Sample this – Patrick wants to book two nights at a luxury hotel and starts his online research by looking at a couple of options.
NB: This is an article from Hotelogix
He somehow happens to see your brand and finds that you have 1000+ reviews averaging 4.9 ratings out of 5 across some prominent hotel booking and review sites. Now, don’t you think that this will influence his booking decision in your favor? Yes, it will, or at least, the chances are pretty high. TripAdvisor says, about 81% of guests always or frequently read reviews while booking their accommodations. The point we are trying to make here is that – a strong hotel online reputation management is key to attracting new guests.
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Now, see this – John had already stayed with you back in 2018, and he was pretty happy with your hospitality. But in 2021, he decides to find out what other guests have been talking about your property before booking with you again. This time, he discovers that most of your guests are not talking well about your services and your ratings look abysmal with 2.5 out of 5. Do you think that your property still can attract John after three years? The answer mostly is a NO, as negative reviews and ratings distance your brand from around 60% of your target audience. So, what went wrong? The answer is – you somehow have ignored the importance of hotel online reputation management, affecting your customer retention capabilities.
This blog will analyze many critical aspects of guest reviews, hotel online reputation management, and their overall impact on your customer retention strategies.
Guest service is at the core
Guest service is a vital cog in your hotel business machinery. With competition increasing, guest service and guest experience have become more critical. In simple words, your guest’s perception of how you treat them matters a lot. When you invest heavily in creating a great customer experience, you can ensure an improved–
- Cross-selling and up-selling
- Business insights
- Brand visibility and credibility
- Guest satisfaction and retention
Let’s talk about guest feedback and hotel online reputation management
Today’s smart hotel guests don’t shy away from leaving both positive and negative reviews across online portals. They are more likely to post negative reviews than positive. It’s because they don’t like to have this feeling of being taken for a ride. Thus, it urges them to give poor feedback about your property, mainly to warn others. However, this is not always the case. They also promptly write good reviews if you treat them well. They don’t even mind putting out a word of recommendation to their friends looking for hotels. Your hotel’s online ratings and reputation grow with encouraging reviews, and damaging reviews just do the opposite.
Here are a few statistics showing the power of guest reviews, online reputation and rating –
- About 79% of guests would prefer booking with a hotel that has a higher TripAdvisor rating
- Nearly 52% of guests would avoid booking a property that has no reviews
- TripAdvisor users consider about nine reviews before making an informed decision about booking a hotel
So, the crux is this – you have to do everything to improve customer satisfaction. Their fulfillment level will reflect how they give feedback on your rooms, amenities, and other essential factors. The more positive approvals you have, the more is your online reputation and rating.
How to go about doing all these?
Handling guest reviews and online reputation manually across hundreds of sites is no doubt a challenging task. This whole exercise has two main aspects to it –
- Locating and understanding what guests are saying about you
- And then, taking the right step to improve online rating and reputation
That’s why the key lies with the adoption of the right hospitality technology solutions – a cloud-based hotel property management system (Hotel PMS) that comes integrated with an online reputation management solution. This is how this integration can help you in your effort toward hotel online reputation management and customer retention.
Know what’s being said about your property
Today, guest reviews are written and posted across hundreds of OTAs, hotel review sites, and social media platforms. There is absolutely no way to keep track of all those platforms to see who says what about your property. But the integration mentioned above can make things easier for you, as it consolidates all the mentions about your brand and presents them on a single dashboard for your quick review.
Automate the guest feedback collection process
Asking guests for their feedback on your services is a better way of collecting reviews. But here, too, you can’t do it manually. When you automate the process, the system will mail them the feedback form after a specific time post-checkout. For example, Hotelogix PMS users can leverage the power of Review Express by TripAdvisor. It allows you to customize your emails to obtain feedback from your guests. The best part is that it updates guest reviews on your hotel’s TripAdvsior page and your Hotel PMS front desk. Most importantly, it helps increase your TripAdvisor ratings by considering the quality, quantity, and recency of guest reviews.
Timely respond to reviews
Guest reviews and your hotel’s online reputation have a commercial value attached to them that you can’t ignore. Here is a compelling statistic – a 1% improvement in your hotel’s global review index can enhance your RevPAR by up to 1.42%. That’s why it is exceptionally critical to respond to each review – both positive and negative, with utmost decency and professionalism. In fact, you need to be a little extra careful while dealing with the undesirable ones. Assure them that you have rectified the issue while thanking them for bringing it to their notice. This way, you emerge as a brand that cares for its most important assets – guests.