In the travel industry, we all know the importance of reviews: An unsurprising 93% of travelers use online reviews in making their booking decisions.
No reviews mean you probably won’t get reservations. (Study says: 53% of travelers won’t book a place that has zero reviews.) Bad reviews can mean you won’t get reservations. Even four-star reviews can cause a traveler to pause.
And yet, five-star reviews are hard to get, aren’t they?
So, what’s a hotel, or a vacation rental, or a B&B, or a travel agency to do? This infographic (courtesy of Ard na Sidhe Country House) pulls together some great info, including this quote:
“We often hear from travelers that how a property responds to criticism has more influence on their booking decision than the criticism itself.” ~April Robb, Former Communications Specialist @TripAdvisor.
I am so on board with that. Be professional. Be courteous. Respond to every, single review. And above all, keep future guests in mind: What do your reviews AND your responses to those reviews, say about your guest experience?
Mackenzie Haugen says
This post and infographic are so important! I fully agree with your thoughts on responding to customer complaints. At the veterinary clinic I used to do marketing for, the owner himself would respond to negative yelp reviews, and often write emails to specific clients thanking them for their feedback. These personalized responses are always so appreciated by those who had a negative experience. I was wondering your thoughts on giving some form of compensation to those who had negative experience? While, obviously, not everyone who complains should be rewarded with a free night stay, is there any circumstances that you can think of that would warrent being gifted something from the company? Thank you for your post.
Erin Raub says
As you said, a personal response is a must (to any review – positive or negative), even if it’s as simple as a “Thank you so much for your review, we’re so happy you had a 5-star stay. We hope to welcome you back sometime!”
As for compensation, I think that’s something to handle on a case-by-case basis. Certainly, some issues would warrant a partial refund or other compensation – for example, if the A/C is out for several days during a 90ºF week! – while others, to my mind, are simply par for the course of renting a vacation home. (Example: The dishwasher breaks but it’s repaired within 24 hours.) I also think it has to do with the type of rental: expectations are generally higher at a $600/night rental than at a $100/night home, though that doesn’t mean the latter shouldn’t hold itself to high standards!
What are your thoughts? When have you issued refunds and/or free nights?