For modern-day consumers, the decision to book a hotel online comes down to two equally important factors: how desirable a hotel is from a value and quality standpoint and how much they trust the hotel brand.
As agency leaders, we can’t necessarily change the quality of our clients’ product — that’s up to them. What we can do, however, is ensure every step is taken to build a trustworthy online brand that makes the buying decision easier for consumers.
Based on my agency’s experience within the online hospitality space, here are five ways to do just that:
1. Maintain a healthy online review profile.
I devoted an entire article to this recently, but I would be remiss not to emphasize it again. The fact of the matter is that 91% of consumers ages 18-34 trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation from a friend. Better yet, 68% form an opinion after reading between one and six reviews.
The takeaway is simple: Nothing influences a customer’s trust in a brand like the input of fellow consumers. Make sure that your hotel not only merits positive reviews but maintains a steady stream of new reviews coming in on a weekly basis. This should not be taken lightly; it’s far and away the most important thing you can do to build brand credibility on the internet.
2. Allay consumer fears about data security and privacy.
Marriott’s infamous 2018 data breach, which leaked the personal information of up to 500 million customers, was the ultimate case study in how damaging a data compromise can be for a hotel brand. Not only did the company’s share price drop by 8.7% overnight, it likely gave up thousands, if not millions, of loyal customers who instantly lost trust in the company.