In today’s day and age, negative online reviews can hurt a company in a lot of different ways. This is true for businesses in all sectors, including and especially travel and hospitality sectors. Such businesses rely heavily on word-of-mouth to get new clients. Considering how important guest experiences are, hospitality and travel companies need to find ways to remove or counteract negative reviews on sites like TripAdvisor and Expedia.
Why should you worry about negative reviews?
Review sites are a very crucial part of the travel booking experience. It is estimated that over 90 percent of travelers look at online reviews before making a booking. It is also common knowledge that a lot of customers would refuse to book a hotel if it doesn’t have any online reviews. TripAdvisor gets around 390 million visitors per month and for Expedia it is well over 130 million visitors. The numbers tell the story and given the traffic that such sites get, the reviews posted on such sites have the potential to influence the ultimate decision of a large number of potential customers.
A lot of people consider reviews while making their final booking decisions. It is estimated that over 85% of customers will refuse to book a hotel if it has less than a 3-star rating. On the contrary, positive reviews augur really well for your business. Research shows that an overwhelming majority of people will gladly pay more for a hotel room if it has received a lot of positive reviews. Travelers also don’t mind paying top dollar for making a booking if the facility has excellent ratings.
How can you avoid customers from seeing negative reviews?
Now that we have established the detrimental impact that bad reviews can have on your business, it’s time to figure out the ways in which one can avoid the consequences of such bad reviews. There are primarily three ways in which you can deal with such negative reviews. First option is to get such reviews deleted. The second option is to respond to reviews in such a way that can shows you genuinely care about making things right. The third and final option is to implement changes which will help you in avoiding negative reviews.
Deleting negative reviews from review sites
It is possible to remove negative reviews from review sites but only if you can prove that such reviews are problematic in some way. Different review sites have different rules and you are advised to study them thoroughly to enhance your chances of getting unflattering reviews removed. All review sites, including and especially Expedia and TripAdvisor have guidelines which they expect people to follow. If the post is in the contravention to rules enshrined in the guidelines, then such sites may delete the review. You may be able to get reviews reeking of personal attacks removed from review sites.
Here’s how you should respond to negative reviews
It is important for hospitality and travel companies to respond to reviews, because companies which do so, get more booking inquiries than companies which don’t do so. Now that we have established that you need to respond to online reviews, you need to figure out the ways in which you should respond to such reviews. You shouldn’t be too defensive and neither should you come across as too aggressive. You need to come up with professional and courteous responses to bad online reviews. You can follow the following rules while dealing with reviews, especially unflattering reviews.
- Regardless of the nature of expedia reviews and complaints, try to respond to it as soon as possible. You should try to respond to the review within 1 hour of it getting posted.
- Try to personalize the interaction and address reviewers by their name rather than using impersonal generic terms.
- If you are in the wrong, acknowledge, accept and then apologize.
- Reply to negative hotel reviewbyacknowledging the concerns raised in the review and communicate what are you going to do to fix it.
- After responding publicly, take the conversation offline by going private with the reviewer, especially if the situation is complicated.
Examine your business practices
- The best way out is to stop unflattering reviews before they even start. One can do this by thoroughly examining one’s business practices. Review all the complaints about your business and try to find similar themes in them. Introspect and analyze such reviews from different angles.
- You need to get to the bottom of the issues plaguing your business and then take corrective measures to resolve such issues. You need to address the concerns being raised by your guests, and the more effectively you are able to do so, the better reviews you will get from in the future.
- Many review sites have tools to notify hotels when someone posts a review about them, so that hotel owners can act quickly to address the concerns raised in the reviews. The best way to get better reviews is to strive to resolve the issues of your guests, even after the bill has been paid.
- No matter how careful or diligent you are in managing the affairs of your business, sometimes getting negative reviews is inevitable. One another way to offset the negative effects of such reviews is by encouraging reviews from satisfied and happy guests. Therefore, you need to proactively think of ways to encourage reviews from your guests.
The Bottom Line
Reviews play a very instrumental role in the success or failure of business ventures in this digital age, including and especially hospitality and travel-related businesses. A lot of hoteliers understand the significance of this and they are actively investing in online reputation management. So if you have a hotel and aren’t doing so, then it is high time that you get your act together or run the high risk of being left behind the competition.
Unfortunately, some businesses don’t have the time to monitor and manage their online reputations themselves. Such businesses can hire online reputation management services of an online reputation management agency for the same purpose. Such services are available in abundance across the entirety of the internet and there is every chance that you will be able to find a service provider whose services suit your requirements and whose online reputation management cost fits your budget.
Heena Ansari is a digital marketer and founder of Techpuzz. She aims to give Digital marketing tips & guide for a beginner and help them to grow their career in Digital Marketing.