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Best practices for responding to online hotel reviews

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JBloggs

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"Why do only 4% of negative reviews on TripAdvisor get a response?"
"According to TripAdvisor, a property’s response to criticism can have more influence on traveler decisions than the criticism itself."
Article From here
 

EmptyNest

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Yes probably because they are irate and if they do respond it makes them seem even worse. I guess they think it is better to just ignore them. We have an inn here which was just purchased and they CAN have the old terrible ones deleted..but do they...NO!!! They don't have a clue.
 

JBloggs

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I read one near Harrisonburg where the response was ten times worse than the one or two line negative review. I can't find it real quick, I can look later on. The owner's response really put you off.
 

EmptyNest

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I read one near Harrisonburg where the response was ten times worse than the one or two line negative review. I can't find it real quick, I can look later on. The owner's response really put you off..
I can just bet you ...I know who it is for sure...hmmm now I will have to look:)
 

Innkeeper To Go

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Why innkeepers don't find a short but sweet way to respond is beyond me. Keep it positive, thank them for their feedback, and quickly address the issues. Easy.
Except for the fact that innkeepers get hurt and angry when they see bad reviews and then just say something stupid. It's a natural response to be hurt, even angry sometimes, but that venting really needs to stay away from the online review sites.
Most of the responses I see, sadly, only make things worse. And truthfully, if all they can do is add fuel to the fire, they're probably better off leaving it alone.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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Yes probably because they are irate and if they do respond it makes them seem even worse. I guess they think it is better to just ignore them. We have an inn here which was just purchased and they CAN have the old terrible ones deleted..but do they...NO!!! They don't have a clue..
catlady said:
We have an inn here which was just purchased and they CAN have the old terrible ones deleted..but do they...NO!!! They don't have a clue.
Those are the ones that really just don't make sense at all to me. But I see them all the time, too.
 

Highlands John

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Why innkeepers don't find a short but sweet way to respond is beyond me. Keep it positive, thank them for their feedback, and quickly address the issues. Easy.
Except for the fact that innkeepers get hurt and angry when they see bad reviews and then just say something stupid. It's a natural response to be hurt, even angry sometimes, but that venting really needs to stay away from the online review sites.
Most of the responses I see, sadly, only make things worse. And truthfully, if all they can do is add fuel to the fire, they're probably better off leaving it alone..
Totally agree. My personal rule if we get negative comments on TA is I write a response, then I leave it at least 24 hours before I go back and read it again before I post.
There is a hotel near us that gets some terrible comments and the responses are generally spiteful and sarcastic. It makes some entertaining reading but if I saw that there is no way I would book to stay there.
 

Joey Camb

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I would write then response and then leave it at least a day re-read it and post. What makes me most cross is when you ask them is there anything we can do to help or anything and they say no and then they trip adviser. We had one that complained that there wasn't any ventilation in the bathroom and there is if they had told us we could have shown them how it worked so I was really cross.
 

JBloggs

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The thing we have to stay away from are the good reviews who might comment on one or two little things. Although we might find the information incorrect and want to correct it, we really need to leave it alone.
Like the guest who said they enjoyed the "breakfast sandwiches" for breakfast. They were eggs benedict, not breakfast sandwiches, I labored over them. The plate was filled with fresh fruit, potatoes, there was a starter course and even the orange marmalade cake which is a big hit. Served on vintage china, with great coffee. All I could envision was readers thinking we went to McD's drive-thru and plopped them on a plate. But our guests actually really enjoyed "the sandwiches" just forgot what to call them, me thinks.
We can't correct wrong thinking, we can't micromanage each comment, if we do we look foolish and overbearing and this puts off future guests.
 

EmptyNest

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The thing we have to stay away from are the good reviews who might comment on one or two little things. Although we might find the information incorrect and want to correct it, we really need to leave it alone.
Like the guest who said they enjoyed the "breakfast sandwiches" for breakfast. They were eggs benedict, not breakfast sandwiches, I labored over them. The plate was filled with fresh fruit, potatoes, there was a starter course and even the orange marmalade cake which is a big hit. Served on vintage china, with great coffee. All I could envision was readers thinking we went to McD's drive-thru and plopped them on a plate. But our guests actually really enjoyed "the sandwiches" just forgot what to call them, me thinks.
We can't correct wrong thinking, we can't micromanage each comment, if we do we look foolish and overbearing and this puts off future guests..
Yes i agree with you there. NO need to comment if it really isn't a criticism or a problem. No need to raise a flag where none is needed.
 

Highlands John

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The thing we have to stay away from are the good reviews who might comment on one or two little things. Although we might find the information incorrect and want to correct it, we really need to leave it alone.
Like the guest who said they enjoyed the "breakfast sandwiches" for breakfast. They were eggs benedict, not breakfast sandwiches, I labored over them. The plate was filled with fresh fruit, potatoes, there was a starter course and even the orange marmalade cake which is a big hit. Served on vintage china, with great coffee. All I could envision was readers thinking we went to McD's drive-thru and plopped them on a plate. But our guests actually really enjoyed "the sandwiches" just forgot what to call them, me thinks.
We can't correct wrong thinking, we can't micromanage each comment, if we do we look foolish and overbearing and this puts off future guests..
Agreed, I think you have to balance how badly a comment reflects on your business with the overall impression the review gives. If someone gives a glowing report then I wouldn't want to pick a hole in a minor detail.
The other thing which some hoteliers round here do which I disagree with is they post a response to every review, good or bad. I think this just looks too over-bearing.
 

