As the days grind along and clients’ faces begin to blend together, it is important to remember that it only takes ONE bad review to discourage potential guests. We have to refresh ourselves regularly and be cognoscente of the perceptions our guests and clientele are harboring. It is necessary to have clear expectations for how our professional staff, managers, and seasonal employees handle difficult situations.
The largest problem is that with the advent of the internet and quick review sites, any person is able to vent their frustrations without being checked. Credibility matters much less in this Instagram/twitter/yelp/trip-advisor world. While all of these sites can be invaluable tools for anyone in hospitality or travel, it also allows for the masses to share their dissatisfaction. That makes employee engagement and customer experience so much more important. Reacting quickly and righting wrongs (even if only perceived) is paramount to maintaining positive public perception. Here are a few things you can do to prevent a bad reviews and social media mayhem.
- Give you employees discretion to handle events. By providing your frontline staff with the ability to comp upgrades, drinks, dinners, or other services it eliminates many opportunities for people to become disgruntled and it defuses situations more quickly.
- Be hyper aware of high-maintenance customers. These are many times the most likely to react/overreact. Proactively seek them out and ask what could make their stay more enjoyable. Time consuming? YES. Worth engaging to prevent a bad review? Again, YES!
- Have a debriefing process in place for guests that are checking out or clients that are leaving. Many times people are looking for a way to share their frustrations. Give them the time and the opportunity to make formal or informal complaints directly to management. Get them talking before they head to the internet. Offering to right a situation before they leave the property can save precious review stars.
- Finally, while it is impossible to please every person that walks through your doors, make sure to acknowledge bad reviews. Either condemn the comments as false or provide ways your are correcting the issues. No matter what, people want to know that hospitality organization’s reviews are seen.
Empower your team to be proactive and responsibly reactive when needed.
Never let them lose their passion and enthusiasm for serving clients, customers, and guests!