Why private responses on reviews are a bad idea

You know how important perception is for your hotel.
 
You put a lot of effort into marketing, decor, and guest impressions.
The part you may not be thinking about is “what do my guest’s friends think?” based on your social media responses ( or lack of response ).
 
Social media is word of mouth – on steroids – Gary Vaynerchuk 2016
 
The piece that people don’t think about – conversations are public now.
Given that everyone can see a review or post – if you respond privately people will have the impression that you did NOT respond.
Not responding equates to not caring.
 
You are making an impression to the people who photo, review, and post to you – but even more important are the 150 to 10,000+ followers each of those people have.
 
Every conversation with a guest is being watched and evaluated by their hundreds or thousands of friends. It’s not imagination, it’s life today.
It doesn’t matter if that conversation is on a review site, a post, an Instagram photo, or a tweet – it has a broad audience.
 
This is where posting public responses can provide that halo effect – letting everyone know that you care as a brand.
The conversation may go private ( people may not want phone or email published on social media ) but it’s important that publicly people can witness you being in the game.
 
The fact that you show caring is more important to the audience who witness the conversation than the outcome of that conversation.
I’ll say that again.
The audience’s impression is more important than a single conversation.
 
It’s really about touching all the people around the conversation.
Touching those people shapes their perception of you – and their desire to stay at your hotel.
That perception leads to direct bookings and higher room rates ( high desire makes higher prices OK ).
 
People are impressed by a brand that cares – irrespective of how any individual review works out.
 
So start all your responses publicly – your REVPAR will thank you later.