JBloggs

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The thing we have to stay away from are the good reviews who might comment on one or two little things. Although we might find the information incorrect and want to correct it, we really need to leave it alone.
Like the guest who said they enjoyed the "breakfast sandwiches" for breakfast. They were eggs benedict, not breakfast sandwiches, I labored over them. The plate was filled with fresh fruit, potatoes, there was a starter course and even the orange marmalade cake which is a big hit. Served on vintage china, with great coffee. All I could envision was readers thinking we went to McD's drive-thru and plopped them on a plate. But our guests actually really enjoyed "the sandwiches" just forgot what to call them, me thinks.
We can't correct wrong thinking, we can't micromanage each comment, if we do we look foolish and overbearing and this puts off future guests..
Agreed, I think you have to balance how badly a comment reflects on your business with the overall impression the review gives. If someone gives a glowing report then I wouldn't want to pick a hole in a minor detail.
The other thing which some hoteliers round here do which I disagree with is they post a response to every review, good or bad. I think this just looks too over-bearing.
.
Pottery House said:
The other thing which some hoteliers round here do which I disagree with is they post a response to every review, good or bad. I think this just looks too over-bearing.
I think it shows that you are reading/monitoring the reviews and taking time to appreciate their feedback and what they have written. If you have like 500 reviews I think it would be too much but if you have a few dozen or so.
I truly DO appreciate reviews by guests, if 25 say they want to review maybe, just maybe, we might get one. So if they did, I am grateful.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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The thing we have to stay away from are the good reviews who might comment on one or two little things. Although we might find the information incorrect and want to correct it, we really need to leave it alone.
Like the guest who said they enjoyed the "breakfast sandwiches" for breakfast. They were eggs benedict, not breakfast sandwiches, I labored over them. The plate was filled with fresh fruit, potatoes, there was a starter course and even the orange marmalade cake which is a big hit. Served on vintage china, with great coffee. All I could envision was readers thinking we went to McD's drive-thru and plopped them on a plate. But our guests actually really enjoyed "the sandwiches" just forgot what to call them, me thinks.
We can't correct wrong thinking, we can't micromanage each comment, if we do we look foolish and overbearing and this puts off future guests..
Joey Bloggs said:
The thing we have to stay away from are the good reviews who might comment on one or two little things. Although we might find the information incorrect and want to correct it, we really need to leave it alone.
Totally right. I've seen some great reviews just blasted by irate innkeepers for one tiny comment that would have otherwise gone unnoticed.
If the review is overall very good, it's generally better to leave it unstirred.
 

nkeeprs

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Can anyone help me out on a TA ? If you go on Portland Maine inns page
I am # 8 on the list however I have a 5 star rating and the other inns are 3, 4 - 41/2
this make NO since to me . And of course get no answer from TA
Thx for any info or any phone #'s you can give for TA
 

Joey Camb

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Can anyone help me out on a TA ? If you go on Portland Maine inns page
I am # 8 on the list however I have a 5 star rating and the other inns are 3, 4 - 41/2
this make NO since to me . And of course get no answer from TA
Thx for any info or any phone #'s you can give for TA.
It doesn't seem to follow any kind of logic but I think It may relate to volume of reviews ie 5 reviews that give 4 out of 10 is seen as better than 3 reviews with 5 out of five. This in my opinion is a nonsence plus it discriminates against small places who may only have two rooms so it is much harder to get the same number of reviews.
 

JBloggs

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Can anyone help me out on a TA ? If you go on Portland Maine inns page
I am # 8 on the list however I have a 5 star rating and the other inns are 3, 4 - 41/2
this make NO since to me . And of course get no answer from TA
Thx for any info or any phone #'s you can give for TA.
You have me baffled, I looked at all the variable and could see no reason why your inn is not in the TOP spot. Room price, name by alpha, number of reviews, number of 5 bubble reviews, current reviews vs older reviews, you have the paid link other do not, the WE Inn has TERRIBLE and AVERAGE under their reviews - where you do not. Then it says 97% of travelers recommend (although it looks like it is really 100%!)
 

Morticia

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Can anyone help me out on a TA ? If you go on Portland Maine inns page
I am # 8 on the list however I have a 5 star rating and the other inns are 3, 4 - 41/2
this make NO since to me . And of course get no answer from TA
Thx for any info or any phone #'s you can give for TA.
A few other places have mentioned this problem as well. Other things that count are whether or not your place is mentioned in any of those articles that are in the 'Professional Links' section on the right. Those hold a lot of weight. Whether more weight than travelers, I don't know, but I would assume yes. If any of the other places are listed in there it would raise their ranking above yours.
Sorry I don't have a direct line to TA. I've complained about a listing in my town that isn't even in this state and, a year later, it is still there.
 
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