with some responses of a review, making it easier for your guest to publish it.
4. A Great Guest Experience Prevents a Negative Guest Review
In the end, a negative guest review comes from a negative experience. Put the guest experience at the heart of your operations, so your guests are living a memorable and remarkable guest experience, one they will want to share publicly.
This already starts before the guest checks, so make sure you are there, available to smooth out any friction at every stage of the guest journey.
5. Listen to Guest Feedback
Part of delivering positive guest experiences comes from listening to guest feedback and applying the necessary improvements. Guests’ needs and expectations are constantly changing, and so should your operations and service. However, it is not always easy to understand what direction they are changing, for which your guest feedback is key.
This guest feedback can be collected from reviews, both negative and positive, but also guest satisfaction surveys. These will allow you to dig deeper into any issues to understand what the root cause is and how to improve. As the guest experience keeps improving, so will your online reviews.
To prevent negative guest reviews, a proactive attitude is key. Ask and be available at every step, so you can fix problems before your guest shares their bad experience online. Such a resolute approach can even boost positive reviews, and consequently, your online reputation. However, as a hotelier, we shouldn’t be afraid of negative guest reviews but use that feedback to improve and grow.