Many tourists use online reviews to help them figure out where to stay, where to eat, or what to do while in town. This article provides tips and suggestions on how to manage Online Reviews to ensure greater customer satisfaction and repeat business.
By Alexander Kitingan.
Very often, tourists will use Online Travel Agency review sites to help them make decisions, even if they don’t book the trip online. Reviews that have been written by real people are trusted over any advertisement that the business itself may publish. Even though there have been known to be fake reviews, people are on the lookout for them and still use online reviews to make decisions.
Hotel and restaurant managers have started using reviews to give them an advantage. It’s an excellent resource for finding out just how well the establishment is taking care of its guests. This is an excellent way to spot any problems in the services they offer and will allow them to take the appropriate measures to remedy these situations which leads to greater customer satisfaction.
Hotels and restaurants must monitor and respond to reviews and will need to put systems in place to take care of them. A large hotel is more likely to have a dedicated team who can handle this. Regardless of whether it’s a negative or positive review or comment, your business will need to respond. These are excellent opportunities allowing you to talk to and engage with your guests to better serve them.
It is quite easy to reply to reviews that are positive but you still have to be careful. You need to say nothing more than “Thank You” for positive reviews. You don’t need to give them any type of compensation since that may actually look like a bribe being given for good reviews.
Positive feedback is always welcome and the fact is that most people who leave online reviews end up giving a positive review. Some restaurants use their ratings as a way to attract new guests by actually having signs on their door letting people know that they have good reviews on Yelp.
Widgets on a website can be used to highlight ratings on TripAdvisor and Yelp and can be used to link customers to web pages that have the reviews posted on them. If you get a negative review or comment, you should respond right away. Be sure that when you respond, you address the areas of concern that guest brought up and how you are going to fix it.
You need to make sure that you follow up on these issues and take care of the problems, otherwise, you will continue to get negative reviews and when the same problem shows up in the comments, it will appear to anyone reading that you really don’t care.
You have to be aware that people are more apt to be rude when they are leaving a review online because they are not face to face. Try not to take it personal. You will need to read beyond the rudeness and instead focus on the experience. If the review points to any particular person, address these problems in private.
There should be one person who handles online comments or reviews. If you have the resources, a team can be assigned to reviews. Be sure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to representing your brand and have a predetermined process for dealing with negative reviews. Be sure that you respond to any comments within 24 hours.
A situation may call for you to respond privately. However, if the customer is claiming a situation that could not have happened, such as, complaining about a menu item that you don’t even serve, a public response is a great way to clear up this confusion.
Even if you get a negative comment or review, this gives you an opportunity to show people that you actually care by taking care of the problem and the guest. This negative review now shows prospective customers that you will do everything in your power to make things right.
When you do respond to a comment, be sure to use the guest’s name and thank them for responding. You want to apologise for the experience. Be sure to sympathise with them and that you understand why they should feel the way they do. If you have their contact information, be sure that you send compensation if the situation warrants it. If you are unsure of what to give for compensation, just ask the guest what you can do to make it right. Most people are honest and will be fair.
When you are in the hospitality business, whether you own a hotel, a restaurant or any type of establishment where you service people, word of mouth is one of the best types of advertisement and in this online age, it’s more important than ever. Be sure that you have a plan or person in place to deal with online reviews and that you use the reviews to improve your service and to go above and beyond your guests’ expectations.
About the author: Alexander Kitingan is a successful marketer and two time Amazon Kindle best selling co-author. Learn more about Alexander and his powerful and effective marketing techniques at Agency1Alexander.com