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My first TA Management Response

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sharpe

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Yuck! After 24 glowing reviews, we finally got our first stinker. It was a legit review. They had stayed here and it didn't rock their world. They opted for a standard double so it wasn't our best room granted but it still was a very lovely room which had received lots of accolades on tripadvisor in the past. We waited two weeks to cool down and then wrote a management response expressing our regret at their dismay and promising to take their complaints on board. One of the things that they had ranted on about was that there was no room to put their arm chairs in front of the TV so we gently explained that the television stand swivels, so they can watch it from the seating area and then swivel it back in order to watch it later from the king size bed. "We don't ask our guests to rearrange heavy furniture in order to watch TV's or DVD's."
I didn't really expect anything from the folks at TripAdvisor so I was surprised when they changed our customer satisfaction rating. We had been 100% thumbs up until the nasty review and then we went down to 96% but after the Management Response was published, they blasted us back up to 100%.
Has anyone else experienced this?
 

JBloggs

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Sharpe you are one cool cookie. First of all congrats on waiting so long before replying, well done! A swivelllng TV stand makes total sense, glad you addressed that, and it sounded like the whole mgmt respsone was very well written.
Thanks for sharing about the 100% rating, we should keep our eyes on that.
 

Morticia

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No. I have NOT experienced my rating going back to 100% after posting a mgmt response to a bad review. Hmmm.
 

seashanty

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that is great! can it be that ta has actual people reading responses and making decisions? good for you.
curious ... why else did they give you a negative? surely not just because of the tv seating?!
 

sharpe

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that is great! can it be that ta has actual people reading responses and making decisions? good for you.
curious ... why else did they give you a negative? surely not just because of the tv seating?!.
Well, I hate to have to relive the whole sordid ordeal but here goes....
Their main complaint was traffic noise. Like the rest of the accommodation providers in town, we're on the main street but we don't sell ourselves as a quiet country retreat. We're a destination choice, opposite the second most visited English Heritage site after Stonehenge and walking distance to two major wedding venues. There is traffic. We've got double glazing in the windows and we've had professionals install sound proofing in the outside walls. After nine pm, there isn't much traffic at all. In six years here, we've only had one other complaint about traffic noise and that's when we decided to put in the insulation.
They also said that the room was rather cramped and dark. Although it has a king size bed, there's still plenty of room for two nightstands and space to walk around the bed. It also has a separate seating area with two armchairs and a coffee table. The ensuite has a bath with a power shower over the bath and modern fittings with 2 attractive cabinets and counter space to hold their toiletries. I've decorated the room with original framed art works and attractive, new bed coverings. It's a ground floor room and although it has two windows, the drawn curtains can make it seem dark.
The problem was that they wanted something different. I think they wanted a superior room with great views, a huge four poster bed and a fireplace. We've got rooms like that but they chose the more inexpensive "standard" room. All rooms booked when they arrived so we couldn't swap them about. And so we got it in the neck because they made the wrong choice.
But having said all that, they weren't our "choice" either. We love our business clients during the week and we suffer the wedding guests/tourists with their babies/toddlers/dogs/food intolerances/feather allergies over the weekends. We do our best to make their stay as pleasant as possible but sometimes it just doesn't seem worth it.
On the plus side, I just booked 28 room nights in November with a lovely Danish firm called Vestas Wind Blades. I love these guys. Give them a WIFI connection and a great breakfast and they are all smiles. A pity they don't do TripAdvisor.
 

seashanty

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wow! 28 room nites.
i remember your post about this now i believe
it is very hard when someone chooses a 'bargain' room and then is not happy.
i had a guest who deliberately booked a room on the third floor with a shared bath to save money and told me he was hoping that one of the 'nicer' rooms would still be available so i would give him a free upgrade when he checked in. a free upgrade is my choice ... not just because the room happens to be available. he had stayed with me before and i knew exactly what room he was hoping for.
 

