If the last few months taught us anything, it is that uncertainty is still “word of the day” in hospitality and travel.
NB: This is an article from TrustYou
Many countries are going back to partial and temporary lockdowns and different cities are currently in a state of emergency. Travel is once again stagnating after picking up in the summer months and some hotel businesses are forced to temporarily close their doors once more.
While things are far for being positive, there are still ways in which hoteliers can leverage their tech stack during this downtime and make the most out of their investments. With little to no guests, it’s the perfect opportunity to analyze and adjust to existing feedback and keep the lines of communication open in order to build guest relations that stand the test of time. So how exactly can hoteliers leverage their guest feedback management solutions with… no current guest feedback?
Here are 5 effective ways in which you can make good use of your feedback management platform even while your hotel is temporarily closed:
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Reply to recent reviews
The last few months have been chaotic and rather confusing for everyone in travel and hospitality and you might not have gotten the time to properly engage with your guests. This can be the perfect occasion to catch up with recent reviews and actively reply to what your guests had to say during their mid-pandemic hotel stays. Whether it’s positive or negative feedback, online reviews should always be addressed by management or staff, in order to show guests that you care about their experience and value their feedback. If you’re not exactly sure how to tackle less than great reviews (which are normal and happen to the very best, especially during such stressful times), you can learn a few tips and tricks from our best practice guide: How to Properly Reply to Negative Reviews; and if you’re getting your fair share of praise, why not take inspiration from How to Properly Reply to Positive Reviews?
Analyze past feedback
While the traveler’s behavior and expectations are suffering significant changes during this period, past feedback can still give you valuable insights into what your guests liked or didn’t like about your hotel. This is the perfect time to really go into the details of your hotel’s reputation and analyze feedback in a granular way in order to pinpoint the exact strengths and weaknesses. Your feedback management system should make it easy for you to analyze different areas of your hotel on multiple levels – you can check, for example, key features, like wi-fi, and see what’s the overall sentiment around it. Maybe it’s working great but maybe it needs improvement. Consider that analyzing your hotel’s features and services through your guests’ perspective is the best way to have a clear overview of their performance and even catch things that might normally escape your eye.
Focus on KPIs and leverage reporting
Very much related to the feedback analysis, KPI reporting is a great, detailed way of keeping an eye on key hotel metrics and leverage the obtained data in order to plan ahead, as well as to make improvements and smart investments. Your feedback management solution can be used to generate automated reports, with the main KPIs that impact your hotel business. The current downtime, while not ideal, can be a good occasion to set up customized reports that, once put in place, will enable you to know which are the key areas that influence your hotel’s reputation the most. Guest feedback can be broken down through semantic analysis in order to determine, for example, the impact score that certain features have on the overall rating. As a hint, it’s only natural that during these pandemic months, guests will shift their main focus towards cleanliness and safety. But exactly how much will these categories impact your hotel? This is something that you can easily answer through a proper analysis of guest feedback.
If you want to dive deeper into the best practices for reporting, make sure to check out our two best practice guides: 5 Review KPIs Every Hotel Should Track and How to Build Effective Reports to Track Your Hotel’s KPIs.
Market your COVID-19 measures and efforts
The pandemic inevitably drives major changes in the way you internally manage your hotel, especially when it comes to cleanliness and sanitation. Your efforts and stringent measures will have a significant impact on the number of guests that you greet or will greet in the post-pandemic scene. This is why the current weeks and months are the best occasion to deeply focus on adjusting to the new norms and standards, as well as to find effective ways to communicate and effectively showcase them to travelers.
In order to help hoteliers market their efforts in the health and cleanliness department, we at TrustYou have developed the Trusted Cleanliness badge. The badge represents an effective and visually-appealing way of marketing your commitment to the stringent cleanliness standards on your hotel’s website, in order to ensure trust in these categories and encourage future guests to make a booking. If your hotel is temporarily closed, make sure to use this time to get your own Trusted Cleanliness badge, by submitting your assessment.
Perfect your communication strategy
Keep in mind that the need for open and honest hotel-guest communication is on the rise during difficult times. Post-COVID-19 travelers will be more cautious and anxious when traveling and they will need constant reassurance from the hotel of their choosing. Prepare now for a new way of engaging with guests, one that is stable, more frequent, open, and preferably, contactless. If you find yourself with a little extra time on your hands, dive a bit deeper into the communication options available and try to perfect your strategy in order to anticipate the new needs and expectations of your future guests. Think of the details – how you will enable multiple communication channels, what you want to communicate, how to make it easier for guests to reach out, and the ways in which you can leverage on-site interactions to address concerns, solve issues, and build trust.