Excellent TA review & FOUR STARS?? How to respond...

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Kay Nein's picture
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02/13/2012

 I was so thrilled to read a new online review that says great things about all aspects of their experience.    

We spent two nights in this well-situated and comfortable B&B. Cecilia and Dena were excellent hosts and were knowledgeable about the area in and around Blue Ridge. It is just a short walk to downtown, where all the restaurants and shops are located. We had a large downstairs room with living and sleeping rooms. The Southern-style breakfasts were hearty and accompanied by home-baked muffins and biscuits. The B&B was clean and there was a sitting room downstairs where one could read materials concentrated on the region. It was a very warm and friendly place to stay in Blue Ridge.

BUT we ended up getting 4 stars instead of 5.  They're breakdown was as such:

Value - 4
Location - 5
Sleep Quality - 5
Rooms - 4
Cleanliness - 5
Service - 4

Value - We've been told many times that we are underpriced 
Rooms - The house was built in 1890, but this room is very nice
Service - This kills me as we really go abve & beyond to be helpful, informative, friendly, etc.  Cecilia is the goddess of customer service & instantly make people feel like they've been friends forever.

I know it's all about customer perception, but I'm conflicted on how to respond to it.  I want to ask them how we could improve to earn 5 stars in the 4 categories, but not sure how to word it.  Of course, I want to acknowledge the excellent review, but also want to learn how to bring it up.

 

Any suggestions?

Ice
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We have 5 reviews now and 3 of them think we are "PERFECT"   and we are!!!

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Skamokawa's picture
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They don't know what it does to us.  And some people just can't give full marks, because they can't give full marks.

 

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Kay Nein's picture
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 We do respond to all.  I just said something like, "I'm so glad you enjoyed your stay.  Thank you for taking the time to leave a review.  We look forward to your return."   Good enough.  

The other innkeeper called me in a panic & said "Did you see that review?  Why did we only get 4 stars?"   Luckily, I had already heard from all of you and explained to her your reponses.  I love you guys!! 

gillumhouse's picture
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I had 2 sisters come to ride the rail-trail. One gave me good marks and a good review - I really do not remember what the numbers were for either one. The other sister gave me a reasonably good review But - here is the kicker - gave me a 3 for location. I am less than 50 feet from the rail-trail that they came to ride!!!

Also - on value she gave me a 3 - they were here on my EggSpecial and drew an egg with a 20% discount.

Highlands John's picture
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04/16/2010

It's annoying when you're trying to get your average up and keep up the lists.

We had this review recently...

A Memory to Treasure

On a road trip in Scotland with the family, spent a night at the xxxx, just loved the place, right next to the shores of the Loch ness, a fantastic site. The rooms and the bathrooms were nice and big, had a great restful night with a great breakfast in the morning.

They gave us 4 / 5 for everything except for location. Why? Who knows.

There's nothing negative in the review, like yours, so there's nothing to reply to. I'd leave it, like I did ours.

 

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Arks's picture
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I also don't see why one would respond to such a great review and high ratings. Can't imagine feeling "killed" to get 4 out of 5 on service. Considering how subjective it all is, a 4 is a compliment.

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Breakfast Diva's picture
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If you respond to all your reviews, then just say thank you and you're glad they enjoyed their visit. If you don't respond to all your reviews, then DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS ONE! It's a good review and I agree with the others about value.

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05/22/2008

 no need  respond at all. if you want just say thank your review.you cannnot interpret their response numbers 

Madeleine's picture
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Why are you going to respond? Do you respond to every review? If you don't then leave this one alone. You have met our guests...teachers who never give an 'A'.

NO ONE gets 5 stars on value. You could have every possible amenity and be half price and you still wouldn't get 5 stars on value! (We had guests who stayed the nigth before in a high-priced hotel in a big city. hey paid big bucks for the room, they paid for breakfast, internet and parking. They complained to us about it. They paid about $200 less here than they paid in the city. 5 stars for value here? Not a chance.

