Symmons Blog

Negative Hotel Reviews: How Much Revenue Loss Are They Costing You?

Did you know that one negative online review of your hotel could cost you revenue loss to the tune of 30 customers? Learn how to prevent revenue loss due to negative reviews.

As a general manager, you want to do everything possible to please your guests. However, not every person will be pleased with their hotel stay. Some complaints from guests will be difficult to address or simply beyond your capabilities. Other times, a guest will come up with a complaint just to get some of their money refunded or to obtain special extra amenities. Due to these factors, you may be inclined to ignore complaints that are directed at your hotel. However, these complaints could lead to lost revenue.

Revenue Loss Due to Negative Reviews

In general, per a 2009 Convergys Corp. study, just one negative online review could cause a business to lose 30 customers.

According to, roughly 97.7% of consumers will read travel reviews about hotel accommodations, amenities, and previous guest experiences. Another staggering 83% of consumers will usually reference those reviews to decide on which hotels they should book a room, according to TripAdvisor.

So what does this mean in lost revenue for your hotel? The exact number may vary, as hotels typically have varying booking rates and sizes. Yet one interesting statistic from TripAdvisor states that more than half of its users will not book a room at a hotel that has no reviews. So if you are on a review site that allows you to hide or remove negative reviews about your hotel, you may be actually driving away potential guests because they are not seeing enough reviews to make a decision.

What to Do About Bad Hotel Reviews

There are several proactive steps that you can take to prevent negative reviews that are sending potential customers away. Some actions that you can take include:

  • Look for commonalities: Guests may be complaining about the same issue in every bad review, such as problems with the water temperature of their showers. When you find a common problem, seek to address it immediately by performing the necessary repairs or speaking with your staff. To be proactive and learn of water issues before hearing about issues from your guests, invest in a water management system such as Symmons Evolution.
  • Develop a review management plan: Many hotels don’t even look at their reviews or even claim their online profiles so that they can engage with their previous, present and future guests. One of the first steps to take is to register at review sites and claim or create a profile. This strategy will give you greater control of your online reputation and brand. Then you can develop the policies on how you will interact with guest complaints on these review sites so everyone has a positive experience.
  • Create strong online communities: Hotels that are actively engaged with their online communities can leverage this aspect to bring in more positive reviews. When a hotel responds to all guest reviews in a professional manner, people feel that this detailed attention will also be reflected in the quality of service at the hotel. In addition, you can create brand advocates from your previous guests who will be eager to share all the great aspects of your hotel at these online review sites.

Improve Hotel Reviews with Smarter Management Systems

By engaging with online communities, monitoring negative reviews to find common issues, and addressing these issues by making repairs and changes to operations, you can reduce the number of negative reviews that could be creating revenue losses for your hotel. In addition, also consider investing in a proactive water management system such as Symmons Evolution to prevent water issues and increase your guests’ satisfaction.

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