How to Manage Guest Conflict and Online Reputation?

Social Proof. It’s something no business can do without. The reason for this is simple. Ask yourself – Would you trust a seller that you are buying from or a fellow customer? If your answer is no, then you already know how crucial online reviews are.  One bad review is not going to crush your whole reputation, but if you have a handful you might see some effects. 

Not all bad reviews are a bad thing. It proves that you aren’t forcing your guests to leave good reviews or bribing them to do so. But if your OTA listing has more than a few bad reviews, your online reputation can be irreversibly damaged. Convincing new guests to visit when your review section is filled with 1-star reviews is nearly impossible. Even if you change the entire infrastructure or staff or your hotel, you will not be able to erase those bad ratings. 

So, what is the best way to manage your online reputation? You need to start addressing the core reason that leads to a bad online reputation- guest conflict. Therefore, you need to perfect how to manage guest conflict in order to save your online reputation. Follow the steps given below to learn how to excel at conflict resolution. 

How to Manage Guest Conflict and Online Reputation:

Don’t Oversell Your Property

A lot of hoteliers suffer because they set unrealistic guest expectations from the very beginning. The photos which grace your hotel website or the OTA should be realistic. If your hotel is 20 years old, make sure the photos aren’t from when the hotel was newly constructed. 

The bane of overselling your property is that you set yourself up for nothing but failure. You might get higher occupancy levels, but your reviews could suffer. The key to avoiding bad reviews is proper management of guest expectations. 

Avoid Triggering Your Guests

Everything from the tone of your voice, your body language to your volume matters when speaking with your guests. 

Here are three suggestions when you are confronted with a guest conflict: 

  1. Acknowledge
  2. Apologize 
  3. Promise a solution. 

You should always be empathetic and use positive phrases like “Great suggestion” or “I will suggest that to our team” instead of just saying “No” or “That is something we cannot do”

Train Your Staff to Manage Conflict

Every member of your staff has to be well-versed in handling guest conflicts. They should know all of these triggers in order to keep the situation calm.. 

However, this is more easily said than done. Training your staff requires time, effort, and money. Thankfully, a PMS like StayFlexi can provide you with two solutions to this problem. 

  1. StayFlexi provides you with automations to handle tasks like checking guest documents and handling check-ins and payments. Therefore your staff gets more time to speak to the guests and advise on local attractions or have a meaningful interaction.  The front desk should always be a bright stop during the guest journey!
  2. Automation also reduces some of the guest/staff interactions.  If something does happen where the guest needs support, they can reach out through a link they received at check-in. Stayflexi helps automate more processes to make the guest journey smooth, but your staff is always there if the guest needs help along the way!
  3. Offer Solutions, Not Excuses or Explanations

You might have a perfectly good explanation for why something has gone wrong. But the majority of guests are not interested in listening to your explanation, what they want is a quick solution. 

Solutions are a brilliant way to turn 1 star reviews into 4 star reviews. The guests might still have a problem with what went wrong, but they will appreciate you handling the issue. The best thing about online reviews is that they are not set in stone. You are able to resolve most issues and show how you are there for any feedback. 

Solve the Issue Within the Hotel 

You should always try and solve any issues with guests while they are still staying with you.  This will hopefully help it from spilling over to any online reviews.

StayFlexi makes it easier for guests to get in contact with the hotel staff through their phones. This way any conflict does not get out of hand too quickly since the guest can communicate their frustration. This way The guest does not need to go through multiple staff members to make sure they are heard. This will let you get in front of these issues and turn the guest’s experience around quickly!

In Conclusion

Investing in a Property Management System like StayFlexi can help increase the guest experience. It helps create a direct channel of communication between the guests and the hotel. This helps make sure that any issues are resolved before the guest checks out of the hotel. 

Want to know more about how StayFlexi can boost your online reputation? Leave a comment below!

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