Even in small towns, hotels and motels have to cope with online reviews. Sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google Local let every traveler become an instant expert. And small town hotel owners are left wondering how to respond.
(Don’t see the video? Click through to What do we do about a negative review.)
You already know how to respond when someone walks up to you at your front desk with a complaint or a compliment. It’s a skill as delicate as art, and you’ve probably honed it through years of experience. Responding online is an extension of that skill. How you respond gives you your chance to change someone who is displeased into a fan.
My Tourism Currents co-founder and frequent traveler Sheila Scarborough told me she booked a hotel not based on the reviews themselves, but specifically based on the owner’s interaction on TripAdvisor. When she first looked at the hotel details, it looked “a little funky,” Sheila said. But the reviews were positive, and the owners were interacting. That gave her a sense of confidence. She booked it, and it turned out to be very nice.
The magic is in taking the step of responding. You can influence the behavior of people who will be your future customers.
The Big Secret
The secret is that this is not a chance to tell your side of the story. We know you want to, but don’t.
Every review site has its own reply standards. Some don’t allow any responses. Some allow you to post very limited replies. Some allow you to contact the reviewers individually. Then, you also have to listen for people mentioning you on Twitter or on their own personal blogs.
A Cheat Sheet
Because so many hotels and motels need a cheat sheet to responding to reviews, we made one at Tourism Currents. It’s a two-page guide to only what you need to know:
- What should happen before you respond
- 6 steps of how to respond effectively
- The role of the observer – who’s listening in?
- Two ways to get more positive reviews
- Tips on specific sites, including TripAdvisor, Google Places, Expedia and more
- How to respond to comments on Twitter and Facebook
You can pick up your copy of our cheat sheet for $17 here: Responding to Online Reviews.
- Move Your Money and Bank Local - March 22, 2023
- Using a building as a warehouse or storage in a small town? Put up a sign - March 13, 2023
- How to get customers in the door of small town and rural retail stores - February 19, 2023
- Check your small business website for outdated pandemic changes, missing info - January 31, 2023
- Rural Tourism Trend: electric vehicle chargers can drive visitors - January 15, 2023
- 2023 trends for rural and small town businesses - December 26, 2022
- Local reviews on Google Maps drive enduring value - December 17, 2022
- Extra agritourism revenue from camping, cabins and RVs with HipCamp - December 12, 2022
- Harvest Hosts attract vanlifers and RV tourists, Boondockers Welcome - December 2, 2022
- Holiday 2022 marketing: Tell your founding story - December 1, 2022