Responding to negative reviews

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JBloggs

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I really find there has to be a secret formula to responding to non stellar reviews online.
  1. Should the review respond to the reviewer or to the public? If they respond to the person reviewing does it seem more caring?
  2. Should the review comment specifically to the discontent line by line or simply say "We are sorry we did not meet your expectations and will do our best to make sure..." and respond compassionately?
  3. Should the review respond be short and sweet?
The issue I see is this: There is always more to the story, but anyone reading a few paragraphs on TA or bedandbreakfast.com, yahoo etc, does not know this, could care less about this. I think they want to see the innkeepers responding in a way that shows they are not satisfied when the guest is not satisfied.
If anyone ever comes up with the magic formula, please share it with us! We will bookmark it for future ref.
 

gillumhouse

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What timing!!! Got this from TA this morning.
Free 60-minute webinar: Best practices for posting management responses to reviews
Gillum House Bed & Breakfast,
Did you know that you have the option to respond to reviews of your property on TripAdvisor? In this free 60-minute webinar, we'll show you how to use this feature to your advantage.
We'll discuss best practices for posting a management response, including:
• How often to post, and which reviews to respond to
• Guidelines for posting a management response
• How the moderation process works
• And more …
We'll allow plenty of time for Q&A, so please have your questions ready.
Monday, March 14, 2011 4:30pm - 5:30pm EST
Register now
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Once registered, you will receive an e-mail confirming your registration with information you need to join the webinar.
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Alibi Ike

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  1. Respond in a way that keeps in mind the reviewer is not your audience. The reviewer has said their piece, has maligned you as best they know how. The response has to be like a tennis match, the ball and all the world are now focused on your court.
  2. I wouldn't do a line by line refutation, just a simple, 'Thank you for your comments, we are looking at how we could change (whatever) to insure this doesn't happen in the future.' (IF you ARE going to change anything. If you are not, then don't say you will. ie- if you're not changing your cancellation policy don't say you'll look at changing it.
  3. Short & sweet. Least said, soonest mended.
I know you weren't looking for opinions but a real model for how to respond. And everyone will handle it in their own way.
If you have done more than the reviewer mentions to rectify the situation while they were still in residence, I would bring that out. I think it's up to us to make sure the next guest sees we take these things seriously. But I would never grovel or say we offered the reviewer the world and look at the thanks we got. (Altho tempted to point out the guest was a Princess.) I don't want to dust off the doormat for those who would treat me like one!
 

agoodman

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If you are looking for a magic formula there is none, BUT before all this web stuff there was a basic rule for responding to any complaint
THANK YOU FOR LETTING ME KNOW!!!!!
MY only other recommendation would be not to "attack" back but explain the situation like
"As we had mentioned to you" ("NOT "as per our policies") or "we tried our best to rectify" etc
 

Breakfast Diva

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I just won a round with Trip Advisor!
I got a google alert that brought me to a forum discussion on TA. The OP was asking for help because they were interested in staying with us and thought it would be a perfect fit for them but they couldn't quite figure out our region and where we were located. There were the normal discussions in the forum thread, then there was a post by a "TA Destination Expert", although they were not an expert for my region. In their post they said how they had driven past our place in the winter time and were unimpressed. It looked like an old farm house. They also mentioned that we got great TA reviews, but they didn't know why and suggested they stay at a different hotel. Oh yeah, this guy and said they loved b&bs. This same guy had posted virtually the same type of post a couple years ago and I just let it go by. Oh, by the way, in the 47 lodging reviews, this guy had only been to 1 b&b!!!
This time I "fought" back. How dare someone say negative things about us without first hand experience? I crafted this response:
I just wanted to comment on your post about us. You're right, we look like an old farm house from the road. That's because we are. Our farm house is a historical landmark which was built out of 3x12 timbers salvaged from a shipwreck in 1890 at the nearby beach and hauled to our location to build the original homestead finished in 1894. Our charm happens not from what you see from the road, but what you see and experience once you are inside our historic house, our forested back acreage and our pampering service.
I know you say you love b&bs, so I would love for you to stop by when you're in the area so we may show you why our reviews are so wonderful. Trip Advisor is a powerful medium, so your words on here can affect a small b&b like ours negatively and for years to come. I am only commenting on this thread because it's the second time over the past couple of years you've made the same comment. I'm very sincere about our invitation, stop by for a cup of coffee or tea sometime!
To answer the original posters question, I can totally understand why you can't figure out if we're north or central coast. It even confuses us! We are south on the north coast, bordering on the central coast.XXXX City is only a 30 minute drive, XXXX is 1 1/4 hours, XXXX is 1 1/4 hours and XXXX is 1 3/4 hours with normal drive times (not holiday traffic).
Later that day (yesterday), my post was removed as "inappropriate". I'm sure the destination experts flagged it. How dare I challenge them?
I wrote TA back asking why it had been removed and I had not broken any of their guidlines and requested that it be reposted.
They agreed!!! The post was returned this morning. Score one for the little guy!!
 

