Social media is a brilliant way for hoteliers to connect with their guests. Unfortunately, it’s also the ideal method by which some disgruntled guests can vent their displeasure about a hotel’s service or experience. If that happens to your hotel, it can cut deep. What’s more, it can feel near impossible to respond to a social media rant about your business without taking it personally.

Despite this, it’s imperative you remain calm, collected and capable of responding in an appropriate manner. The world is watching, after all.

Here’s what you should do if a guest complains about your hotel on social media.

1. Keep an eye out for them

The first step is to actually spot any negative comments before they become a wider issue, and the best way to do that is to use software like Hootsuite (although there’s plenty of other social media management tools out there worth your time).

2. React quickly

Before you do or say anything, take a minute or two to breathe and put things in perspective. This is just one comment, and unless it comes after a barrage of similar complaints, the situation is reversible – if you act quickly.

A slow response to social media commentary about your brand doesn’t reflect well. A quick, measured reaction really does.

3. Think about how the customer is feeling

When someone says something nasty about your business, it’s understandable to be immediately defensive – it’s your baby, after all.

However, by spending just a few minutes in their shoes, you might begin to understand why they’re unhappy. Something triggered it, clearly, and if there’s detail in their social media post, take a moment to consider how you’d feel about it if you were on their side.

4. Speak to staff

Have a chat with everyone in your team who encountered the guest. What’s their take on the situation?

Do some research on what happened and make plenty of notes. This will help you form a plan of action to make things better.

5. Take it offline

Once you have a good idea of how best to address the complaint, avoid doing so directly on the social media platform they used to make their feelings known.

Instead, reply, say sorry and indicate you really would like to make things better. Then, add that you’d like to have a chat with them directly to find the best solution.

6. Correct misinformation

Sometimes, complaints on social media are wholly unfounded and may even be defamatory.

If that’s the case, the same steps above apply, but take time after you’ve spoken to the guest in question to correct any misinformation they may have spread online. You can do this by replying and indicating you’ve spoken to the guest.

7. Block trolls

Thankfully, this isn’t something you’ll encounter too often, but if someone is clearly using a social media platform to try and get a reaction from your brand and doesn’t have a legitimate complaint (or desire for a solution), block them, delete the messages and move on.

Wrapping up

If you never receive a social media complaint or negative mention about your hotel, you’re one of the few lucky ones. The fact remains that you simply can’t please everyone; at some stage, someone out there will be annoyed enough to make their feelings known.

Use our tips above to ensure you respond in the best possible way; it’ll reflect brilliantly on your hotel brand and turn a bad situation into something far more positive.

CMS Hospitality holds over 30 years of experience in delivering hospitality software solutions. GuestCentrix offers the most complete solution in hospitality software, whether you’re running a hotel, a resort or a hostel. Our highly experienced support and installations team holds a unique understanding of the hospitality industry and will aim to provide software that suits your property’s needs.

Call us today at (+61) 2 9440 9711, or email us at We will be happy to guide you to the GuestCentrix solution that’s right for you.