Reputation Matters

We’ve all experienced positive and negative visits at different venues, particularly, hotels. I often use social sites such as TripAdvisor to read reviews about a particular hotel at which I may be interested in staying prior to making the booking.   Having this opportunity of word of mouth from a prior guest, who I most likely will not know, is invaluable.

Per Antony Young, in Brand Media Strategy on pg. 81, “Today, the relevance and importance of word of mouth has a greater than ever proportion of the mix.” Additionally, in Young’s figure 6.1 on page 82 of the text, “Independent reviews,” ranks among the Top 20 Most Influential Touch Points on Purchase.

Likewise, as Young mentions on page 90, “One of the advantages of listening to the conversation online is the ability to respond. When someone complains about your brand on the site, a marketer can listen or offer to help the complainer.”

For the purpose of this blog post, I will portray the role of a Social Media Director for two separate hotels and respond accordingly to two separate Trip Advisor reviews online.  One review is positive, the other negative. Please note, this is a SAMPLE setting, not a real-life situation.

Hyatt Regency Orlando

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Dear Travelwith3kiddos,

Thank you for choosing the Hyatt Regency Hotel Orlando as part of your vacation stay while visiting our lovely city.  Whether for business or pleasure, as has been your case, our goal is to cater to you and your family, helping to make your business or vacation visit the most pleasant and memorable experience possible.

Though we were able to accommodate your request for the higher-level floor, we apologize for not having been able to offer you a pool view.   However, I hope you were able to take advantage of our premium room amenities, including pure-hypo allergenic bedding, flat screen tv’s and plush bathrobes.  When booking with us next time, please make certain to advise your booking agent that this would be your 3rd visit so that we may try to fulfill your request for a pool view, given your loyalty status.

Florida experiences storms on a regular basis.  I apologize for the debris around the pool but am very pleased your children enjoyed themselves in our new family pool offering a tropical beachside feel.

Our restaurants are among the finest in Orlando.  Urban Tide continuously wins Diners’ Choice Awards.  Though modern in decor and with a nightly waiting list,  Fiorenzo’s Italian Steakhouse offers Tuscan charm along with an authentic Italian cuisine.  I’m glad you were able to stay in-house and enjoy our fine eateries, while staying in the comfort of our hotel.

Our Spa offers luxurious amenities along with a 24 hour gym to help our guests burn some of those extra vacation calories.  Moreover, the Spa allows you to design your own treatment or book a specific package to suit your desires.  I’m glad your massage left you invigorated and recharged.

The shuttle service is convenient and regular, offering door-to-door service, at a fee.  Nothing beats having your own vehicle in which to get around.  Though parking at the parks is pricey, guests find having the freedom to come and go as they please offers a more pleasant experience.

Thank you for visiting us a second time. As a returning guest, I encourage to join our Hyatt Gold Passport club and obtain premium guest status which will reward your loyalty.  We hope to welcome you and your family in years to come.

If there is anything I can do for you further, please contact us at 1-407-284-1234 and ask for me, Ana V.

*******

Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina

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Dear Luv2travelwithhubby,

Your high school reunion stay experience is completely not acceptable.  On behalf of our hotel, I apologize to you for your discomfort while our guest.

While are a popular hotel, particularly amongst international tourists, your room should have been ready for you by the time you arrived.  The roll away bed should also have been available to you, as you had requested in advance.

As you may have noticed, our hotel was experiencing a complete renovation during your stay.  Regardless, however, your shower should not have been cold and your shower head should have also been in better working form.  This would also explain aged furniture, pocket door fixture and bed.   Our rooms today include “floor-to-ceiling glass windows, a flat-screen television, luxurious bed linens and high-quality bath amenities.”

We regretfully admit housekeeping may have been disorganized during the renovation, leading to your room not having been made up the second day of your stay along with multiple calls for additional linens.  The same goes for our groundskeeping staff with regards to the pool being in disarray.

Florida can definitely get very hot.  While we have replaced our parking lot gate box as part of the renovation, we do offer covered parking as an option to avoid the elements, whether the beating sun or rain, which we get much of, too.

Nevertheless, a pleasant experience such as your 10 year high school reunion should not be marred by negative thoughts because of your hotel stay.

 

Being one of the world’s most reputable names, Hilton is synonymous with quality and service.  At this particular location, highlights include:

  • Water taxi stop combines sightseeing and transportation
  • Complimentary beach shuttle to Fort Lauderdale Beach
  • Waterfront views of the Intracoastal Waterway and Port Everglades
  • Marina featuring 33 boat slips including ‘mega yacht’ facilities
  • 21,000 sq. ft. of space for meetings and events
  • Ultimate access to water activities, fishing, diving, boating

I have elevated your review to our Guest Services Manager, Mrs. Jane Doe. She will be contacting you further in order to better discuss your hotel stay personally with you.

In the meantime, if I may assist you further prior to Mrs. Doe’s contact, please call me directly at (954) 463-4000 and ask for Ana V. I will be more than happy to speak with you.

********

Ultimately, for companies experiencing negative reviews online, per Young on page 90, “Taking such a transparent, honest approach can even provide an opportunity to change a badadvocate, into a potential advocate, as long as communications are authentic and sincere.”    As the saying goes, “The customer is always right.”  A timely, well-crafted, positive response will ameliorate most negative commentaries.

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