How To Respond To COVID-19 Hotel Guest Reviews [With Sample Responses Of Common Guest Reviews]

August 19, 2020
Share on facebook
Share
Share on whatsapp
Share
Share on twitter
Share
Share on linkedin
Share
COVID-19 hotel guest reviews blog banner

There’s no denying the fact that social distancing has taken the world by storm. As the black COVID swan continues to dominate the graph, there is a need for sanitization in whatever we think and do🧴😷. This even applies to responding appropriately to the COVID-19 Hotel Guest Reviews.

In the world of King COVID👑, it has become all the more challenging for the hotels to survive and continue meeting the expectations of the travelers. With increasing reliance on social distancing, there has been a shift in the hotel culture, which has kind of pushed the industry to go from high-touch to hi-tech.

As hotels continue to make improvements in their standard operating procedures to ensure a safe and contactless stay for their guests, it is evident that travelers’ expectations would also continue to evolve with this shift.

Today, every person traveling and booking a stay at a hotel is concerned about one thing: safety. Behind every booking experience is hidden an inexplicable fear- the fear of to what extent is the booked property safe for your stay, whether the rooms are cleaned and disinfected diligently, staff adhering to the protocols, and to name a few.

COVID-19 hotel guest reviews safety tips

And how can we gauge that?

“95% of bookings are influenced by reviews!”

Looking at your COVID-19 hotel guest reviews will help you know what your customers want. The tone and sentiment of the travelers’ reviews have also changed and evolved since COVID. But one thing remains the same: the need to understand these reviews and to respond to each of them professionally and on time. This is, undoubtedly, one of the prerequisites for our today’s topic: How to respond to the COVID-19 online reviews.

With low occupancy rates, the review count for hotels has dropped down significantly due to the outbreak. From GuestTouch’s  research for the hotels in the United States (January 2020-May 2020), there was a slight increase in the review trend volume by 8%. However, from February-March, the impact was clear, with a 52.43% drop. Even though there had been a rebound from April to May with the review volume having increased by now, we assume it’d still take time for occupancy to return to pre-pandemic levels. Hence in such times, it is all the more important for hotels to focus on getting “positive” online reviews and respond to online reviews to instill confidence in travelers searching where to book.

So coming to how to respond to the online COVID-19 reviews, we have divided it into three categories for your convenience:

→General ways of responding or usual response etiquette
→Responding to positive COVID-19 reviews
→Responding to negative COVID-19 reviews

General Ways Of Responding OR Usual Response Etiquette | COVID-19 Hotel Guest Reviews

#1 Respond Professionally

COVID-19 hotel guest reviews manager's response

“77% of travelers are more likely to book when a business responds to reviews.”

Irrespective of what the situation be, respond politely and professionally to the guests’ comments. The way you appease a disgruntled customer with your response can also sometimes help alter their opinion.

#2 Personalize Your Response

COVID-19 hotel guest reviews personalized responses
While being professional is the key, making sure that your response does not come across as generic is equally essential. Guests do not want to feel as if their queries are falling on deaf ears. Hence avoid canned, robotic responses by replying in a way as if you are having a conversation with your guests. Adopting a professional, semi-casual, and personalized approach is ideal. It shouldn’t be like “one-size-fits-all.”
For instance, consider one of these COVID-19 hotel guest reviews:
COVID-19 hotel guest reviews no pool no breakfast

 

For instance,

I do not recommend this stay!
Rating: 2.5/10
By: Cindy Johnson


“Good staff service.
No pool, no breakfast.”

 

Your response,

Dear Ms. Johnson,

Thank you for taking the time to provide your much-valued feedback. So great to see how much you enjoyed our hospitality. It was truly our pleasure and privilege getting to take care of you, and I can’t wait to share your review with the staff. We’re extremely sorry that your experience related to amenities was not up to par. We apologize for the fact that you were unable to enjoy breakfast and pool service, because of the temporary restrictions enforced due to COVID-19. Kindly note that owing to the pandemic, we have enforced certain precautionary measures to ensure the well-being of our guests and staff members and adherence to safety standards and social distancing mandates. These include no breakfast. We extend our sincere apologies if these temporary restrictions caused you some inconvenience. However, we assure you that once things turn around, and when it is safe to do so, we will resume these services to make sure that you have a better experience in the future.

Best Regards,
Arnold World Hotel
Anne, Guest Relations Team

#3 Respond in a Timely Manner

COVID-19 hotel guest reviews responses
Even with the change in guests’ sentiments, responding timely to the reviews has still remained on the top of the list. A timely response shows that you care about their feedback and do not dismiss it as some sort of a casual episode. It is a useful marker of your sincerity and dedication in not just listening to the travelers’ queries but also in responding to them on time.

