Well recently I had a really bad experience with a hotel.This is a three star hotel in Bhutan. I basically gave an honest review about them on Tripadvisor and they flipped. I pointed out everything I felt was wrong – such as the internet not working properly, breakfast options being pathetic, there being no heater in the bathroom, making us wait so long to get food in their restaurant. And to top it off they did not refund one night’s stay when we wanted to shift to another hotel.
So, how did they respond?
They called me liars.
I really don’t have the time and energy to lie. According to them I was pissed off because I am a travel blogger and did not get a refund for the last night so I ‘lied.’ But I was just pissed off by the whole experience really.
No matter what you can’t call you customer a liar. Especially since they have paid good money to stay at your hotel.
Here is how you SHOULD respond to a bad review in my opinion:
1) Thank the Customer for Their Feedback
If someone is bothering to give you feedback then clearly you should be grateful. Half the customers don’t take out the time to tell you what’s wrong. Feedback gives you a chance for improvement. The first thing you should do is thank your customer for taking the time out to give you valuable feedback.
2) Look at Things Impersonally
The owner of this hotel got really emotional and took my comment as a personal attack on her character. She even kept commenting on my blog facebook page, and got her husband to do it too, so I blocked her. It was borderline harassment really, they were like those flies that didn’t go away. If she had looked at all of this rationally, then perhaps I wouldn’t be writing this blog post. In business you have to think with your head, not your heart.
2) Strategize with Your Staff
Since this hotel thinks I’m lying, they may or may not do anything about my feedback. But hoteliers need to look at what went wrong for the customer and come up with strategies on how to avoid the situation later. I mean, when the internet wasn’t working, the staff told my dad to stand on a chair outside the room and switch the router (which was near the ceiling) on and off. How weird is that? There should be some set training for these sort of situations to provide an overall good experience for the guest.
3) Give an Apology
These days it’s all about online reputation, and if you want a bad experience turned good, you need respond to the person by giving an apology. Taking care of a scorned customer can actually turn the situation around completely. For example, if this hotel had apologized instead of calling me a liar, I would be writing good things about them on the inter-webs instead of bad.
4) Have a Professionally Written Management Response
Hire good content writers to write out your management responses on various travel sites. Make sure the grammar, English is correct and your language is polite. Keep in mind that customers can sue you for defamation of character, so refrain from using derogatory words.
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