Why and how to respond to reviews?

Customer feedback is essential to any business and is always out there in some form. Any business that gets customer feedback either online or in any other form must take them into account while adapting to the customer needs. Online reviews as a form of customer feedback are a great source of information for customer-oriented businesses while taking investment decisions. They help customer-focused businesses to find the areas that result in low customer satisfaction and make improvements based on them.

What do online reviews mean for the services industry, e.g. for hotels, restaurants, or coffee shops?

Online reviews help service industry managers to feel what the customer feels after they leave their property. The good feelings of the customer are the main source of revenue for any company in the services industry. The taste of their food, the friendliness of staff, the ambient of a hotel and the odor of the rooms are all feelings that a hotel and restaurant transfer to the customer during their stay. It is not a coincidence that the analysis of online reviews can only be done through sentiment analysis which measures the feelings of a customer in a given segment.

The eyes that really matter

Online reviews help managers to see their work from the eyes that really matter; the eyes of the customer. The number of online reviews is especially crucial for the survival of hotels and restaurants. The main reason for this is the high competition in these business segments. Any restaurant and hotel are only better than the other one if the customer thinks so. And, all the honest thoughts of the customer are embedded in online reviews.

If you look at the matter from this perspective, the manager must know what their customers think and feel the same what the customers feel. The feeling and the experience of the customer is directly convertible to the reputation of the company. However, the transfer of feelings is only possible through language and not through statistics. That means the manager must read the online reviews in order to feel what the customer feels.

Who should respond to online reviews and why?

Responding to online reviews is a process. The main question is; who should be going through this process and how does this reflect customer satisfaction and revenue? Let’s ask some more questions for clarification:

  1. What is the difference between; someone intern from the company, such as the general manager or guest relationships manager responding to the online reviews or a review reply service?

  2. How does the review responding process reflect to the investment decisions of the underlying company?

  3. Is it sufficient to read online reviews for managers or is it necessary for managers to reply to online reviews by themselves?

  4. What is the value that review reply services create for their customers?

The main difference is that the managers do not feel or understand the customer by barely reading a review and do not feel constrained to change anything if they do not respond to online reviews by themselves. The review responding process makes the manager to really consider customer feedback. When the journey of the customer as a guest ends, it begins the journey of the manager to understand the experience of the customer and make the necessary changes for future customers.

The online reviews (customer feedback) becomes valuable if they result in change.

The change must come from the manager. The change in an established restaurant or hotel means investing the time or capital into the right area for improvement. The managers have a burden to identify the weak areas of their services. Actually, by reading and responding to the online reviews they find a partner to share this burden; the customer.

The created value for review reply services for their customers is time. The managers free themselves from replying to the reviews and have more time to do their daily work. But they also free themselves from a valuable source of information on which they can rely; from customer feedback, and unfortunately they leave behind a fruitful process too; responding to online reviews. Customer feedback is a very helpful colleague of any manager that always tells the truth. The online reviews are the real truth that no one else can tell a manager in any other way, in this sense the customer, who leaves honest online feedback is the real friend of any hotel or restaurant manager. Talking to an honest friend is an activity that can not be left to anyone else.

Review reply services and Revuow

The saved time by review reply services is definitely not worth, the main reason is that you stop talking to your customer, and even worse is that you pay someone else to do this for you. This is a sin in the hospitality industry.

Can managers respond to online reviews but still save time?

Yes, they can. The hotel and restaurant managers have a friend similar to the customer, who shares their burden; Revuow. Revuow is the perfect way to respond to online reviews. Revuow is a cloud-based SaaS that was developed with AI and writes responses to online reviews through AI. The responses from Revuow are professional and customized for each review. The responses of Revuow cover all aspects of a review. Revuow makes the review response process easy and fun. Revuow saves time for managers and guest relationship managers and enables managers to do more productive and creative work. The responses to reviews from Revuow rank hotels and restaurants better in search engines.

Revuow saves time and money and enables the manager to respond to their online reviews by themselves.

The responses from Revuow are loved by Google and other search engines. The reason is that all the replies to feedbacks are very professional and customized to each review. The responses to online reviews by Revuow are always optimistic, professional, and welcoming.

How to respond to reviews?

First let’s answer the question, how not to respond to online reviews?

  1. Not, when you are angry or frustrated

  2. Not, when you think you can not formulate a professional answer

  3. Not, when you give the same answer to everyone

But why is it important to respond to reviews?

  • 94% of customers read reviews before choosing a hotel (e-tailing group). Firstly, customers look for a hotel with specific characteristics and prices. Secondly, they read reviews before deciding between competitors in a category. That is why reviews are the most decisive parameter for customers in choosing a stay in the relevant category.

