How to Handle Online Reviews

Tuesday 5th September 2017


Online reviews are a crucial part of brand reputation and although you can’t control what people write about your hotel, you can make sure that you deal with reviews in a way that reflects positively on your brand. You could have the best hotel in the world, but you would never be able to satisfy every single customer. Here are our guidelines on how to handle reviews (both good and not so good).

The bad reviews

  • Always answer bad reviews

It is important to take the time to answer every negative review. A disgruntled customer will instantly feel less frustrated if they receive a swift and helpful reply to their negative comments. By ignoring bad reviews you are also missing the chance to rectify your brand’s reputation both with the reviewer and other potential guests.

  • Never answer with a hot head

Upon discovering and reading a negative review, take the time to ensure you are calm before you reply. Comments are likely to come across as defensive or stubborn if you have not had enough time to digest what a reviewer has said. Top tip: do not take it personally.

  • Keep it professional

Throughout your reply, remember what your goal is – to maintain and attract business. You need to address the negative opinion given by a previous guest and appeal to future guests at the same time. 

  • Structure your reply correctly

When writing your reply, remember to include all of the following: an apology for any bad experiences a guest has had, an attempt to resolve the problem, an assurance that the mistakes will not be made again, and a thank you for taking the time to post a review.

  • Understand the customer’s point of view

When reading and replying to the review, remember to consider the viewpoint of the customer. Bear in mind what their expectations were and why they feel these have not been met.

  • Learn and move on

Once you have taken the time to reply to a negative review, reflect on the comments and consider how you will learn from them. Replying to the review is the first step. Next, it is essential to ensure a similar review is not posted again.

The good reviews

  • Give thanks

Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, give thanks to the reviewer for their positive comments. Take the time to show your appreciation.

  • Use names

While keeping your reply professional, be sure to use names where possible. Address the reply to the reviewer and sign off with your own name – people appreciate a personalised response.

  • Take an opportunity

Plenty of potential guests will read your positive reviews so take pride in your destination and make it even more clear as to why new guests should choose your hotel over others.

  • Learn and move on

Just the same for negative reviews, it is important to learn from guest feedback. Reflect upon what has been done well and make sure all staff involved are informed and praised. It is vital to understand why guests love your hotel and how you can continue providing this service.

If you want more information on how to handle brand reputation and the best ways to do this, please contact us at