As a hotel manager, when a guest comes to the front desk to register a complaint, do you: 1) look busy; 2) skulk out the back door; or 3) handle the matter personally?
Not that difficult a question, is it? Then why do only 4% of negative reviews on TripAdvisor get a response? Does the fact that reviews are often anonymous and directed at travelers rather than hotels let us off the hook? Or are hoteliers even paying attention? Consumers certainly are. Reviews are playing an increasingly important role in booking decisions. Some would say that online reviews deserve even more time than internal surveys, as the feedback is just as (if not more) valuable, and the impact is public.
According to TripAdvisor, a property’s response to criticism can have more influence on traveler decisions than the criticism itself. Hoteliers have a chance to redeem themselves, yet the vast majority chooses to remain silent, willfully allowing reputation and business to suffer. Granted, not all review sites allow hotel responses. Online travel agencies posted three times as many hotel reviews than traveler review sites last year, yet whereas Expedia and Hotels.com allow responses, Priceline and Travelocity don’t, effectively shutting hotels out of the conversation.
Read the entire article at Hotel Online.