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See How a Bad TA Review Turned Into A Good Thing

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NW BB

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So many innkeepers are terrified of getting negative TA reviews that they allow manipulative guests to walk all over them. I bend my rules when I feel it's appropriate, but refuse to be blackmailed, so I have 2 negative reviews.
I just wanted to share with all of you how important a weapon your owners response can be. Today I received an e-mail from a guest that will be arriving next week. I wanted to share some of it with all of you since this comes right from the horse's mouth and I know he speaks for many others who are using TA So if you get a bad review, it's not the end of the world.
..."[COLOR= rgb(31, 73, 125)]By the way, your Web site is extremely well designed and has just about the very best array of information I’ve seen and I do a lot of research on the Web. But as attractive as your site is, I think the thing that put us over the top in selecting your B&B was a poor review and how you handled it and the response you posted. I’m in the information and customer service business and I could tell someone who is a pro at treating guests well."[/COLOR]
[COLOR= rgb(31, 73, 125)]Bless his heart for actually communicating this to me! [/COLOR]
 

Morticia

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Good for you.
 

Penelope

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That's a wonderful compliment. So many times the "good" is never commented on, only the "bad".
If I do a guest check-out, I always tell them "if we've done something good, tell others; if we've done something wrong, tell us".
I took my kids out to breakfast yesterday morning. The waitress came over and informed us, after a substantially LONG wait for our food, that they had a new cook in training. Okay, no problem. She offered us some sweet breads to tide us over. Fine.
A little while later, our food gets delivered, it's noticably better than before. My 9 year old son says, "Mom this is really good. The new cook did a good job". I told him to tell the waitress when she came back. He's too shy to say all that, so I did. She came back and said, "The cook appreciates your comments. He was very glad you liked it". Then she bent down a little farther and said, "I think it made his day".
You never know
 

gillumhouse

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I try to make a point of telling people when they have done a good job. I especially try to do this with parents of small children. Last week one of the trumpet players had his son at rehearsal. As we were leaving, I complimented him on how well-behaved the child was - he did not make noise, did not run around, just sat next to Dad through a 2 hour rehearsal. Parents who do not allow their kids to run wild need to be complimented (Socks, you done good!).
Reinforcing the good is important. And to tell someone they (or their employees) did a good job WILL be something to make one's day.
 

egoodell

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NW BB said:
I bend my rules when I feel it's appropriate, but refuse to be blackmailed, so I have 2 negative reviews.
I just wanted to share with all of you how important a weapon your owners response can be.
I totally agree with you on this. It could be that my dad was FBI and always said, "You can't give in to blackmail, it will make matters worse and increase that kind of crime" that makes me so stubborn.
I do believe that most people know that if you have a large number of complimentary reviews and one or two negatives don't usually believe them.
I have a negative review on Yahoo!Travel, and what ticked me off was that they don't allow the business to respond. But again, it was written in such a manner that the author looks like she has a problem. But it would be nice if I could explain what happened, too.
I would not change my policy and she told me she would "make me regret it" and she never even stayed at my B&B! She didn't even have a confirmation. She forgot to ever get back to me.
Riki
 

Samster

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We just need to let the chips fall where they may and handle them at the time as far as these reviews go. Good job for handling that negative review well! It obviously impressed your prospective guest.
 

seashanty

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will you share the basics of how you responded?
good for you!
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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I concur with most everything being expressed here. We've got two negative reviews, but even those were filled with general kudos for everything about what we offer and what a guest is looking for.
The "issues" for the two were only "perceptual", so blown out of proportion, filled with lies, innaccuracies and exaggerated about that they stick out like sore thumbs to anybody reading the 57 awesome reviews.
One came seven months after the fact, so it was obviously meant to be punitive and not helpful to other travelers.
The other was two days after check out and the poster's statement that "I was torn on writing this review and have done so only for the knowledge of the host/hostess to take note on the way they speak to their guests in the future." Yeah, right. That's why these four drunken, louts put on an Academy Award winning performance the whole time they were here and never said a word that wasn't completely complimentary the whole time.
The other bad reviewer and his family could have won awards themselves for their acting while here. It almost made us feel good that this jerk had stewed on something he created in his own head for seven full months.
We were still pretty angry and put off when they posted, so our management responses were way too long and argumentative in hindsight.
But you know what, we've had countless guests voluntarily offer us the same type supportive comment as NW B&B has gotten.
Good guests don't want to share the house with bad guests and expect us to take control of bad situations.
 

