The majority of reviews on TripAdvisor, even some five star reviews, express mixed sentiments. So it’s important to respond to as many reviews as possible. You want to show prospective guests that your hotel actively reads, internalizes, and responds to reviews. And when potential customers see these mixed reviews, they also see your responses and get your side of the story.
How to Respond to Hotel Reviews: The Positive Sandwich Formula
Mixed hotel reviews are often mostly complimentary. One way to address mixed feedback is by using the positive sandwich method. By sandwiching your responses to the negative remarks with positive statements, you can recognize and respond to negative messages without emphasizing them.
1. Thank the guest.
Address the guest by name and thank him/her for taking the time to write a review.
2. Highlight the positive comments.
Express delight that the guest had a good experience with some aspects of his or her stay. This personalizes the message, and reminds the reader that the guest said good things about the hotel.
3. Address the negative comments.
Apologize for the negative experiences detailed in the review, and give details on any changes the hotel has made or intends to make.
4. Return to the positive.
Highlight another positive aspect of the guest’s stay. This surrounds the negative comments with positive statements. This allows you to address the customer service issues without putting too much emphasis on any unflattering information about your property.
5. Invite the guest to return.
This reminds the reviewer and readers that you value your guests and any feedback they have to offer. Even though this person said negative things about your hotel online, it says great things about you if you accept the feedback graciously.
Real World Example
Here’s one example of a guest that had mostly positive things to say at a newly launched property in Cincinnati. But, he or she found that the staff did not live up to expectations:
A manager might respond like this:
Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience at our hotel. We are so glad you found our hotel a good place to stay, and that you enjoyed the menu and food at Metropole. Unfortunately, it seems that we did not meet all your expectations. We would certainly like to learn more about that. If you would like, please connect with me at the hotel or via email at GerryL@hotel.com. Your feedback is very valuable to us as we work to be better each and every day. We are pleased that you enjoyed so much of our establishment, and we would be honored to have you return to our hotel in the future.
Gerry L | General Manager
When should I respond to mixed hotel reviews?
While it’s ideal to respond to every review your property gets online, not every hotel manager has the time to do so. We usually suggest that you respond to at least 50% of your mixed reviews. For the reviews you do decide to respond to, be sure to respond ASAP so you can minimize the number of people who see the negative comments without your response.
It’s also helpful to have an Online Reputation Management system that aggregates all your online reviews onto one platform. This way, you only have to go to one place to respond to everything.
Learn about what’s trending, review response metrics, and a look forward at hospitality reputation in our 2018 Reputation Benchmark Report. Available free for download.