  • Travelers spend a big amount of time researching hotels and restaurants. On average, hotel consumers made twelve visits to the website of an Online Travel Agency (OTA), requested 7.5 pages per visit, and spent almost five minutes on each page before booking. (Cornell University Research, April 2011)

  • An appropriate response to reviews from hotel management is more likely to make TripAdvisor users book (57%), improves the overall impression of the hotel in the eyes of the potential customers (84%) and makes a potential customer think or feel that the hotel cares about its services (78%). (PhoCusWright, September 2012)

All the research shows that the hotels and restaurants must respond to online reviews in order to stay competitive.

How to respond to reviews without comment / with star ratings?

The reviews without comments or just star ratings are a very common sort of customer feedback and they definitely deserve an adequate response too. Revuow creates tens of different responses for each star rating review. Revuow saves a lot of time for managers who have a habit to respond to star ratings!

Positive restaurant reviews with star rating:

Positive hotel reviews with star rating:

How to respond to bad star ratings for restaurants?

How to respond to bad star ratings for hotels?

How to respond to three star ratings, both for hotels and restaurants?

How to respond to negative reviews?

The research shows that it is especially customary to respond to negative reviews. The reason is that bad reviews without responses turn off much more future customers.

Each review can be divided into topics and each topic has a corresponding sentiment. There are four sentiments for each topic: positive, negative, mixed, and neutral. We have looked into thousands of reviews in order to find the criteria that optimize your SEO and direct booking through your website as well as the maximum number of topics that should be addressed by the responder. In order to keep the SEO and the length of the response good, the hotel or restaurant manager should be optimistic and use a positive sentiment as well as stay professional. If the reviewer is being dishonest or exaggerating greatly; there is nothing to do but to respond in a calm and professional way. The artificial - intelligent Revuow stays always calm and enables you to respond to all your reviews with confidence and adequately.

Restaurant review response with one, two, and three negative topics example:

While responding to your review, please make sure that you give the customer the feeling that their review changes something in the daily operations of the company or that you took their negative review into account. Alternatively, you can also try to contact the customer directly and reassure that such bad experiences occurred only once in your company. A telephone call or direct e-mail to the customer can change their mind as well as can persuade them to change their online feedback.

How to respond to negative reviews for restaurants?

A restaurant review with one negative topic: How in the world has this restaurant get it's third macaroon? Their appetizer had some specks of dust which i've mistaken as finely woven salt of some sorts. Their main entre of lamb tasted like normal high-quality lamb chops with a touch of lemon and some salt. I could've made that myself. The only thing it did right was that it was cooked right. Was this a 3-star djning experience? No.

A restaurant review with two negative topics: Not at all a traditional family style Italian good food. You have to beg for a bread basket and then re-beg for a single pat of butter/plate of olive oil.

A restaurant review with three negative topics: I was very unhappy with my experience in this restaurant. The waiter did not serve properly yet demanded a 20% tip. The food was subpar at best, plus the restaurant was very noisy. Would not recommend.

As you can see the length of the review doesn't determine the number of topics. You need summarize the review by dividing into topics. You should choose maximum three topics to respond to. Some topics that are often mentioned in customer feedbacks for restaurants are: service, food, atmosphere, staff, etc.

How to respond to negative hotel reviews?

A hotel review with one negative topic: Due to the power outage, we were told by the front desk person that we would not be checked in, they couldn't help us find other hotel accommodations, and they we would not be receiving a refund of our money. She was rude, condensing, and disrespectful!

A hotel review with two negative topics in a different language: Habitaciones pequeñas, aire acondicionado super ruidoso! ¡NO LO RECOMIENDES!

A hotel review with three negative topics: Room felt a little dirty compared to what we are used to. The fan in the bathroom didn’t work and neither did the bathtub plug (which we actually use for our toddlers). Lastly, the ice machine on the floor was broken.

How to respond to reviews with mixed sentiments?

Reviews with one positive and one negative topic are very common. They arise if the reviewer comments on an aspect in a negative way and on another aspect of in a positive way. Such as; the food was good but the service was very slow.

How to respond to positive reviews?

Positive reviews are the easiest to answer. They should contain sentences such as we will share your encouraging words with the entire team. You should try to create a friendly connection with the hotel or restaurant team and the customer. However, please keep your professional tone. The responses to your online reviews from Revuow satisfy all the criteria that a response to positive feedback should contain.

How to respond to positive reviews for restaurants?

How to respond to positive reviews for hotels?

A hotel review with many positive topics: Very pleasant location surrounded by the lovely n vibrant Times Square. Well equipped rooms with beautiful views & quality service is provided. Fast Internet speed. Lounge and lobby are very spacious and hygienic.They even have other amenities such as printer and ATM machines so as to provide ease and convenience. Had a 3 day stay here & overall stay was just perfect.

With Revuow you can respond to all kinds of reviews for restaurants and hotels!

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