'Value' is a perception.

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Joey Camb's picture
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See thats what I said!!!! - however remember every review is a marketing opportunity not to be taken lightly. If you reply and it makes you look like a bitter crazy person it will mittigate all the good the excellent parts of the review have given you - dont let that be the case!

I try and reply if I have something to say ie glad you enjoyed room 7 which has just been renovated we are doing room 4 next and hope to show it to you when you come next and so on or Glad you enjoyed seeing XYZ attraction or restaurant or event - when you come again you must try XYZ activity and so on.It isn't really about them its about selling your place and the things around it to do.

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Silverspoon's picture
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 It is a lovely review and you can be proud of it!

OK, with that said,  I don't agree with the others, I think you can address the 4 in service and actually use it to your advantage.  I would thank them for the lovely review, highlighting the positive aspects of your location, rooms, food etc and I would include a few of the extra things you did for then while they were there.  Clearly you took time to orient them and provide them with information that allowed them to explore the area.  Did you do other things that you can mention as part of the service you routinely supply to your guests? Or something extra you did for them?   If you did, I would mention it in a positive way so that others reading your comments will totally neglect the 4 in service that this guest gave to you. Same thing about the rooms...."We are please that you enjoyed your stay in the spacious X room and were able to relax in your private livingroom. yadda, yadda, yadda" You get the idea.

As for the 4 in value...well as others have said...not much you can do about that!   

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Kay Nein's picture
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02/13/2012

Ok, I see I'm overreacting.  We haven't had many review since we took over so I take it very personally.  I'm trying to bring our average up - We're ranked #3 in a town that doesn't have many B&Bs (all the others are out in the woods).

I'll thank them and move on.  A good review is a good review.  People are going to read what's written, not just go by average score. 

Thanks everyone!

Ice
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02/22/2010

K9 wrote:

Ok, I see I'm overreacting.  We haven't had many review since we took over so I take it very personally. 

 

I take it too personally also. 

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05/22/2008

 Yes, we all take it too personally because most of us care. Those that get the low scores don't even read them or couldn't care less.  4 or 5 they are all good!!! We all can't be perfect every time. 

Highlands John's picture
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Wre have 390+ reviews and I still take them personal. It's difficult not to when you work so hard to make everything the best you can.

I'm a lot less tollerant of what I consider to be unjustified critisism than I used to be, I will reply to those.

gillumhouse's picture
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Thank you for the lovely review. We are happy you enjoyed your visit.

Generic's picture
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K9 wrote:

Value - We've been told many times that we are underpriced 
Rooms - The house was built in 1890, but this room is very nice
Service - This kills me as we really go abve & beyond to be helpful, informative, friendly, etc. 

Any suggestions?

I've point out to TA that value means nothing. They basically agree, but it's still there, years later. The problem is that value is a perceived value by that person. If they usually stay in a small town in OK and pay $49 a night, then their perception of value is different than if they came from New York City where $49 a night might not even get you a bed at the youth hostel. It means absolutely nothing.

The rest of them is simply their own perception. They may not like orange or florals or stripes or wood. You have no control over that. It isn't about YOU, it's about THEM. It may be about another place where the owner bent over backwards for them or the room was bigger, smaller, greener, striped or had more or less wood. You will never know.

I recently got a 4 that says they never rate better unless they visit twice. You never know why they do things or how they perceive things. Thank them for the review, it's a nice review and it certainly won't keep anyone from staying with you. I have had 5s with 3 in value. Heck, I have one that says it was a great value and then gave me 3 on value. You just never know what's going through their minds.

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Joey Camb's picture
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People can't ever bring themselves to give 5 for value - you could get 5 in all the categories and still would only get 4 for value! I seriously would not sweat it!

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Yes, just say thank you for the wonderful review and we hope to see you again in the near future!

If you need to respond at all.

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