Do you wonder how to get more positive reviews or how to handle negative reviews? Online guest reviews are increasingly important to travelers. Around 9 out of 10 consumers read reviews before booking. "Word of mouth" (especially online reviews) is a powerful thing.
Good reviews can attract more guests to your B&B and raise your profits. Positive guest reviews give third-party proof that your inn is good as your website says it is. A higher number of positive online guest reviews encourages potential guests to stay at your accommodations since you appear reliable and trustworthy.
Like it or not, reviews have a direct impact on:
- your ranking on review sites
- your ranking on third party websites (like online travel agencies)
- your ranking in the search engines
- your overall online reputation score
- your overall sales and conversion rates
Your best line of defense is to always provide an exceptional stay and the best customer experience possible. Set expectations appropriately: always under-promise and over-deliver. Exceed your guests' expectations. Give every single guest the personal touch and make them feel like they have had a remarkable 5-star experience. The majority of positive guest reviews come when guests are pleasantly surprised by the hospitality they receive.
As guests are checking out, you can ask them about their stay. Guests that give loved their stay should be encouraged to leave online reviews. Tell them that reviews are important to your business and influential in improving the experience of their future visits.
You may want to give your guests a scenic postcard (maybe with a photo of your inn's best feature) with a personal message on it asking them for a review. They will think of the good times and it will motivate them to write a kind review.
In follow-up emails you can ask recent guests to leave a review. If someone states something positive about your inn, encourage them to share their praise online. Social media is a good place to share positive online reviews.
Respond to all reviews (good and bad) even with a brief comment. Thank them for taking the time to write their review and show your appreciation of their visit. This demonstrates how to get more positive reviews.
Did you know that the #1 cause of dissatisfied guests is unfulfilled expectations? For the guests who bring up a negative issue, do everything in your power to make it right. Respond to 100% of negative reviews within 24 hours. Address the specifics in their complaint.
Always maintain a professional tone in response to negative reviews. Start by addressing the guest's name, show your sincerity, let the reviewer and potential guests know you are sorry if it was your fault and you can apologize that their experience was not to their satisfaction. Let them know about your standard of service.
Do not confront the person publicly. Too many businesses make the mistake of defending themselves and not acknowledging their own mistakes. This always makes the situation worse. Sincerely apologize that they didn't feel you met their expectations.
Remember that an apology is not an admission of guilt or wrongdoing. In your response you can note how many years you have been in business and how many guests you have hosted. "Our team uses very rare incidents like this one to fine tune our operations so that this never happens again." This is a good way to frame your business and make the guest feel acknowledged.
Highlight any changes you have made or intend to make. When answering a negative review, write it with your future guests in mind. "We can guarantee that we won't miss the mark in the future with our guests."
The proper response to a bad review can minimize the damage to your inn's reputation by influencing prospective guests to think more highly of you. Expressing sympathy that the guest experience fell short of their expectations can also repair your relationship with the unhappy reviewer.
Thank them for their candid review of their recent stay. Let them know that their feedback is extremely valuable to them as you strive to improve with each and every guest's visit. Tell them you appreciate that they brought this to your attention. Managing your B&B reputation can go a long way when it comes to keeping guests happy and more coming through your front door.
Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography