Lodge Blog Archive
A diary of happenings at Chanters Lodge, Livingstone, Zambia with reflections on Zambia and personal matters too

HOTEL REVIEWS
Hotel Interactive right on the ball again with this piece from Max Starkov and Mariana Mechoso:

"It's common knowledge that the Internet has certainly changed how travel consumers perceive the credibility of information. A travel supplier has to stand by its product/service, but cannot ignore the “popular vote” for its product’s quality. Consumer-generated content on social media sites and networks is perceived as more credible by online travelers. And the bigger the disparity between official and unofficial content, the bigger the gap in credibility.

Hotel review sites such as TripAdvisor.com are part of the Social Media phenomenon.

* 38% of U.S. Internet users (72 million) use a social media site at least once a month
* 89% of U.S. online buyers read customer reviews before they buy
* 43% most of the time, 22% always - (eMarketer)

So what are the most important hotel-related customer review sites?
* TripAdvisor.com:
* Expedia.com:
* Google.com:

Here are some quick tips for responding to customer reviews:
* Thank the customer for taking the time to write a review.
* Apologize profusely if the customer is right on target with their negative review.
* Provide a simple, short explanation of what really happened.
* Explain that every possible step has been taken to address the problem or service.
* Offer a direct line of communication between hotel management and the reviewer.
* Use any elements of the customer’s comments that are constructive to put a positive spin

Hoteliers need to work hard to nurture happy customers and avoid negative postings. They must monitor reviews on hotel review sites, TripAdvisor in particular, and react immediately if an extremely positive or negative review is posted.

It's much better to react to these postings and show your current and potential customers that you are 100% committed to serving them by addressing any and all problems, rather than ignoring complaints. You may be under the impression that responding to a negative review is a wasted effort because this customer will probably never return. However, your response should be primarily focused on assuring the traveling public that the issue is being addressed and the hotel is dedicated to customer service. Your response will also speak to future potential customers who might stumble on this review and the hotel's response."

At Chanters Lodge, Livingstone we try to respond to all reviews on TripAdvisor immediately.

The picture? The Seychelles - special isn't it?
Posted: 23 August 2008 at 04:46
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