A challenge for properties: Customer complaints management

It is usual for hotel guests to acknowledge their complaints when they are not satisfied or experience inconveniences. Every property may be faced with customer complaints from time to time. However, what matters is how to manage these complaints, which are shared increasingly more through the Internet. Ignoring guest complaints or playing them down can result in bigger problems in the future. It is because nothing is deleted or lost on the Internet. Guests feeling isolated can reflect their dissatisfaction through social networks, which might cause you to lose your potential guests.

Repairing a damaged business reputation is more difficult than building it from scratch. The easiest way to prevent this is to intervene as soon as the problem occurs. When it comes to the Internet, your method of intervention is also as important as your speed. With the right approach, you can regain your guests’ trust and protect your property’s reputation even when in times of crisis.

Here are recommendations as to effective guest complaint management in the digital platform.

Instant and personal response

The first rule to manage guest complaints in the most effective way is to respond to them as soon as possible. Please note that delayed response can cause the existing problem to grow. The second rule is to contact your guests through the channel by which they send their complaints, or through a personal channel: For example, sending an e-mail is more personal than sending private messages through social networks, while calling is even more personal than all.

An original message

If it is better for you to respond with messages, you should call your addressee with their names, so that you can have bigger impact with a slight effort. Copy-paste messages like “Your complaint has been received. The issue will be solved as soon as possible” can create a negative impression for your guests. Therefore, you should spend a bit more time on the complaints received to provide more personal messages. For example: “Thank you very much for your interest, Mr. Smith. We have instructed the related departments for your problem to be resolved immediately.”

Offer for resolution

If your first response brings an offer for resolution, you can relieve the tension. Just like in the above example, a message informing them that the related department is instructed for resolution will help calm your guest. Asking questions is also among the effective methods. This way, you will have the chance to contact them for a longer time and gradually turn tension into customer satisfaction.


Updating your customers about the process and asking for feedbacks to find out if the problem is resolved or they are contended with the result is a key part of the resolution process. If the customer makes his/her complaint when leaving the property, you might assume that there is no point in informing him/her about the resolution. At this point, however, you should make the customer feel that you are concerned and prevent him/her from posting any negative comment on digital platforms.

Just like how a guest complaining about your services might damage your online reputation, a guest satisfied with your resolutions can help you create positive impressions. The Internet can be a very suitable channel for to come up with constructive resolutions and turn challenges into opportunity through constant follow-up.

The method to manage guest complaints effectively is to enhance your communication channels. HotelRunner can provide you with a robust online property infrastructure and advanced tools you can use for reputation management. HotelRunner is your property’s biggest supporter on the Internet with its advanced modules for online booking, inventory management and loyalty programs. You can benefit from the advantages of HotelRunner now by creating your account immediately.

Rıza Kaynak

Director of Demand

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