Alibi Ike

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I just won a round with Trip Advisor!
I got a google alert that brought me to a forum discussion on TA. The OP was asking for help because they were interested in staying with us and thought it would be a perfect fit for them but they couldn't quite figure out our region and where we were located. There were the normal discussions in the forum thread, then there was a post by a "TA Destination Expert", although they were not an expert for my region. In their post they said how they had driven past our place in the winter time and were unimpressed. It looked like an old farm house. They also mentioned that we got great TA reviews, but they didn't know why and suggested they stay at a different hotel. Oh yeah, this guy and said they loved b&bs. This same guy had posted virtually the same type of post a couple years ago and I just let it go by. Oh, by the way, in the 47 lodging reviews, this guy had only been to 1 b&b!!!
This time I "fought" back. How dare someone say negative things about us without first hand experience? I crafted this response:
I just wanted to comment on your post about us. You're right, we look like an old farm house from the road. That's because we are. Our farm house is a historical landmark which was built out of 3x12 timbers salvaged from a shipwreck in 1890 at the nearby beach and hauled to our location to build the original homestead finished in 1894. Our charm happens not from what you see from the road, but what you see and experience once you are inside our historic house, our forested back acreage and our pampering service.
I know you say you love b&bs, so I would love for you to stop by when you're in the area so we may show you why our reviews are so wonderful. Trip Advisor is a powerful medium, so your words on here can affect a small b&b like ours negatively and for years to come. I am only commenting on this thread because it's the second time over the past couple of years you've made the same comment. I'm very sincere about our invitation, stop by for a cup of coffee or tea sometime!
To answer the original posters question, I can totally understand why you can't figure out if we're north or central coast. It even confuses us! We are south on the north coast, bordering on the central coast.XXXX City is only a 30 minute drive, XXXX is 1 1/4 hours, XXXX is 1 1/4 hours and XXXX is 1 3/4 hours with normal drive times (not holiday traffic).
Later that day (yesterday), my post was removed as "inappropriate". I'm sure the destination experts flagged it. How dare I challenge them?
I wrote TA back asking why it had been removed and I had not broken any of their guidlines and requested that it be reposted.
They agreed!!! The post was returned this morning. Score one for the little guy!!.
Good for you!
 

JBloggs

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I just won a round with Trip Advisor!
I got a google alert that brought me to a forum discussion on TA. The OP was asking for help because they were interested in staying with us and thought it would be a perfect fit for them but they couldn't quite figure out our region and where we were located. There were the normal discussions in the forum thread, then there was a post by a "TA Destination Expert", although they were not an expert for my region. In their post they said how they had driven past our place in the winter time and were unimpressed. It looked like an old farm house. They also mentioned that we got great TA reviews, but they didn't know why and suggested they stay at a different hotel. Oh yeah, this guy and said they loved b&bs. This same guy had posted virtually the same type of post a couple years ago and I just let it go by. Oh, by the way, in the 47 lodging reviews, this guy had only been to 1 b&b!!!
This time I "fought" back. How dare someone say negative things about us without first hand experience? I crafted this response:
I just wanted to comment on your post about us. You're right, we look like an old farm house from the road. That's because we are. Our farm house is a historical landmark which was built out of 3x12 timbers salvaged from a shipwreck in 1890 at the nearby beach and hauled to our location to build the original homestead finished in 1894. Our charm happens not from what you see from the road, but what you see and experience once you are inside our historic house, our forested back acreage and our pampering service.
I know you say you love b&bs, so I would love for you to stop by when you're in the area so we may show you why our reviews are so wonderful. Trip Advisor is a powerful medium, so your words on here can affect a small b&b like ours negatively and for years to come. I am only commenting on this thread because it's the second time over the past couple of years you've made the same comment. I'm very sincere about our invitation, stop by for a cup of coffee or tea sometime!
To answer the original posters question, I can totally understand why you can't figure out if we're north or central coast. It even confuses us! We are south on the north coast, bordering on the central coast.XXXX City is only a 30 minute drive, XXXX is 1 1/4 hours, XXXX is 1 1/4 hours and XXXX is 1 3/4 hours with normal drive times (not holiday traffic).
Later that day (yesterday), my post was removed as "inappropriate". I'm sure the destination experts flagged it. How dare I challenge them?
I wrote TA back asking why it had been removed and I had not broken any of their guidlines and requested that it be reposted.
They agreed!!! The post was returned this morning. Score one for the little guy!!.