JBloggs

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I do believe there is a sub-group of cheap-skates who purposefully book the least expensive room and try to win a free upgrade. Funny, before Innkeeping I would have never even thought about that. I think we can all atest to having a guest or two who tries to wriggle their way up to a more expensive room wherever they go.
 

JBloggs

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PS FYI I Just got this from YELP in my inbox:
Responding to Yelp reviews? That's easy.

Did you know that you can use Yelp to respond to your reviews, both privately and publicly? To use the feature, simply click the 'Reviews' tab when you're logged in to http://biz.yelp.com. From there, you can select 'Add Public Comment' or 'Send Private Message'. If you haven't done so already, you'll be prompted to upload a photo of yourself. Once that's complete, respond away.

The most successful business owners on Yelp tend to be diplomatic and realize that "killing them with kindness" works wonders; be sure to check out our tips and videos at yelp.com/business.

By the way: to avoid contacting you with too many emails, we've turned off review notifications. If you'd like to turn them back on, you can do so here.
 

seashanty

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I do believe there is a sub-group of cheap-skates who purposefully book the least expensive room and try to win a free upgrade. Funny, before Innkeeping I would have never even thought about that. I think we can all atest to having a guest or two who tries to wriggle their way up to a more expensive room wherever they go..
yup. i specifically told him, in detail, why the room was less expensive. and was surprised by his admission of hoping for that free upgrade. when i checked him in and he started grumbling about all those stairs and having to share a bath (eww) ... the whole conversation came back to me.
and i laughed as we huffed and puffed our way up to the third floor with his very heavy luggage. told him it was great exercise. told him he had a great view from his room being higher up. turned and he was standing still, looking longingly at the (closed and locked) door to his favorite room on the 2nd floor.
 

wendydk

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I did some extensive looking on the TA site, and saw NOT ONE THING that mentioned the thumbs up rating. The only thing I can guess is that the reviewer gave you a thumbs down in their original review. TripAdvisor emails a reviewer if a management response is posted on their review.
Perhaps after reading the management response, the reviewer is given the option to either change their original "thumbs up" rating, or give a new one to the response.
 

Morticia

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I do believe there is a sub-group of cheap-skates who purposefully book the least expensive room and try to win a free upgrade. Funny, before Innkeeping I would have never even thought about that. I think we can all atest to having a guest or two who tries to wriggle their way up to a more expensive room wherever they go..
I've had that here...'I didn't know there were STAIRS up to that room. Isn't there anything on THIS floor? I can't go up and down the stairs.'
We're very clear on the whole stairs issue. We even ask if stairs are an issue when someone wants an upstairs room. They booked the least expensive room and now want something better for free because it's OUR fault there are stairs and no elevator in a B&B.
 

JBloggs

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Sharpe - Do you provide a photo of each type of room on your website? Since you mentioned "Superior" and "Standard" which can mean different things to different people. Just a little preventative care for future guests who might read the review.
I know we can't change how we do things to suit one person who doesn't get it. But sometimes we end up making improvements, like I added the floor plan so guests can see where the rooms are in relation to each other etc For us, the front of the house is actually the quietest, but they can see the room size and relationship to other rooms (ie adjoining walls or not).
 

Morticia

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Are you sure your reviews state 100% positive thumbs up and not 96% positive thumbs up? I don't get why TA would show you have 100% positive if a guest gave you an average or lower review (3, 2 or 1 'stars'). As near as I can tell, from looking at reviews in my own town, once you get a review that is 3 or lower, that reduces your overall score. 4 or 5 stars and you can have 100%, 3 stars and under the score starts to slip.
And this does include those reviews where mgmt responded in a favorable way to the reviewer.
Maybe the UK TA site is run differently?
 

