Nearly every hospitality business can relate to this one; that grumpy customer who leaves quietly and then vents their frustrations through online channels such as social media or review websites such as TripAdvisor or booking portals such as Trivago.

"My meal was terrible."
"My room was too small and overpriced."
"I didn't like the colour scheme."

As a manager or owner of a hospitality establishment, it's hard not to become emotionally invested in your business and in your premises, leaving you open to a less then favourable reaction to a bad review. The best thing to do? Cool down, then publicly respond.

Another situation is if you have taken over management of an existing property, and inherited it's history of reviews. I suppose it's easy to wipe the slate clean and start again, but perhaps think twice before you do.

People who visit TripAdvisor read at least a dozen reviews on average before making a booking, and in most cases it's better for accommodation providers to respond constructively to negative feedback and build up their ratings, rather than request the reset button.

Eighty-seven per cent of people say an appropriate management response to a bad review had improved their impression of a hotel*.

The worst thing you can do is take criticism personally and respond when agitated. So if a bad review pops up remember, keep calm and carry on.

 

*Grant Colquhoun, a TripAdvisor account director based in Singapore

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