 

gillumhouse

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I just won a round with Trip Advisor!
I got a google alert that brought me to a forum discussion on TA. The OP was asking for help because they were interested in staying with us and thought it would be a perfect fit for them but they couldn't quite figure out our region and where we were located. There were the normal discussions in the forum thread, then there was a post by a "TA Destination Expert", although they were not an expert for my region. In their post they said how they had driven past our place in the winter time and were unimpressed. It looked like an old farm house. They also mentioned that we got great TA reviews, but they didn't know why and suggested they stay at a different hotel. Oh yeah, this guy and said they loved b&bs. This same guy had posted virtually the same type of post a couple years ago and I just let it go by. Oh, by the way, in the 47 lodging reviews, this guy had only been to 1 b&b!!!
This time I "fought" back. How dare someone say negative things about us without first hand experience? I crafted this response:
I just wanted to comment on your post about us. You're right, we look like an old farm house from the road. That's because we are. Our farm house is a historical landmark which was built out of 3x12 timbers salvaged from a shipwreck in 1890 at the nearby beach and hauled to our location to build the original homestead finished in 1894. Our charm happens not from what you see from the road, but what you see and experience once you are inside our historic house, our forested back acreage and our pampering service.
I know you say you love b&bs, so I would love for you to stop by when you're in the area so we may show you why our reviews are so wonderful. Trip Advisor is a powerful medium, so your words on here can affect a small b&b like ours negatively and for years to come. I am only commenting on this thread because it's the second time over the past couple of years you've made the same comment. I'm very sincere about our invitation, stop by for a cup of coffee or tea sometime!
To answer the original posters question, I can totally understand why you can't figure out if we're north or central coast. It even confuses us! We are south on the north coast, bordering on the central coast.XXXX City is only a 30 minute drive, XXXX is 1 1/4 hours, XXXX is 1 1/4 hours and XXXX is 1 3/4 hours with normal drive times (not holiday traffic).
Later that day (yesterday), my post was removed as "inappropriate". I'm sure the destination experts flagged it. How dare I challenge them?
I wrote TA back asking why it had been removed and I had not broken any of their guidlines and requested that it be reposted.
They agreed!!! The post was returned this morning. Score one for the little guy!!.
Hip-hip hooray!!!!!!!
 

greyswan

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Yeah! I like the tone of your response... very positive.. If only I can remember to do that!
 

Copperhead

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I just won a round with Trip Advisor!
I got a google alert that brought me to a forum discussion on TA. The OP was asking for help because they were interested in staying with us and thought it would be a perfect fit for them but they couldn't quite figure out our region and where we were located. There were the normal discussions in the forum thread, then there was a post by a "TA Destination Expert", although they were not an expert for my region. In their post they said how they had driven past our place in the winter time and were unimpressed. It looked like an old farm house. They also mentioned that we got great TA reviews, but they didn't know why and suggested they stay at a different hotel. Oh yeah, this guy and said they loved b&bs. This same guy had posted virtually the same type of post a couple years ago and I just let it go by. Oh, by the way, in the 47 lodging reviews, this guy had only been to 1 b&b!!!
This time I "fought" back. How dare someone say negative things about us without first hand experience? I crafted this response:
I just wanted to comment on your post about us. You're right, we look like an old farm house from the road. That's because we are. Our farm house is a historical landmark which was built out of 3x12 timbers salvaged from a shipwreck in 1890 at the nearby beach and hauled to our location to build the original homestead finished in 1894. Our charm happens not from what you see from the road, but what you see and experience once you are inside our historic house, our forested back acreage and our pampering service.
I know you say you love b&bs, so I would love for you to stop by when you're in the area so we may show you why our reviews are so wonderful. Trip Advisor is a powerful medium, so your words on here can affect a small b&b like ours negatively and for years to come. I am only commenting on this thread because it's the second time over the past couple of years you've made the same comment. I'm very sincere about our invitation, stop by for a cup of coffee or tea sometime!
To answer the original posters question, I can totally understand why you can't figure out if we're north or central coast. It even confuses us! We are south on the north coast, bordering on the central coast.XXXX City is only a 30 minute drive, XXXX is 1 1/4 hours, XXXX is 1 1/4 hours and XXXX is 1 3/4 hours with normal drive times (not holiday traffic).
Later that day (yesterday), my post was removed as "inappropriate". I'm sure the destination experts flagged it. How dare I challenge them?
I wrote TA back asking why it had been removed and I had not broken any of their guidlines and requested that it be reposted.
They agreed!!! The post was returned this morning. Score one for the little guy!!.
Good for you and very well done indeed!
Many of those so called 'experts' are no experts at all. I am not all together sure how they get that title but I think it at least partially is due to how many responses the person has replied to in that same region. There is one local expert for this area that lives 2000 miles away... Even if that person once lived here, things change! Another talks something like what you describe, talking about things they know nothing about.
I would keep an eye on that forum for a while just to make sure your comment remains.
 

