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Should hotels respond to online reviews (part 2)?

by Rajul on December 9, 2009

Although hotels are increasingly sensitive to their online reputation, few are proactively managing it as well as the Threadneedles Hotel (featured below).

While hotels are increasingly sensitive to their online reputation, few are proactively managing it as well as Threadneedles Hotel (featured below).

In part 1 of this feature, we identified the Lanesborough as a hotel with a textbook handling of online guest reviews.  We especially liked the empowering of department heads to address any specific issues raised.

Now we focus on another hotel that goes further still: Threadneedles Hotel in the City, which currently has a very respectable ranking in the top 40 London hotels (and has been rising steadily up the charts).

I love the fact that the hotel’s management is confident enough to admit mistakes and tries engaging with the few guests who complain.

They even use phrases like “We are very sorry for the terrible service you experienced…” which is brave and gives them great credibility.

I recall a comment made to me once by the former Hilton CEO.  He candidly said that in a people-driven business like hotels you’re always “missing the target”: it’s all about rectifying the situation superbly when this occurs.

Here is a link to some recent TripAdvisor comments at Threadneedles Hotel (scroll down to read the “Management Response” section under each).

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Unlike many hotels, Threadneedles Hotel addresses online guest complaints directly and proactively

Unlike many hotels, Threadneedles Hotel addresses its few online guest complaints head-on and with humility.

It’s clear that management closely read the complaint, acknowledge any errors and then describe what they’ve done to address it.

The focus on “customer recovery” after a complaint is fixed is admirable.

The vast majority of the Threadneedle’s guest reviews are positive.  In those cases too, the hotel’s management will thank the guest and invite him or her to contact them directly if a return visit is planned.

Mr Brian Tapson, who is Assistant General Manager at the hotel, has kindly shared some of the hotel’s internal standards with London Hotels Insight:

  • All guest feedback is responded to on a personal level.
  • Both positive and negative feedback is addressed within 24 hours.
  • Guest feedback helps to continuously shape policies and training.
  • All guest reviews are shared with and communicated to staff.

These are simple standards, consistently executed.  I wish more hotels followed this lead: congratulations to the Threadneedles Hotel!

The hotel is actually worth considering for more than its sensitive management.  Nestled in the heart of the City of London, it offers particularly good value on weekends.

You can walk to the Tower of London and other key attractions and use it as a base for the perfect London cultural evening.  It is also currently offering a Dickens-themed winter special.

Check the best rate for Threadneedles Hotel from 30+ hotel booking sites

Continuing with the guest feedback theme, I’ll be sharing my experience of one hotel group’s innovative “focus group dinners” shortly, so stay tuned!

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Photo credits: Threadneedles Hotel.

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