The three-step response to online criticism

The three-step response to online criticism

The three-step response to online criticism

The guest experience is at the centre of all we do in the hospitality industry, so it's unsurprising that receiving criticism or negative feedback can leave operators feeling despondent. And thanks to social media and review sites, dissatisfied guests can spread their thoughts far and wide in a very short space of time. Here are some tips on how best to respond to guest criticism and manage your brand's reputation...

1. Respond with respect

Simply burying your head in the sand and ignoring the review shouldn't be an option - 87% of TripAdvisor users agreed that management responding well to a bad review improved their impression of a business. However, be careful not to take criticism personally when crafting a response. Respond online as you would to a complaint in person; address the guest's concerns, attempt to correct the situation, and offer a sincere apology.

In 2015, a survey of ours revealed that 37% of guests will search for reviews over three quarters of the time when they go out. While these potential guests may overlook a negative review as a lone bad experience, a business owner responding with anger or rudeness is certain to give a terrible impression. Even if you think the review is unfair, it is important to deliver your response with tact, politeness and professionalism.

2. Reply in a timely fashion

According to a recent article, 42% of those who have complained about a brand or company via social media expect a response in 60 minutes. Ensure you monitor what is being said about your company so that you can react fast and make a difference to the guest before you miss your window of opportunity. Offering guests a branded feedback site that allows them to talk to you directly means that you can often address the situation swiftly and keep the exchange out of the public arena.

3. Resolve the issue

If the same complaint is being made repeatedly, it may be time to review your staff training and make sure that your service is in harmony with your brand aims. Using a good Learning Management System can help you to deliver and track tailored training content to ensure reliability across the board. Effective training can help your team develop the skills and knowledge to not only respond to guest criticism, but ensure every step possible is taken to avoid it in the first place.

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