The Elephant In The Room: Guest Review Responses
By DJ Vallauri
Thursday, 29th July 2021

As consumers begin to travel in larger numbers, hotels are facing a new challenge: responding to guest reviews in a timely manner.

This is an increasingly important task as social media platforms and consumer review sites like Google My Business, TripAdvisor and Yelp have made it easier for customers to share their experiences with others.

The vast majority of consumers turn first to online reviews before making any decisions about where they want to stay when traveling.

“As the hospitality industry continues to recover from the Global Pandemic, responding to guest reviews has become an essential part of keeping guests happy and key to attract new travelers,” stated DJ Vallauri, Founder and CEO of Lodging Interactive which operates CoMMingle:Engage the premier guest review response and social media marketing service for the hospitality industry. “Hotel brands and hospitality management companies have made bold commitments related to new cleanliness and sanitization processes, and in doing so they have raised the consumers’ expectations.”

The importance of responding quickly and effectively cannot be overstated – hotel management staff should continually monitor Facebook, Instagram, TripAdvisor, Google My Business, Yelp! and all the major OTA sites such as Expedia, Booking.com, and Hotels.com.

However, with the summer travel season in full swing and the lack of property management staff, many properties are having to balance the operational requirements of serving their in-house guests and properly addressing guest reviews.

Lodging Interactive conducted research on how hotels are currently handling guest reviews internally and found, in a recent survey of hotel owners/managers, that “it’s not always possible for properties with limited staff to respond effectively, if at all.” A recent finding by Lodging Interactive found that hotel guest reviews continue to trend in a negative direction.

Additionally, more than half of respondents said they had no way to follow-up on direct messages via social media platforms such as Facebook Messenger and Instagram Direct Messages; many property General Managers are “too busy cleaning rooms to respond to guest reviews at all.”

Serving Guests is More Important Than Responding to Guest Reviews

“Servicing the in-house guest is THE priority, and responding to past guest reviews, well, that remains lower on the priority list,” added Vallauri. “But guest reviews can be a valuable source of feedback for hotels when it comes to managing in-house guests.”

Lodging Interactive can help properties by monitoring and responding to guest reviews 24/7. Through its CoMMingle:Engage reputation management service, its USA-based hospitality review team crafts personalized guest review responses that are approved by the property prior to posting publicly on the review sites or OTAs.

The CoMMingle:Engage reputation management service saves time and money for any property, big or small. Most importantly, it delivers fast, professional management of all hotel guest review responses while providing complete review and control by property management.

For more information on how CoMMingle:Engage can assist your property with responding to guest reviews, please visit CoMMingleEngage.com or call us at 877-291-4411 ext 704.

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