JBloggs

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I did some extensive looking on the TA site, and saw NOT ONE THING that mentioned the thumbs up rating. The only thing I can guess is that the reviewer gave you a thumbs down in their original review. TripAdvisor emails a reviewer if a management response is posted on their review.
Perhaps after reading the management response, the reviewer is given the option to either change their original "thumbs up" rating, or give a new one to the response..
Little Blue said:
I did some extensive looking on the TA site, and saw NOT ONE THING that mentioned the thumbs up rating. The only thing I can guess is that the reviewer gave you a thumbs down in their original review. TripAdvisor emails a reviewer if a management response is posted on their review.
Perhaps after reading the management response, the reviewer is given the option to either change their original "thumbs up" rating, or give a new one to the response.
Thumbs up has to be for having a certain percent of excellent reviews, right?
PS Wanted to encourage those who have primarily good to excellent ratings on TA to place the BADGE OF HONOR on your website. You should be distinguished in this area - go to your owners/managers page on TA and get the html to place it on your website. The proof is is the pudding on these reviews.
 

Morticia

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I did some extensive looking on the TA site, and saw NOT ONE THING that mentioned the thumbs up rating. The only thing I can guess is that the reviewer gave you a thumbs down in their original review. TripAdvisor emails a reviewer if a management response is posted on their review.
Perhaps after reading the management response, the reviewer is given the option to either change their original "thumbs up" rating, or give a new one to the response..
Little Blue said:
I did some extensive looking on the TA site, and saw NOT ONE THING that mentioned the thumbs up rating. The only thing I can guess is that the reviewer gave you a thumbs down in their original review. TripAdvisor emails a reviewer if a management response is posted on their review.
Perhaps after reading the management response, the reviewer is given the option to either change their original "thumbs up" rating, or give a new one to the response.
I think the thumbs up/thumbs down is TA's own review symbol. If all of your reviews are 4 or 5 stars, you get 100% thumbs up (you've seen it, it's a 'thumb up' icon). If your reviews lean more toward 3, 2 or 1 stars, then you get a % and a thumbs down rating. (icon is a downward facing thumb)
If you have a mixed bag, but mostly 4 or 5, you get the thumbs up with a lower % (like 90% thumbs up).
 

sharpe

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Are you sure your reviews state 100% positive thumbs up and not 96% positive thumbs up? I don't get why TA would show you have 100% positive if a guest gave you an average or lower review (3, 2 or 1 'stars'). As near as I can tell, from looking at reviews in my own town, once you get a review that is 3 or lower, that reduces your overall score. 4 or 5 stars and you can have 100%, 3 stars and under the score starts to slip.
And this does include those reviews where mgmt responded in a favorable way to the reviewer.
Maybe the UK TA site is run differently?.
Nope. It is back to 96% again. It must have been a glitch when they posted the management response. Oh Well. Just 75 more glowing reviews and we'll be back up to 100%.
 

Morticia

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Are you sure your reviews state 100% positive thumbs up and not 96% positive thumbs up? I don't get why TA would show you have 100% positive if a guest gave you an average or lower review (3, 2 or 1 'stars'). As near as I can tell, from looking at reviews in my own town, once you get a review that is 3 or lower, that reduces your overall score. 4 or 5 stars and you can have 100%, 3 stars and under the score starts to slip.
And this does include those reviews where mgmt responded in a favorable way to the reviewer.
Maybe the UK TA site is run differently?.
Nope. It is back to 96% again. It must have been a glitch when they posted the management response. Oh Well. Just 75 more glowing reviews and we'll be back up to 100%.
.
Not trying to rain on anyone's parade, but I've seen inns with 400+ reviews with one not so happy camper and they are stuck with 99% positive. I will never get to more than 99% with my very unhappy camper who gave us 1 star. It's amazing how one bad review can do that.
Just like my GPA in college...took me 4 years of almost straight A's to bring my GPA up after ONE lousy F.
 

bbinnsitters

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I do believe there is a sub-group of cheap-skates who purposefully book the least expensive room and try to win a free upgrade. Funny, before Innkeeping I would have never even thought about that. I think we can all atest to having a guest or two who tries to wriggle their way up to a more expensive room wherever they go..
I agree with SS and Joey - there are some people that book a cheaper room in the hopes that they get a better room upon check-in. One time, as a guest, I was offered any room in the house since I was her only resv. that night, and after looking at all of them I chose the one I had originally asked for (cheaper). I just liked it better!
 
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