toddburme

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Great reply. I hope it turned the tone of the thread to a more positive thing.
 

Samster

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I just won a round with Trip Advisor!
I got a google alert that brought me to a forum discussion on TA. The OP was asking for help because they were interested in staying with us and thought it would be a perfect fit for them but they couldn't quite figure out our region and where we were located. There were the normal discussions in the forum thread, then there was a post by a "TA Destination Expert", although they were not an expert for my region. In their post they said how they had driven past our place in the winter time and were unimpressed. It looked like an old farm house. They also mentioned that we got great TA reviews, but they didn't know why and suggested they stay at a different hotel. Oh yeah, this guy and said they loved b&bs. This same guy had posted virtually the same type of post a couple years ago and I just let it go by. Oh, by the way, in the 47 lodging reviews, this guy had only been to 1 b&b!!!
This time I "fought" back. How dare someone say negative things about us without first hand experience? I crafted this response:
I just wanted to comment on your post about us. You're right, we look like an old farm house from the road. That's because we are. Our farm house is a historical landmark which was built out of 3x12 timbers salvaged from a shipwreck in 1890 at the nearby beach and hauled to our location to build the original homestead finished in 1894. Our charm happens not from what you see from the road, but what you see and experience once you are inside our historic house, our forested back acreage and our pampering service.
I know you say you love b&bs, so I would love for you to stop by when you're in the area so we may show you why our reviews are so wonderful. Trip Advisor is a powerful medium, so your words on here can affect a small b&b like ours negatively and for years to come. I am only commenting on this thread because it's the second time over the past couple of years you've made the same comment. I'm very sincere about our invitation, stop by for a cup of coffee or tea sometime!
To answer the original posters question, I can totally understand why you can't figure out if we're north or central coast. It even confuses us! We are south on the north coast, bordering on the central coast.XXXX City is only a 30 minute drive, XXXX is 1 1/4 hours, XXXX is 1 1/4 hours and XXXX is 1 3/4 hours with normal drive times (not holiday traffic).
Later that day (yesterday), my post was removed as "inappropriate". I'm sure the destination experts flagged it. How dare I challenge them?
I wrote TA back asking why it had been removed and I had not broken any of their guidlines and requested that it be reposted.
They agreed!!! The post was returned this morning. Score one for the little guy!!.
Congrats!

 

Breakfast Diva

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There were actually 2 "destination experts" participating in this discussion. So far no other posts have appeared, but I'll keep an eye on it. Those people are so full of themselves, and I find that they post about places and properties THEY like and not what the original poster is really looking for.
Here's a perfect example of how important Google alerts can be. The last surprise I had with the alerts is when we were named one of the top 10 hotels in our state by an online site I'd never heard of. But you can be sure I used that for some PR!
Thanks everyone for your support. Getting it reposted has made my day!
 

Don Draper

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BD, I am so happy for you! You rock.
I have seen this happen in our area and many others. It's just so pathetically sad...can you imagine HOW MUCH free time this kind of person has??? What a small, small existence. The best part is that I know you are totally sincere and would welcome this person in to show them "what ya got"! But they would never take you up on it, it's so much easier to just sit and unfairly criticize than actually get off your butt and DO something!
 

