How to respond to negative hotel reviews [Examples] - Hotel Reader (2023)

Responding to negative hotel reviews is one of the most difficult aspects of the hotel industry. Your goal is to please all guests so that they are satisfied during their stay.

Response to Rejection, Part 3

It is always nice to read positive feedback about our hotel, staff and service, but we often see negative feedback from guests who share their less than pleasant experiences with our hotel or accommodation.

How to respond to negative hotel reviews [Examples] - Hotel Reader (1)

But just calm down!

In the following sections, I explain step by step how to write a good, logical and concise response to negative reviews.

You will also see some sample reviews and you can use my templates for dealing with bad reviews.

Those of us who have worked in the hospitality industry know how stressful and inconvenient it can be to receive negative reviews. To avoid negative reviews, we must first ensure that none of our guests leave unsatisfied.

Visit this article to learn howimprove your hotel reviews.

If you've received negative feedback, don't worry! Here you can see how to handle it and how to react in the best possible way.

Here are some tips:

  • The answer must be short and easy to understand. Nobody wants to read long messages.
  • Apologize and show empathy in your response. For example, "We apologize for your bad experience."
  • The best way to respond to a bad review is to be honest. You must not lie or provide false information just to save the image of a hotel or facility. People can easily detect dishonesty, whether it is written in two sentences or an essay.
  • Don't make false promises or promises you can't keep.
  • Remember that your response to a review is not limited to the person you are contacting. These are public reviews and comments, and potential guests read them too!

Here are some examples of negative hotel reviews:

Below are some examples of responses to a bad review. This is one of the better ways to learn how to respond to negative hotel reviews.

After reading a review, be sure to identify what the guest is complaining about and write it down.

If a guest complains about the unfriendly receptionist, check which receptionist was on duty during the guest's stay at your hotel.

Interview the receptionists to find out what the problem was that caused the guest to complain about their behavior and work.

If a guest complains about poor hygiene in the room, check which housekeeper cleaned the room.

These are just a few examples and the problem could be anything. This does not necessarily mean that the problem lies with the employees.

Before responding to a review, it's important to double-check what happened during the guest's stay.

How to respond to negative hotel reviews [Examples] - Hotel Reader (2)

When answering, be polite and friendly

You must have noticed that when you start writing a reply to a review on an OTA (example: it is advisable to be calm, polite and wise in your choice of words leading to the featured guest.

Why? The goal of any hotel owner is to get the guest to return to their accommodation, or at best become a regular/loyal guest. So the first tip is to maintain a friendly and calm nature when writing a comment.

Start your reply with the guest's first name

This will show the visitor that you have noticed his name and are reading his comments carefully. By mentioning their name, you show that you care.

Remember that your comment is read not only by the guest who wrote the review, but also by other potential guests.

Example: Best Value (guest name)

Thank you to the guest for taking the time to write a review.

Guests take the time to write reviews, so it's important to show appreciation for their efforts.

Example:Dear (guest name), Thank you for taking the time to write this review...or

Dear (guest name), We appreciate you taking the time to write this review...

We apologize for the situation or the specific case

Not every apology is an acceptance or admission of a mistake, but in this case, you need to apologize for what may have caused the guest's negative experience.

Even if the guest is wrong, it is still important to apologize. An apology can help soften the tone of the response.

Example: Dear (guest name), Thank you for taking the time to write this review. I apologize for the negative experience you had during your stay.

Dear (guest name), we really appreciate you taking the time to write this review. We are very sorry that your stay did not meet your expectations.

How to respond to negative hotel reviews [Examples] - Hotel Reader (3)

Explain the situation from your perspective

The customer is always right, that's a clear rule. But in most situations this is not the case. Of course, you cannot say out loud or write in response that the guest is wrong. Always pay attention to why the guest is unhappy and what they are complaining about.

If a guest writes in their review that they are not satisfied with the full service they received, you don't have to explain that your staff is the best or that the food is the best in the region. Don't make things worse by trying to prove you're the best.

However, if the review is about a specific problem, such as a room that is too hot or too cold, and this is a common problem covered by other reviews, you or your employee should investigate why it is such a common problem.

When you answer, describe the problem in detail and explain what you are doing to solve it. If you already knew about the problem, indicate that you are taking steps to fix it. If a guest e.g. complaints about cleaning, mention that you are aware of the problem and are working on a solution. If a guest files a complaint against the receptionist, please advise that appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.

In some cases, it may be necessary to ensure that you personally address the issue the guest is complaining about.

Example:Dear [guest name], Thank you for taking the time to write this review. Sorry for the bad experience during your stay. I am very disappointed to hear that our room service and cleaning staff did not meet your expectations. Your comments have been noted and I will personally do everything to eliminate any deficiencies as soon as possible. We will do everything in our power to exceed your expectations next time.

How to respond to negative hotel reviews [Examples] - Hotel Reader (4)

Ask the complaining guest to give you another chance

This is the part where you must not make false promises. If you really want to welcome this guy back and give him another chance, be honest.

It's not ideal to give guests gifts just to make them want to come back to your hotel, but it doesn't hurt to upgrade your room for your next stay. You can also tell the guest in a private message that they will receive a free stay at your property next time.

I suggest you send this message privately because it is not a good idea to give every guest who writes a negative review a free night. This brings us to the next piece of advice.

Be open to interacting with the visitor.

Always offer to contact us before completing a review response. Provide your private email address or phone number to show the guest that you are interested in solving their problem.

Finally, always invite the guest to come back to your home

As I said, all hoteliers want their guests to be happy and return to their hotel. So at the end of your response, tell the visitor that he can come back. Encourage them to give you another chance and assure them they won't be disappointed.

Example: I will personally make sure that on your next visit all other complaints have been addressed and that all is well. We look forward to welcoming you again.

An additional resource is these three simple onessteps to respond to negative reviews

I hope this article helped you learn how to respond to negative hotel reviews.


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