How many times do we have to read this nonsense?
'What nonsense?' we hear you say. This nonsense (contained in the comments on this and other sites where the story has appeared):
"It seems to me that like any aggregated score it'll eventually sort itself out." and "Potential guests can see through the odd negative."
Time and again we hear this, not just in the context of TripAdvisor, but reviews in general.
So why is this 'nonsense'?
It's nonsense on so many levels:
- A 'killer review' like this has the potential to stop bookings dead in their tracks
- Killer reviews encourage 'piggybacking': 'me too' negative posts
- They discourage positive reviews - reviewers don't want to appear to be 'going against the flow'
- They discourage previously loyal guests from returning
- Any 'one star' (or two star, for that matter) dramatically impacts on a hotel's ranking and CSI
- If you doubt any of the above, just consider why L'Hotel Quebec has been driven (wrongly, in our opinion) to resort to the courts
- Lastly - look at the 'helpful' votes!
So many lessons...
Why, oh why, didn't the hotel respond to the review on TripAdvisor? A simple "Dear Laurent A, We were so sorry to read your review. We immediately contacted our pest control agents who made a thorough inspection of your room and bedding and could find no trace..."
...would have defused the issue (and made the hotel look professional and caring in the eyes of potential guests).
And why wasn't Laurent A offered a way to communicate with the hotel in private? Some might say 'he would have posted to TA whatever the hotel had done', but our experience dictates otherwise: we see reviews like this posted though Dialogue on a regular basis, where the hotel is able to respond in private, reassure the guest, defuse the anger, prevent a damaging review being posted on TA (or anywhere else) and, in almost every case, retain the guest's future custom.