#4 Respond Accurately to the Reviews

In times of COVID-19, your review response is almost seen as the voice of your hotel or a strong message which needs to be conveyed to the guests you are replying to. Not only this, but also the information that you pass on through your review responses is helpful for the prospective customers looking to book with you. Hence it’s vital to convey the measures you have been taking in the wake of the virus to help your guests know your motives better. If a customer complains about no access to the pool service while on a family vacation, give them a legitimate and exact reason behind why you deprived them of this facility all of a sudden.

 

For instance,

Good
Rating: 4/5
By: Roy


“The hotel is well-located near several restaurants, easy access. Due to COVID- 19 didn’t have the pool service that our kids usually use when visiting this hotel, but the room was very clean, organized, and smelled fresh. The room is big and has facilities, the mattress is very comfortable. Very nice concierge at front desk.”

 

Your response,

Hi Roy,

It was a pleasure hosting you and your family on your recent visit to {city name}. Thank you for choosing us for your stay and for your review. It is always a pleasure to hear from our regular guests. We are glad that our proximity to restaurants suited you, and it’s nice to read that you found the room clean, organized, spacious, and well-stocked and the mattress comfortable. We also appreciate your kind words for our front desk staff. We apologize for the fact that kids were unable to enjoy our pool service this time because of the temporary safety restrictions enforced due to COVID-19, and we sincerely hope that this aspect of your visit did not detract from the overall experience too much. We look forward to having you back soon for another pleasant stay during your next trip to the area.

Best Regards,
Arnold World Hotel
Anne, Guest Relations Team

Similarly, if a guest complains about receiving no housekeeping service during their stay, curate your response in a way that it gives out the maximum possible information on the specific aspects where the changes or limitations have been imposed:

 

For instance,

Amazing Experience
Rating: 9/10
By: Sam


“Loved the location and had a flawless check-in. However, there was no daily housekeeping service during our stay.”

 

Your response,

Dear Sam,

Many thanks for your review, Sam. We are delighted to learn that the location proved to be convenient for you. However, we are sorry that you did not receive the daily housekeeping service during your stay. In this connection, we would like to inform you that we have reduced the housekeeping frequency as a result of which the rooms would not be serviced when occupied. To provide our guests with a safe and comfortable stay, we’ve introduced a housekeeping-on-request feature that allows guests to request room service when they are away. However, our front desk team is always happy to supply anything you need. Thanks for trusting us with your stay and we hope to welcome you soon.

Best Regards,
Arnold World Hotel
Anne, Guest Relations Team

Responding to Positive COVID-19 Hotel Guest Reviews

#1 Thank the Guest and Be Human By Addressing the Reviewer

COVID-19 hotel guest reviews thank you salutation for responses
The primary review response etiquette is addressing the reviewer by name (if the name is known) and also letting them know the title or designation of the person responding (Customer Care Manager/ General Manager / Director of Sales). This personalizes the review and provides them a reference point if they wish to contact the hotel subsequently. After all, everyone appreciates being called by their name rather than being reduced to an anonymous entity. However, resorting to ”Dear guest” is ok when the reviewer’s name is unknown, or if your brand tone is professional.
Also, no matter how positive a review is, never jump into it directly. Appreciate the effort and time that the reviewer has invested into dropping in their comments, especially during such crucial times. Starting with a thank you is a mark of gratitude and acknowledgment that you have in general for your guests. As they say, “thank you is a magical word.”
COVID-19 hotel guest reviews seamless guest experience

 

For instance,

They did it!
Rating: 10/10
By: Cecilia Smith


“If I have to describe my experience in three words, I’d say: “IT WAS GREAT!” Was touched by their customer-centric and “touchless” service, given that we are in the middle of a “pandemic”

 

Your response,

Dear Cecilia,

Thank you for your stellar rating and review. It truly means a lot to have our customers share their positive experiences, especially during this time. Our team has worked hard to ensure that all health and safety concerns of our guests are met. We’d love to welcome you back again next time when you visit the area!

Best Regards,
Arnold World Hotel
Anne, Guest Relations Team

Another example: (a slightly casual tone in response)

 

For instance,

Highly recommend
Rating: 9/10
By: Lorenzo


“This was my third time at this inn and it exceeded my expectations yet again! It looked like the property had been recently renovated since my previous stays and my cottage was great — everything looked very new! I have been quite cautious when traveling during this pandemic time and I have to say I felt very safe here. Everything was sparkling clean and the hotel is going above and beyond to ensure a safe and clean stay for its guests. This location simply cannot be beat. The ocean is such a short walk away, and the friendly staff gave me great dining recommendations within walking distance. This was exactly the little getaway I needed this summer. I look forward to returning again!”