Breakfast Diva

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BD, I am so happy for you! You rock.
I have seen this happen in our area and many others. It's just so pathetically sad...can you imagine HOW MUCH free time this kind of person has??? What a small, small existence. The best part is that I know you are totally sincere and would welcome this person in to show them "what ya got"! But they would never take you up on it, it's so much easier to just sit and unfairly criticize than actually get off your butt and DO something!.
You're so right DD! I'll never see this person (thank goodness!) Hopefully it will make both of those "experts" think twice before they write about specific properties. I'm really glad I was able to keep the statement in about TA being powerful and they negatively affect a small property.
 

Alibi Ike

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There were actually 2 "destination experts" participating in this discussion. So far no other posts have appeared, but I'll keep an eye on it. Those people are so full of themselves, and I find that they post about places and properties THEY like and not what the original poster is really looking for.
Here's a perfect example of how important Google alerts can be. The last surprise I had with the alerts is when we were named one of the top 10 hotels in our state by an online site I'd never heard of. But you can be sure I used that for some PR!
Thanks everyone for your support. Getting it reposted has made my day!.
I've noticed those destination 'experts' regularly push guests away from my whole town. 'You don't want to go there, go here instead.' And it does seem to be based on how many times you respond to questions about a particular area. Sometimes they are correct, the guest has specific requirements that won't be met here. A lot of times it's the same person who just doesn't like this town.
 

Penelope

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I just won a round with Trip Advisor!
I got a google alert that brought me to a forum discussion on TA. The OP was asking for help because they were interested in staying with us and thought it would be a perfect fit for them but they couldn't quite figure out our region and where we were located. There were the normal discussions in the forum thread, then there was a post by a "TA Destination Expert", although they were not an expert for my region. In their post they said how they had driven past our place in the winter time and were unimpressed. It looked like an old farm house. They also mentioned that we got great TA reviews, but they didn't know why and suggested they stay at a different hotel. Oh yeah, this guy and said they loved b&bs. This same guy had posted virtually the same type of post a couple years ago and I just let it go by. Oh, by the way, in the 47 lodging reviews, this guy had only been to 1 b&b!!!
This time I "fought" back. How dare someone say negative things about us without first hand experience? I crafted this response:
I just wanted to comment on your post about us. You're right, we look like an old farm house from the road. That's because we are. Our farm house is a historical landmark which was built out of 3x12 timbers salvaged from a shipwreck in 1890 at the nearby beach and hauled to our location to build the original homestead finished in 1894. Our charm happens not from what you see from the road, but what you see and experience once you are inside our historic house, our forested back acreage and our pampering service.
I know you say you love b&bs, so I would love for you to stop by when you're in the area so we may show you why our reviews are so wonderful. Trip Advisor is a powerful medium, so your words on here can affect a small b&b like ours negatively and for years to come. I am only commenting on this thread because it's the second time over the past couple of years you've made the same comment. I'm very sincere about our invitation, stop by for a cup of coffee or tea sometime!
To answer the original posters question, I can totally understand why you can't figure out if we're north or central coast. It even confuses us! We are south on the north coast, bordering on the central coast.XXXX City is only a 30 minute drive, XXXX is 1 1/4 hours, XXXX is 1 1/4 hours and XXXX is 1 3/4 hours with normal drive times (not holiday traffic).
Later that day (yesterday), my post was removed as "inappropriate". I'm sure the destination experts flagged it. How dare I challenge them?
I wrote TA back asking why it had been removed and I had not broken any of their guidlines and requested that it be reposted.
They agreed!!! The post was returned this morning. Score one for the little guy!!.
Breakfast Diva said:
The post was returned this morning. Score one for the little guy!!

 

Copperhead

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There were actually 2 "destination experts" participating in this discussion. So far no other posts have appeared, but I'll keep an eye on it. Those people are so full of themselves, and I find that they post about places and properties THEY like and not what the original poster is really looking for.
Here's a perfect example of how important Google alerts can be. The last surprise I had with the alerts is when we were named one of the top 10 hotels in our state by an online site I'd never heard of. But you can be sure I used that for some PR!
Thanks everyone for your support. Getting it reposted has made my day!.
I've noticed those destination 'experts' regularly push guests away from my whole town. 'You don't want to go there, go here instead.' And it does seem to be based on how many times you respond to questions about a particular area. Sometimes they are correct, the guest has specific requirements that won't be met here. A lot of times it's the same person who just doesn't like this town.
.
A lot of times it's the same person who just doesn't like this town.
I find this as well in my area... if it isn't the town its the attractions or restaurants. Those 'experts' sometimes bug the cr*p out of me with their comments. TA should make note of what constitutes an 'expert'.
 
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