By Shruti Bhakta, Region 4 Director
Technology has revolutionized service industries worldwide in the last decade and in the hospitality industry, such innovations allow our guests to have information about our services at their fingertips. Within moments, guests are able to look up room rates, view photos, read reviews, and compare your hotel to your competition, all from their mobile phone.
For hotel operators, reviews that customers post are bitter sweet; we dread the negative reviews and pat ourselves on the back for positive reviews. Our guests are using emerging technology at their fingertips for travel therefore we should concurrently evolve our operations, starting with listening and responding to our guests online.
We all know about the importance of responding to customer reviews for our properties. Responding to reviews is an opportunity to leave a professional impression of your business to those reading reviews. You may not have the time to respond to all reviews, but as franchisees, we are required to respond to negative reviews, below two stars, posted on ChoiceHotels.com or we are fined.
Fined? Yes, fined $150 if you do not respond to the negative review in 72 hours. But, how do you know that you received a negative review and which one requires a response? Well, the most convenient way is to check your GM email account. An email notification is sent to your GM email account and a notification is posted on Choice Central for all reviews that you must respond to within 72 hours to avoid a fine.
What happens when you or your General Manager is away for the weekend and have not logged onto a computer to check these notifications? What if you or someone at your property could access the GM email account on their mobile phone? You would not have to open the email link and enter your user ID and password each time just to read your GM email. What if you could check your mobile phone for an email notification while waiting in line at the bank or waiting in line at the grocery store, then you could arrange to respond to the review and avoid being fined?
Choice has recently updated the easy-to-follow steps on how to set up your GM email account on your phone. Visit ChoiceCentral.com>Resources>Property Systems>Ultimate Toolkit and look for your device in the right-hand column.
When you have an alert, you will get an email with the subject, “New guest survey feedback requires your attention!” or when Guest Relations Comments that require your attention, the subject will be “Attention – Guest Relations Comments have been submitted”. These items require your feedback in a timely manner, not only to avoid fines, but to mend relations with our customers.
At this point, all negative reviews do not require a response and only those that require your attention will be emailed to your GM email account with those subject lines. It is highly recommended to respond to neutral and even positive reviews, as it can only benefit your business.
For more information and resources on verified reviews, please visit ChoiceCentral.com>Resources>Reputation Management.