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After You Buy a Hotel: Taking Care of Negative Guest Reviews

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After You Buy a Hotel: Responding to Dissatisfied Reviews

After you buy a hotel, you’ll find that not every customer will be completely satisfied with their experience. It may be a mistake on your part, it may not be. The point is, they may take the time to write a negative review of your establishment on social media. If this happens, there’s no reason to panic. Take a deep breath and follow our advice for responding. When you buy a hotel, this probably isn’t an aspect of the business you look forward to, but it’s necessary to stay successful.

Should You Respond to Negative Reviews?

The first question you may ask yourself is whether the review is even worth responding to. The short answer is, it’s absolutely important. Ignoring a negative review, especially a detailed one, shows lack of concern on your part. An efficient and effective response is imperative. Review websites such as Yelp and other forms of social media are often where people look first to get an impression of your hotel. If they see unanswered negative reviews, it will make them question their decision to stay with you. Don’t lose business just because you don’t want to bother writing a response.

How to Respond to Negative Reviews

Now that you’ve decided to respond, what should your approach be? This depends on the tone of the review and what the complaints are. Sometimes customers had a generally positive experience but had a minor complaint about some aspect. We’ll use an example to demonstrate:

Customer: We loved our stay! Staff was very friendly and the rooms were very clean. I will say that our complimentary breakfast wasn’t great but overall a great experience!

As you can see, in this example, the customer thought the stay was great for the most part, but they did have a small complaint about the breakfast. Here’s what we think would be an appropriate response:

Hotel Owner: We’re so glad you enjoyed your stay with us! We’re very sorry that you had a less than stellar experience with our breakfast. Usually, our customers love it! Please feel free to reach out and let us know if there’s anything we can do to right this wrong. We hope this mistake won’t stop you from staying with us in the future!

Notice that in our example response, the owner didn’t disagree with the customer. Sometimes a mistake is made, and it’s ok to own up to it. You can also extend an olive branch by offering to accommodate the customer in some small way during a future stay. This shows potential customers that you care, and it shows the dissatisfied customer that you would love to earn their business again. The response is both friendly and professional.

Keep in mind that not all customers will be so easy going. When you buy a hotel, you’ll have to deal with various levels of dissatisfaction. Let’s do a more extreme example:

Customer: There wasn’t a single good thing about our stay. Staff was rude, rooms were filthy, food was awful. We certainly won’t be staying here in the future!

This is something a fairly angry customer might say. Even if these things aren’t true, it’s important to maintain a calm demeanor. Try to move the discussion to an offline area. Here’s an example of a good response:

Owner: We’re so sorry to hear that your stay was anything less than exemplary. Please reach out to me personally, and I’ll do whatever we can to accommodate you.

The above response is fairly typical for this kind of negative review. It’s better to resolve the complaint peacefully where other potential customers can’t see the conversation. However, if a customer was particularly difficult and the claims are unfounded, feel free to defend yourself and the business. Some people just won’t be pleased no matter what. It’s important for other potential customers to see that particular person is just being unreasonable, and it’s not your fault. Exercise caution when responding in this manner. Don’t try to sound mean or condescending, just calmly explain how the customer is being unreasonable. This type of customer likely lodged several complaints during their stay. In your response, you can also detail the actions you took to address those complaints. It will be easy for others to see who was right and wrong in the situation.

When You Buy a Hotel, Buy Through Southeast International Hotel Brokers

Southeast International Hotel Brokers are experts in the hotel industry. We know what works and what doesn’t for owners after they buy a hotel. That’s why when you buy a hotel, you should buy through a company that knows the industry inside and out. Our extensive connections and expertise allow us to guide you through the entire buying process. Contact us today for more information, or view the Southeast International Hotel Brokers website.