Guest reviews: To respond or not to respond?

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After seeing Maddie's comment about writing over 20 reviews and not hearing or seeing anything from mgmt on them, I read this and found it of interest - it covers a few different points:

 

Guest reviews: To respond or not to respond?

Excerpt:

Having written a scathing review on TripAdvisor for a stay in Hollywood, Florida, in November 2013, I received an email from the site about the management’s response in January 2014. Someone obviously is not paying attention there. More recently I posted a review for a stay at an airport hotel made through Booking.com. After a week, I checked back to see if management responded. Not only was there no response, but through three pages of reviews, there was not a single response. Someone obviously is not paying attention there. - See more here.

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Kay Nein's picture
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Now, y'all have me doing TA catch-up.  I thought I read here a while back that y'all recommended that we not respond to every single review.  Maybe the forum consensus was a different version of that.  But, I stopped responding and didn't realize how many had gone un-answered.  

I just responded to the 4 most recent, skipped one in between.  I have 8 more that do not have responses which go back to Oct 7th.   Would it be no good for me to go back and respond to all of those now?  Someone mentioned that all the responses were made on the same day.  Is that so bad?

I'll try to be better going forward.  Need to call them.  For some reason I stopped getting the email notifications.

Madeleine's picture
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I'd say just do them going forward. 

I probably said not to respond but I've changed my tune. Camberley said it best when she said she uses the space for marketing.

The guest gets an email saying you've responded so going back too far might seem weird at this point.

Just replying to the stinkers is bad management. Making the guest who took the time feel they were noticed is a good thing.

Trouble is I rarely know who wrote the review if they don't say something recognizable.

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I have been a proponent for responding to every last one, personally.

Yes, go back and respond to every one of them! I figure if they took the time to write then we can take the time to acknowledge it. We can bring up a few new things if needed, ie we now have "fill in the box"

Kay Nein's picture
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The article mentions a hotel in NY and the great responses that their GM leaves to every review.  She does a great job of making them not sound canned - something I've struggled with for reviews that are great but non-descript.  I think I'm going to copy hers into a word doc as a reference for my responses.  She's got it figured out.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g60763-d234762-Reviews-The_Quin-New_York_City_New_York.html

Madeleine's picture
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It's all in the adjectives she uses! I need to take a look more closely altho the tone is not mine. I can try for something better than 'thanks for the wonderful review.'

TheBeachHouse's picture
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I just responded to 6 or 8 reviews.  Mostly I pointed out what they liked.  

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Madeleine's picture
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Do you have alerts from ta set up so you get notified? They are usually 2-3 days after the fact but they help if you're not checking all the time.

Joey Camb's picture
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its what DH does while waiting for breakfast guests - checks and reads all the review sites - whatever floats your boat! also I think it depends how many you get ie we get a lot on Booking.com but up till just recently you had no right of reply so that was worthless - we can now so see how I feel about replying as most are very generic - you can see who they were usually but not always

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Madeleine's picture
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Joey Camb wrote:

its what DH does while waiting for breakfast guests - checks and reads all the review sites - whatever floats your boat! also I think it depends how many you get ie we get a lot on Booking.com but up till just recently you had no right of reply so that was worthless - we can now so see how I feel about replying as most are very generic - you can see who they were usually but not always

I can't read reviews before breakfast! I get so wound up at the bad ones I can't see straight!

Joey Camb's picture
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never said I read them lol! I am however the one who writes the response

The key is to chant "I am not going to let people like this beat me - my response must show people what we are really like"

TheBeachHouse's picture
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Madeleine wrote:

Do you have alerts from ta set up so you get notified? They are usually 2-3 days after the fact but they help if you're not checking all the time.

 

we get the email alerts.  I have usually seen the review before the alert reaches us.   I just saw that two different reviews mentioned my husband shoveled their cars out when it snowed.   Service, baby!

Madeleine's picture
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I've seen reviews that mention that. We've had several guests give us grief because we didn't shovel out the cars.

Not sure when, exactly, they thought we had the time. Maybe 4am?

Another reason to close in the winter!

I think it's a lovely thing to do BTW. Maybe I'll make that my job next year. (Or next week at the rate we're going.)

Joey Camb's picture
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I think replying to every one with an essay is a bit much

However I think ignoring them is wrong also

Trouble is some reviews don't leave you with anything to say ie nice room, clean good location - what can you really reply to that?

I always say this is an opportunity to sell your place with every good review ie glad you enjoyed the Arts festival perhaps you would enjoy our crime writing festival in July - glad you liked the new bathroom we have put in in room 4 we are renovating the one in room 2 in June - you might want to have a look at the updated pictures before you decide which you prefer next time = and so on.

Every review gives you a chance to speak! take it! one lady this week said she chose us because in my response I had put information about how we use local produce and she is very keen on that.

Madeleine's picture
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Did I post it here or am I imagining it? The hotel that responded to every single bad review with the same canned response?

Obviously, someone is not only not paying attention, someone just doesn't care.

If I am going to read reviews I am going to be looking at the mgmt responses. And those had better be good!

TheBeachHouse's picture
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06/24/2013

I'm behind on mine, but I do try to respond.   I think it also valadates the reviewer and makes it seem as though the hotel is reading the reviews and cares.

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