|How Hoteliers Can Encourage Guests to Write More Positive Reviews.|
By Roland Wildberg ~ Weekly Exclusive - Views On The Latest Trends
Sunday, 15th September 2013
Exclusive Feature: The owners of a small hotel in the German highlands next to Frankfort were depressed: A hotel guest had left unsatisfied. Well, this can happen – but it caused even more trouble: the ilsulted customer did not communicate his resentment and possible grounds directly to them (they still guess whether it was the matrace).
A week later, his devastating review was published on HRS, the largest Central European booking portal. "Our profile now is waning by over 20 percentage points", the hotelier sadly says.
If the property was a 300-room-hotel located next to Frankforts fairground, no way. But it is situated right in the middle of nowhere and has only 20 rooms. That must now be compensated - the evaluation itself is not to be changed, because HRS has installed a closed system, no one can comment on the reviews or give responses from hoteliers position.
In general, this is a progress in comparison to open system's like Trip Advisor's where too many fakes are placed. Our friend's frustration touches an issue for which the hotel portals do seemingly not yet have found any solution: Small houses with a few rooms, by one single negative criticism, may it be justified or not, lose a lot of customers. And money.
How can this be avoided? The friendly question "Hope you liked to stay with us?" when the guest checks out should be standard, but alone is not able to calm down a seriously disgruntled guest. The customer surveys, suffering a solitary existence in the room's davenport of many hotels have even less chances: They are rarely used, because filling out them requires additional time that have neither tourists nor business travellers in big amounts.
It should be noted here: customer survey sheets of course are not basically useless, especially valuable suggestions for change can experience attentive hoteliers here. But to appease an angry guest and especially stop him from romping on evaluation platforms, they are largely inappropriate.
More promises the method that we have experienced in a hotel in the French Provence: At check-in we were advised that we would belong to a select group of guests confronted after the check-out with a short questionnaire about the property's quality. Since the questionnaire was not laid down uncharitably before us, but came to us in the form of a friendly employee, we did tolerate the procedure relatively patiently.
What the Manager of a large last-minute platform told us from his last stay in California was even better: He had checked out, since joined to the Concierge on him: "Sir, your taxi comes in three minutes. You want to use that time reasonable?" Our man nodded and was led to a comfortable seating area. There, he received a free cup of coffee and a tablet computer down in the hand. "If you would be so kind, to write your review about us?" The guest could complete a questionnaire directly into the pad. After two minutes it was all over.
The importance of this ritual, he told us later, was not to under-estimate: Noone writes only a good and then – after the email with a review link to the booking portal would have been received – a miserable review. It is thus for the hotel manager opportunity, after the review (if he accepts the tablet again) still quickly encourages to counteract and prevent as the worst.
Moreover it leads guests to reflect their hotel stay immediately after he was finished, and the act of reviewing itself. The impressions are still fresh – and everyone is tuned positive by the free coffee.
What do you mean? Shall we try this out as well. Did you like this text? Please take a little time in order to evaluate us. The Tablet is already on its way to you.
This is strictly an exclusive feature, reprints of this article in any shape or form without prior written approval from 4Hoteliers.com is not permitted.
Roland Wildberg is Travel Writer and Correspondent based in Berlin, Germany. He started as an Editor for the National daily 'Die Welt' (tourism section), later on switched to a freelanced career and nowadays mainly publishes on the Web. Observing the hospitality industry always has fascinated him as it looks like the perfect combination of sleeping and writing – work-live-balance as its best.
Roland also heads the annual 4Hoteliers ITB Berlin news micro-site journalist and video/photo teams. For more info: www.4Hoteliers.com/itb.
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