Navigating negative feedback on TripAdvisor: a guide for the UK Hospitality Industry

Customer feedback plays a vital role in shaping the reputation of businesses in the hospitality industry and TripAdvisor is one of the most prominent places to post reviews. Here, Jon Stacey from our hospitality and leisure team explores how and if businesses should respond to negative feedback on this high-profile platform.

The power of online reviews

Before diving into the specifics of handling negative feedback, it is important to acknowledge the significance of online reviews. A study conducted by BrightLocal found that 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, with 93% claiming that reviews influenced their purchasing decisions. Therefore, ignoring or dismissing negative feedback can have detrimental consequences for a hospitality business.

Should you respond?

When it comes to responding to negative feedback on TripAdvisor, the general rule of thumb is to acknowledge and address the concerns raised. Ignoring or deleting unfavourable reviews can give the impression that the business doesn’t care about customer satisfaction. By responding promptly and thoughtfully, businesses demonstrate their commitment to resolving issues and improving the guest experience.

Steps to responding effectively

Read and reflect: Take the time to fully understand the customer’s concerns by reading their review carefully. This will help you respond in a targeted and empathetic manner.

Respond promptly: Speed is crucial in addressing negative feedback. Aim to respond within 24-48 hours to show that you value your customers’ opinions and take their feedback seriously.

Remain professional and courteous: Maintain a calm and professional tone when responding. Avoid becoming defensive or engaging in an argument. Instead, express gratitude for the feedback and apologise for any shortcomings in the customer’s experience.

Address specific concerns: Address each issue raised by the customer individually, demonstrating that you have taken the time to understand their concerns. Offer a sincere apology if mistakes were made and explain any steps you are taking to rectify the situation.

Take it offline: While it is important to respond publicly to show potential guests that you are actively managing feedback, it is also wise to encourage the reviewer to continue the conversation privately. Provide contact details or a direct message option to resolve the issue offline, away from the public eye.

Learn and improve: Negative feedback can serve as a valuable source of insight into areas where your business can improve. Take the feedback constructively and use it to identify patterns or recurring issues that require attention. Implement necessary changes and share them with your team to ensure better future experiences.

All feedback is important

In the world of online reviews, TripAdvisor holds significant sway over the reputation of hospitality businesses in the UK. Responding to negative feedback is not only necessary but also an opportunity to demonstrate professionalism, empathy, and a commitment to customer satisfaction. By addressing concerns promptly, courteously, and transparently, businesses can turn a negative situation into a positive one, showcasing their dedication to continuous improvement. Remember, feedback is a gift, and learning from it is key to thriving in the highly competitive hospitality industry.

For more information about this subject or to see how Westcotts can help your business, please contact Jon Stacey or a member of the leisure and tourism team. Get in touch today

Alex Tozer, from our hospitality & Leisure team, discusses navigating negative feedback on TripAdvisor within the hospitality industry.

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