 

Your response,

Hi Lorenzo,

Wow, thank you so much for staying with us and taking the time to leave us such a great review. We appreciate it! We are glad you liked the recent renovations we have made to all of the cottages since your last stay with us. Our location is close to the ocean/coast and all of the area attractions. We’re glad that you loved the location. We will pass on to our housekeeping staff your compliments on how clean your room was. They always enjoy hearing from our guests. We hope the rest of your travels were wonderful, safe, and we can’t wait to have you stay with us again 🙂

Until next time!

Best Regards,
Arnold World Hotel
Anne, Guest Relations Team

#2 Get Specific

COVID-19 hotel guest reviews be specific with responses
If a guest has invested their time and energy into praising certain specific aspects of your property, acknowledge that. There is often a tendency on the part of writers to curate a generic response to a positive review, thinking why to invest so much energy into making their response convincing when the guests are already impressed.That’s not a good idea!

A specifically well-crafted response to the COVID-19 hotel guest reviews shows that you are attentive to even the small details mentioned by the guests and accept them whole-heartedly which is what helps gain the trust of the prospects too.

 

For instance,

Loved it!
Rating: 10/10
By: Ian G


“Great rooms, great view, and great service. Great attention paid to safety protocols during such delicate times. Will surely return.”

 

Your response,

Dear Ian,

Thank you for your glowing review. We are extremely pleased to learn that you had a great stay and liked the rooms. Thank you for appreciating the view from our balconies and staff service too. It’s incredibly helpful to know our updated COVID-19 measures and the extra level of support from our team has made such a difference for you. We look forward to hosting you next time you visit the area.

Best Regards,
Arnold World Hotel
Anne, Guest Relations Team

#3 Address Any COVID-19 Efforts Your Business Has Implemented

COVID-19 hotel guest reviews safety measures

Often in positive reviews too, you’ll sometimes sense mixed emotions where a guest mentions a small or almost negligible flaw about your service, which they themselves dismiss in the first place. But educating the guests by sharing with them with your COVID-19 measures is equally important even in a positive review response. For instance, if the guests say that “Only if you could provide a breakfast,” your response could be something like:

 

Dear Guest,

Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback. While we are thrilled to hear that you had a stellar experience, we are sorry for the inconvenience. Due to the pandemic, we have temporarily suspended the breakfast buffet to provide a safer experience for our guests. However, we are in the process of rolling out the “grab-and-go- meal” option. Once finalized, we will update it online. Thanks again, we hope to welcome you back again next time you visit the area. We look forward to making your next stay even better.

Best Regards,
Arnold World Hotel
Anne, Guest Relations Team

Responding to Negative COVID-19 Hotel Guest Reviews

“89% of travelers said a thoughtful response to a negative review improved their impression of a business.”

#1 Thank the Customer And Pair It Up With An Instant Apology

While the opening drill remains the same (addressing by name), even in the case of a negative review, thank the customer first and foremost for their feedback and time investment. This is to be followed by an instant apology even though the feedback might be having something to raise eyebrows at or simply be shocked at.
Starting with a sorry can help the guests gauge your overall service-ethic and might also satisfy a grumpy customer. Even if you feel the guest is wrong, take the high road by issuing an apology.

 

For instance,

Worst experience I’ve ever had!
Rating: 3/10
By: Sierra


“Good service but the room cleanliness seemed compromised, although we are in the middle of the corona crisis.”

 

Your response,

Hello Sierra,

Thank you for providing us your feedback. While we are glad that you liked the overall service and hospitality, we’re extremely sorry that your experience with us was not up to par. Upkeep and cleanliness are very important to us, and we want our guests to have a top-notch stay with us. Our room service team is generally very attentive to guests’ needs and we prepare the room thoroughly for upcoming guests. This is very unlike us. Had we known of this, we would have gladly taken care of this right away. Nevertheless, we will definitely communicate your feedback to our housekeeping team. We would love it if you would come back to stay with us again – we have no doubt that the next time you would have the wonderful experience that the vast majority of our guests have.

Best Regards,
Arnold World Hotel
Anne, Guest Relations Team

“65% of respondents agree that they are more likely to book a hotel that responds to online reviews, compared with one that doesn’t.”