NW BB

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will you share the basics of how you responded?
good for you!.
seashanty said:
will you share the basics of how you responded?
good for you!
We have 2 negative reviews, so I'm not sure which one caught his attention, but probably it was the more recent (last Oct.). This situation happened when an innsitter was here (NOT the innsitters that I have recommended on this forum).As with most incidences, the truth lay somewhere inbetween what the innsitter told me and the outrageous claims by the guests. Some of you may think that I threw the innsitter under the bus, and in reality I did. The innsitter is anonymous, but my business is not, so I took the approach in my management response to appease the traveling public, not the insitter. After I spoke with the guest on the phone I knew he was "full of it", but I decided to give him his money back and not charge him for the rest of his reservation which I could have as our cancellation policy is written (they used the room, left for dinner, came back, claimed things were wrong with the room and then left that night). Since I was not there at the time to validate what had happened I refunded his money. By the way, our other bad review was a retaliation because I wouldn't let them out of their deposit.
As much as I wanted to slam the guests in my response, I bit my tongue and tried to think of the best way to mitigate the damages. Here is my management response:
"We were quite upset and concerned when we returned from our once a year vacation from the inn to be informed of the situation with these guests. We have the highest standards here at our B&B which you can tell from our other TripAdvisor reviews and are honored to have most of our guests celebrating important events in their lives. We refunded the guest's money and assured them that the innsitter we hired would not be hired again. A tough lesson learned. Since these guests were from out of state, there was nothing else we could do for them. We want other guests to know that when they stay with us we will do everything we can to make their stay with us special."
 

seashanty

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will you share the basics of how you responded?
good for you!.
seashanty said:
will you share the basics of how you responded?
good for you!
We have 2 negative reviews, so I'm not sure which one caught his attention, but probably it was the more recent (last Oct.). This situation happened when an innsitter was here (NOT the innsitters that I have recommended on this forum).As with most incidences, the truth lay somewhere inbetween what the innsitter told me and the outrageous claims by the guests. Some of you may think that I threw the innsitter under the bus, and in reality I did. The innsitter is anonymous, but my business is not, so I took the approach in my management response to appease the traveling public, not the insitter. After I spoke with the guest on the phone I knew he was "full of it", but I decided to give him his money back and not charge him for the rest of his reservation which I could have as our cancellation policy is written (they used the room, left for dinner, came back, claimed things were wrong with the room and then left that night). Since I was not there at the time to validate what had happened I refunded his money. By the way, our other bad review was a retaliation because I wouldn't let them out of their deposit.
As much as I wanted to slam the guests in my response, I bit my tongue and tried to think of the best way to mitigate the damages. Here is my management response:
"We were quite upset and concerned when we returned from our once a year vacation from the inn to be informed of the situation with these guests. We have the highest standards here at our B&B which you can tell from our other TripAdvisor reviews and are honored to have most of our guests celebrating important events in their lives. We refunded the guest's money and assured them that the innsitter we hired would not be hired again. A tough lesson learned. Since these guests were from out of state, there was nothing else we could do for them. We want other guests to know that when they stay with us we will do everything we can to make their stay with us special."
.
new bb ... thank you for sharing
 

happykeeper

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Even though I realize it may not be possible, I would love to see your response. I tried to follow some guidelines when we did a response but think I could have done better.
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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Even though I realize it may not be possible, I would love to see your response. I tried to follow some guidelines when we did a response but think I could have done better..
Are you asking me that question?
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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happykeeper

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Tim_Toad_HLB

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Even though I realize it may not be possible, I would love to see your response. I tried to follow some guidelines when we did a response but think I could have done better..
Are you asking me that question?
.
Yes- but you had already responded
Thanks
.
Can I email them to you or is it a dead issue?
.
If you don't mind, sure.
.
your motives are sincere right?
 

happykeeper

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Even though I realize it may not be possible, I would love to see your response. I tried to follow some guidelines when we did a response but think I could have done better..
Are you asking me that question?
.
Yes- but you had already responded
Thanks
.
Can I email them to you or is it a dead issue?
.
If you don't mind, sure.
.
your motives are sincere right?
.
LOL

 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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Even though I realize it may not be possible, I would love to see your response. I tried to follow some guidelines when we did a response but think I could have done better..
Are you asking me that question?
.
Yes- but you had already responded
Thanks
.
Can I email them to you or is it a dead issue?
.
If you don't mind, sure.
.
your motives are sincere right?
.
LOL

.
Darn, I keep clinking my two glasses of iced tea together but nothing is happening.
Better switch to beer.
Or a Mai Tai..... LOL
 
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