Writing an online review

How to Respond to Hotel Reviews and Increase Hotel Reservations

Guests actively share and review their hotel experience. We’ve created a handy guide for responding to hotel reviews that could increase your booking conversion rate in the future.

If you’ve been putting off responding to guests’ travel reviews regarding their experience with your property, now’s your moment. To help, we’ve put together a guide and some reassuring stats to support you when responding to hotel reviews that could maximize your booking conversion rate in the future. Don’t worry if some of your hotel experience feedback isn’t what you hoped for. All hotel reviews are good for business – this includes negative reviews!

As it turns out, yes. Research shows that negative reviews are better for business than no reviews. In fact, if you respond thoughtfully, you might even see more booking success as a result of poor hotel guest feedback. It also gives your brand legitimacy and builds trust. In fact, 68% of consumers trust reviews more when there’s a healthy mix of both positive and negative reviews.

Would you believe that negative reviews also draw in more qualified hotel guest prospects? Today’s consumers are smarter and have access to a wealth of information about you, your property, and your competition. When monitoring the purchasing habits of those who actually look for negative reviews, research shows that negative reviews convert higher. Prospects who look for negative reviews actually convert at a higher rate than those who don’t. Imagine what that could do for your booking rates!

This is why it is so important to keep your eye out for reviews and respond on time. According to a Lee Resource Inc study, 70% of customers who complain will return to your business if you’re able to quickly resolve their problem. Negative reviews offer the perfect opportunity to turn things around, correct the problem, and get yourself a positive review to counter the original negative feedback. They also help you identify areas for improvement.

Yes, it can be overwhelming to keep track of travel reviews. Guests leave feedback about their hotel experience on travel review sites like TripAdvisor or Yelp, on OTA sites like Booking.com, on social media, and of course, on your direct website (which should have a hotel reviews page or link). Be sure to schedule time on a regular basis to check for and respond to reviews. A quick Google search for your property name is a great way to start. You’ll find that once you develop the habit, it doesn’t take long.

The Top 3 Strategies for Responding to Negative Reviews

  1. Be diplomatic. It might be tempting to respond harshly to a negative review if the feedback is upsetting. However, it is important to remember that the exchange of words is seen publicly. Your calm, measured response will leave a positive impression on the thousands of other potential  guests who didn’t leave the complaint, but are interested in your response to it. It is a reflection of your hotel brand and how you conduct business.
  2. Address the complaint, but don’t over-compensate. If it’s a legitimate complaint, explain how you plan to prevent the bad hotel experience from happening again. If it’s something you’re aware of, but can’t control, you can explain that too—along with a simple apology. Don’t feel the need to offer a coupon or discount, though. This can actually prompt more negative reviews. Instead, use the opportunity to engage honestly and thoughtfully, so that the guest feels heard and respected.
  3. Use travel reviews to humanize your brand. Be personal and sincere. Adopt a professional tone, but no need to be overly formal. As appropriate, you can even use humour. Responding to reviews gives you a chance to show potential hotel guests your human side. Respond to each one uniquely, addressing the guest by name, even if the reviews are about the same issue. This shows that you are extra attentive (which might make the difference in a hotel reservations decision). For potential guests, your public response to negative reviews is a chance to hear from you personally. They’ll be left with a positive impression, no matter the content of the review. In that way, negative reviews offer a great opportunity to market your hotel brand.

Good luck! Check out our Partner Forum to gain advice from other Booking.com partners or share your own tips about customer feedback.

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