#3 Address Any Limitations Due to COVID-19 And Reiterate Any Changes to Business Policies

Negative reviews provide you enough chance to place your point(s) clearly in front of a dissatisfied visitor. Hence after having acknowledged the customer issue and offering your apologies, feel free to put the facts forward to educate your guests about the measures you have been taking, and if any limitations then why those limitations. But make sure to convey your message politely without getting too aggressive about it.
COVID-19 hotel guest review no shuttle

 

For instance,

Okay!
Rating: 3/10
By: Derwin


“Though the airport shuttle service was not available for pick and drop but good overall and clean.”

 

Your response,

Dear Derwin,

Thank you for choosing to stay with us, we really appreciate it. We are glad that the overall cleanliness of our accommodation satisfied you, and we hope your stay was comfortable and you had a good night’s sleep at our property. As you rightly pointed out, our shuttle service has been temporarily suspended. The suspension of our shuttle services has been alerted on all brand and third-party websites. This is to ensure the hotel’s compliance with local health department rules that are temporarily in place due to COVID-19 and social distancing mandates. This is a temporary suspension; therefore, please call the hotel directly in the future to find out if our services have resumed. We sincerely hope that this aspect of your visit did not inconvenience you much. We look forward to having you back soon for another pleasant stay during your next trip to the area.

Best Regards,
Arnold World Hotel
Anne, Guest Relations Team

A Few Sample Responses to Recurring Incidents Mentioned in COVID-19 Hotel Guest Reviews

COVID-19 hotel guest review unsatisfactory experience

 

1.

“Great hotel but unfortunately not the best time due to coronavirus.”

 

Your response,

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review. We’re very sorry to hear your expectations weren’t met. COVID-19 has placed constraints on our services, however, we are working hard to overcome these challenges. You can check out our website for the measures that we have been implementing to provide our guests with a safe stay. We are sorry if our service left something to be desired. We hope to make your next stay perfect!

Best Regards,
Arnold World Hotel
Anne, Guest Relations Team

OVID-19 hotel guest reviews no advance information about breakfast

 

2.

“No breakfast, pretty understandable. However, we were not notified about it in advance. So not cool!”

 

Your response,

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your feedback. We’re very sorry that our service did not meet your expectations, as we always pride ourselves on excellent customer service. We will discuss this with the team to ensure that our website and third party sites reflect the necessary information on COVID-19. We are sorry that we could not inform you about that in advance. But we assure you that this won’t repeat. We hope this will not deter you from visiting us in the future.

Best Regards,
Arnold World Hotel
Anne, Guest Relations Team

COVID-19 hotel guest review related to staff service

 

3.

“One of the staff members was spotted without the mask

Your response,

Dear Guest,

Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention, as this would enable us to be more vigilant towards such aspects going forward. Although our safety protocols are in place and are being strictly adhered to by our team, we will investigate this matter and have a word with our staff to ensure that this does not repeat. We are very sorry about that, and we hope to host you more successfully in the future!

Best Regards,
Arnold World Hotel
Anne, Guest Relations Team

Conclusion

Responding to COVID-19 reviews is pretty challenging as we are all taking our time adapting to the “new” normal. However, it has opened up further avenues for hotels to step forward and communicate openly and transparently with their guests. Hence by responding to the COVID-19 hotel guest reviews, you are updating your visitors with every possible detail regarding the effective steps you have been taking to ensure a safe stay for them all. In a way, you are maximizing your channels of communication by trying to understand their needs better. Your review response has the power to adjust their expectations, especially during such tough times, to avoid the guests from encountering any “unpleasant” surprises.

In a way, your responses are a strong specimen of how professional and customer-centric you are in your service. They are your mouthpiece, your spokesperson, reassuring the guests that you’re ready to welcome them again.

• • •

Your Online Presence And Reviews Impact Your Bottom Line!

And especially more, during such tough times!

GuestTouch helps hotels get reviews easily, manage reviews on the go, and respond to reviews professionally across search and OTAs to stand out and drive bookings consistently. With GuestTouch, stand out and instill confidence In travelers, researching their next stay, with hand-crafted, personalized responses to your online reviews.

Want more details? Schedule a free demo!

For more information, get in touch!

You might also like…
Review Response

Best Practices for Responding to Online Reviews

This article provides tips and insights on things one should avoid doing while drafting a hotel review response.

sand

The Positive Sandwich Method For Responding to Online Reviews And How to Move Beyond That!

This article explains the positive sandwich method in detail as one of the effective strategies while responding to Online Reviews and at the same time suggests how to move beyond that to avoid canned responses.

Expedia

How to Respond to the Reviews On Expedia (Expedia.com & Hotels.com)

Responding to review Expedia is important. This article presents a step-by-step procedure with images to show how one can respond to the reviews on Expedia.com & Hotels.com.

Scroll to top