Brutally honest reply to reviews: Is it really genius?

4 mins to read

The other day I read an article about a restaurant that started to reply to negative comments. Not only to reply but in a brutally honest way, which is considered to be genius – says the journalist. Sure, we have a good laugh, but is it really genius? 

Quote from the article:

“Here we have the perfect answer:

Who is that idiot who ordered a salty, pepper chicken, then complained that there is salt on the food?”

What I really think is that everybody who reads it, smiles at it and deep down probably thinks, finally, a restaurant that says it as it is! 

Checking the restaurant’s site there are many more answers like this. 

“Please do not call again”. Is this the solution? If you don’t like it, don’t come back? Don’t order from us any more?

It is the perfect example of how to lose one (or is it really just one?) guest immediately.. 

It is not the first time that an owner has had enough of guests writing whatever they want, wherever they want, and honestly, it’s totally understandable. At least once in a while every hotelier wants to tell the ugly truth to their guests.

This is exactly what Paul Chitin did, who is the owner of Royal Clarence Hotel in Somerset. He got bored of the unfair reviews, that the hotel has no chance to explain the issues and to stand up for themself. So he decided to reply to reviews in a brutally honest way – with some irony and arrogance.

“There are only 6 parking places for 20 rooms” – says the review.

“Unfortunately, when the hotel was built in 1796, they did not build more parking spaces, but on the beach side you find 200 parking spaces..” – replies Paul Chitin. 

“As an owner I don’t need to be nice and friendly with all the guests. If the guest destroys the property, is disrespectful with the staff, states nonsense in the review, well then I stand up and I tell them that they are the muppets and I don’t apologize”. 

Personally my sense of justice is enormous, and over the years in hospitality, it just became stronger. 

But. I believe that this needs to be put aside –  it’s not about us. The reply isn’t about our justice that needs to be demanded. You should never reply if it is driven by anger and fury. 

I know very well that sometimes it would just feel so good and you would be so relieved to write a nasty reply. But what is the purpose of doing that? What do you gain from it? Nothing really. It would feel good for a minute. And after?

Well, you need to take a deep breath and try not to take things personally. You have to think it over: what was the reason the guest wrote that review?

Of course you can react (and actually you have to react) to the review but it does matter how you do it. The reply reflects you, the brand, the hotel. 

The front desk staff can be super nice, super friendly and smiley but if the reply does not reflect this attitude, well, then something is off here and you should change that. Because people tend to forget one important thing: the addressee of the reply is not only the person who wrote the review, but many many others who are reading them. 

If someone is only reading the brutally honest reply, they will definitely jump to certain  conclusions, and is very likely that they will not choose that hotel or restaurant and will never get to experience your actual hospitality.

Narcissism, anger, snobbery and any sign of superiority in responses can seriously damage a hotel’s reputation.

If you reply to criticism with respect (better to bend than to break), your team will be able to protect the hotel’s reputation, and you might even change the perception of the guests.

You should not get into the game. You are better than that! 

A respectful reply involves pairing the technique of answering and diplomacy to create answers that appeal to both dissatisfied guests and future guests.

Online reputation management is much more than simple courtesy in answering replies, Empathy and diplomacy, acceptance and persuasiveness; the duality of those.

Let’s smile at the examples above, but don’t follow them. This is not the way to stop negative opinions. One review is just the tip of the iceberg , but as we know, it comes from something much deeper. Let’s work to find, correct and improve the root causes. Herein lies the solution.

Kapcsolodó anyagok

And you, what do you think of your guests?Facts we never call by name. (The characters and examples are all fictional, anything

4 mins to read

The main goal of every hotel is to attract more guests. It is critical to understand how guest reviews influence the booking

2 mins to read

The customer’s voice is a powerful one – never underestimate it. Hotel eWOM – WOM refers to word of mouth – a

3 mins to read

Summer is here! Summer 2021 is here and time has come for hotels to once again reopen their doors after a whole

3 mins to read

Mit den folgenden maßgeschneiderten Dienstleistungen unseres Expertenteams können wir Ihnen helfen, sämtliche Marktchancen für Ihre Unterkunft voll und ganz auszuschöpfen und Ihren

2 mins to read

Have you ever considered entering into the world of dynamic pricing? Nowadays switching from static to dynamic pricing strategy is essential for

While some restaurant owners are choosing open for patio dining, where weather permits, and indoor dining where allowed, there are also some
5 mins to read
Do you often wonder why your property revenue falls below the current market growth even though you felt you did everything you
3 mins to read
Előfordult már, hogy úgy láttad, mindent megtesztek szálláshelyetek bevétel növeléséért, mégsem sikerült a piaci növekedés felett teljesíteni? Hallottál már a revenue management-ről,
2 mins to read

Outsourced Revenue Management audit is the solution to identify those key development factors which contribute to revenue growth.  The purpose of the

< 1 min to read

With revenue management and thanks to the cost-effective choice of sales and marketing channels, we are able to sell the right room

2 mins to read

Are you a Revenue Manager who wants to improve? Do you work in the sales department and want to learn the basics

2 mins to read
< 1 min to read

With the following tailor-made services provided by our expert team, we can help you exploit all the market opportunities for your accommodation,

2 mins to read

With online marketing for digital guests Our marketing management service is strongly connected to reputation and revenue management. Both former and future

3 mins to read

No more empty tables! Nowadays a good restaurant needs to offer much more than delicious meals from good quality ingredients, and have

3 mins to read

Revenue Management stratégia segítségével képesek vagyunk a megfelelő szobatípust az adott pillanatban, a lehető legjobb áron a megfelelő szegmensbe tartozó vendégnek eladni

2 mins to read

A Revenue Management audit átfogó megoldást nyújt arra, hogy külső szakértők szemével, adatvezérelt módon tudd beazonosítani a kulcsfontosságú bevétel növekedéshez hozzájáruló fejlesztési

< 1 min to read