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Tips for Responding to Online Reviews: Part 1
By Jen Huss
Sunday, 1st December 2013
 

Online reviews are the most influential source of information for people booking leisure travel, with 93% of travelers reporting online reviews impact their booking decisions.*

With the average traveler considering seven properties during the booking process, guests are won and lost each day because of what others are saying about you.

With so many online review sites and OTAs, the challenge for hotels to monitor and protect their reputation can be overwhelming. Having an easy to follow plan in place and knowing which sites to prioritize will save you a lot of time, and weíre here to help!

4Hoteliers Image LibraryHere are our DOs and DONíTs to you get started:

DO respond quickly

A timely response is expected and appreciated. It shows you are attentive and receptive to feedback, and it leaves a lasting impression. Also, the more quickly you respond, the greater the number of people who read your comments.

DONíT use profanity, sarcasm, or spiteful comments

This one probably goes without saying, unless youíre trying to be the next Amyís Baking Company. Instead, use a sincere, professional voice representative of your customer service policies.

DO apologize for any legitimate negative experience

Thank the reviewer for the feedback and explain the steps youíll take to prevent that from happening again.

DONíT speculate about the identity of the reviewer

Your responses should never include the personal information of any person, including names, addresses, phone numbers or any information that may be used to identify them. Fake reviews do happen from time to time, but they can be very difficult to prove and itís better to avoid this accusation.

DO create a unique response for each review

Address the issues in each review with sincerity. Generic or canned responses show youíre not really committed to the guest experience and may be more isolating than helpful.

DONíT respond with a coupon or discount

Offering coupons can actually promote more negative reviews ó guests may see how speaking up benefits themselves instead of the community. Instead, highlight the improvements that are being made and invite the guest back for a return visit.

DO encourage the guest to contact you offline if follow‐up discussion is needed

Keeping the lines of communication open shows you are dedicated to making the situation right and you genuinely care about what the guest has to say.

In Part 2, weíll go into the specifics of each review site and talk about how property owners can best manage their time, resources, and reputation across all these sites.

* TripAdvisorís 2013 TripBarometer Study

About Jen Huss

Jen is the Community Engagement Manager at buuteeq, the digital marketing system for hotels. She manages buuteeqís social media channels, community development, content marketing, and occasionally writes for the company blog. You can connect with her on Twitter @buuteeq. www.buuteeq.com

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