Why Your Guests Are Not Writing Reviews (solutions included)

Why Your Guests Are Not Writing Reviews

Why Your Guests Are Not Writing Reviews

Remember when you were 6 years old and had to take medicine to fight off that nasty cold? What did you do, run away from mom? I sure did. I would hide until she found me. Hiding, is what some of us are doing when it comes to our hotel reviews.

We all know that we need reviews to make our businesses thrive. Yet, we are not taking action. And we are not doing enough to “make it better.”

“No Reviews equals No Bookings”.

This is the reality that every hotel professional faces today. With majority of hotel bookings being done online and still rising, reviews about your hotel are a significant factor for travelers when deciding which hotel to book.

Go to your TripAdvisor listing and then your listing on online booking sites such as Expedia. Are you seeing very few reviews or just a couple every month? Scratching your head right now?

Here are the top reasons why I think your customers aren’t writing reviews. Trust me, I know, our hotels used to be in this position.

Forgettable Experience

You may not be a high-end, luxury hotel, but this should not stop you from delivering a memorable hotel experience to your guests. There are lots of smaller, boutique, economy hotels across the US and around the world that deliver a memorable experience to their guests (in an amazing way) even though they don’t have the luxurious amenities that big hotels offer.

There are cost-effective ways that you can use to deliver a great experience to your guests that they will remember for a long time. Do something “outside-of-the-box.” Think of how you and your staff can personalize their stay. While you’re thinking, here are 5 things you can do to make a guest’s stay personalized:

  • Call them by their name. Repeat it often (people love hearing their name)
  • Give arriving guests a welcome letter with things to do and local, favorite places to eat (include their name in BIG letters at the top)
  • Present a Candy Bar with their name on it. Get Custom Candy Wrapper Template (this has been a huge hit at our hotel)
  • Snoop around- Check out their twitter or facebook profile and find out what they like (then give it to them – food always works..snacks, a lottery ticket, their favorite magazine)
  • Send guests away with a handwritten personal note thanking them for their business.

It’s simple. It’s cheap. It’s memorable.

Lack of Engagement with Your Guests

Another big reason why guests don’t publish reviews about your hotel is the lack of interaction from the hotel staff.

Hospitality Service Trainer & Expert, Doug Kennedy shares his thoughts with me. He says..
“Your team, the secret to getting reviews..People are still the number one key to a top ranking.  Take a look at the number one hotel on TripAdvisor for any destination; if you read the first 10 Excellent Reviews chances are that at least 8 will mention something about great service, friendly staff or a helpful front desk.”

He’s right. Think about it this way. When your mom invited guests over to your home, did she expect them to initiate the conversation? Not exactly… As a good hostess, she made guests feel welcome into your home (speaking from my home experience).

The same goes when dealing with your hotel guests. If a day goes by and guests were not engaged in a conversation by one of your staff, then you are not being hospitable enough. And when they leave, your guests will ignore your requests for reviews just like how you ignored them when they were still at your property.

Remember this? – Ok class, put away your books and clear your desk…we’re having a pop quiz!

Take this Review Pop Quiz (True or False)

  • Does your hotel staff ask – “How was your trip in?” or “Where are you traveling from?”
    □ true   □ false
  • Does your team anticipate and offer suggestions to the local area, restaurants, shopping and attractions?
    □ true   □ false
  • Does your hotel have a policy to call the guest’s room 10-15 minutes after check-in?
    □ true   □ false
  • Are you asking them for feedback before the leave your hotel?
    □ true   □ false

If you answered False to at least on question, you get homework…
Read one of my most popular posts on 17 Ways to Build Staff-Guest Engagement.

You Did Not Ask For It

Let’s go back to when we were children. As soon as we got home from school, we were starving and wanted a snack. Right? What did you do? You asked your parent – “I’m HUNGRY, Can I have a snack?, I’m HUNGRY, Can I have a snack?, I’m HUNGRY, Can I have a snack?…..and finally she gave you something to quiet you down. This thinking can be translated into our hotels.

Here’s one rule of thumb when it comes to online reviews.

Never ever assume that your guests will publish reviews about your property voluntarily.

Some would, but always presume that majority would not. A lot of travelers don’t publish hotel reviews online simply because they were never asked to. This underscores the importance of taking a more proactive approach when it comes to asking for reviews.

There are many different ways you can ask for a review. I recommend using a custom card or something you can give guests, so they can remember. For example, SmartGuests.com has the following tools that you can use –

Staff Review Business Cards – looks like your ordinary business card but at the back, it contains a prompt for your guests to publish a review about your hotel online

CareFresheners – a custom card with air freshener that you can give out to your guests as thank you gift and at the same time, a scent reminder to leave your hotel a review


There are other tools that are available and the key is to identify which would work best for your hotel.

You Did Not Follow Up

Lastly, your guests won’t publish a review about your hotel if you don’t follow up with them.

People are busy. They have a lot of things in their mind. They might say “yes” when you asked them to publish a review about their stay in your hotel, but they might forget after a few days.

How do you solve this? Simple. Remind them.
Here are some ways to ensure guests remember to post a review
1) Send them an email (HINT: Verified Stay Tool by smartguests – coming soon)
2) Send a Thank you card in the mail
3) Pick up the phone and personally thank them for their stay.
4) Connect with guests on social media
5) Send them a SMS, WhatsApp message with a thank you and link to your review landing page.

However you do it, don’t forget to follow up.

I hope these ideas give you a sense of why it is important to make genuine connections with your guests. At the end of the day, positive online reviews are earned. If your guests think that you don’t deserve it, then you can’t force them. It all starts with offering exceptional service. Stop your hotel from hiding, get noticed and take action today!

Get tools that will help your business get more reviews. Visit SmartGuests.com – Hospitality + Review Tools

Have a successful day!

– Rupesh Patel, Hotelier & Founder of SmartGuests.com

Rupesh Patel

Rupesh Patel, hotelier and founder at SmartGuests.com, a U.S.-based Hospitality and Review Tools company that helps hotels increase revenues and occupancy, by boosting their online reviews and reputation. His proven system has not only improved his own hotels, but have helped hundreds of other hotels (large and small) get an advantage over their competition. He regularly shares his passion for entrepreneurship, customer service and marketing on numerous industry sites, social media and blogs.

You may also like...

Optimization WordPress Plugins & Solutions by W3 EDGE