Bed bugs are problematic. Not only are they likely to be costly to eliminate, but the cost to your reputation could be far worse.
The recent surge of bed bugs, notably in Paris, has not only disrupted households, but also tarnished the reputations of many businesses.
The recent outbreak is not just a Parisian problem, but a global one, because bedbugs are seasoned travellers. Hitchhiking on luggage, clothing, and even people, these tiny pests cross borders effortlessly. Their ability to adapt and move swiftly makes bed bugs notable globetrotters that can turn up virtually anywhere.
In this blog, we take a look at the damage to reputation that these tiny pests can cause.
What sort of reputational damage could a bed bug infestation cause?
Hoteliers say that the occupancy rate of a hotel can decrease up to 20% within four weeks of an outbreak going. There is a loss of earnings that accompanies the publicity, not to mention the possible cost of damages if your guests decide to take legal action. Brian Virag (representing Jales St Pierre) is an Encino-based attorney who specializes in suing hotel and apartment owners when guests or tenants have been bitten by bedbugs. His string of jury verdicts in bedbug cases has made him a leading expert on bedbug lawsuits.
Of course, the ideal situation would be to avoid the bed bug epidemic altogether, but it is impossible to prevent these pests from entering your hotel. They are avid hitchhikers, and even with the best housekeeping practices in place, they can arrive with your guests. It’s also easy for housekeeping employees to miss a spot. Bed bugs can easily go undetected until it is too late – and they are noticed by a guest. A professional pest control provider knows exactly where to look for these unwanted guests.
Damage control for bed bugs:
So, in the unfortunate case of a negative review or comment on digital platforms, here is what we suggest you do:
1. Deal with negative comments head-on. Don’t ignore negative comments, rather show that your hotel personally and promptly replies to public reviews, good or bad.
2. Acknowledge, apologise and gift. Don’t deny the claims: accept the comments and apologise for the guest’s negative experience. Wherever possible, try to gift the guest with a voucher or perhaps a refund if appropriate.
3. Provide reassurance. Publicly reassure your customers that your hotel strives to maintain the highest standards of pest management possible. Reassure them that this occurrence was an anomaly and that you have already dealt with the problem quickly and professionally. Then make sure you have a professional, reputable pest control operator in to treat the problem.
Hire a professional pest control service:
Over time it IS possible to regain any lost reputation. However, to avoid an epidemic and any further potential negative customer reviews, we strongly recommend that you have regular professional bed bug treatments and prevention measures put in place to detect infestations early on. If you think you may have a problem,visit our website for more information on getting rid of bed bugs. Alternatively contact Rentokil for a free survey of your hotel.
Call us on 0800 77 77 88 for a quote.