It’s commonly said that you have seven seconds to make a first impression, and that’s no different when it comes to your hotel. Thanks to social media, third party sites, and online reviews, gone are the days when you had the chance to make that first impression.
Understanding how guests form impressions and expectations is the first step in working towards exceeding them. Here are some of the ways that your customers are forming expectations about you.
Visiting your Website
Because you control your website and the messaging contained within it, this is the best place to set explicit expectations. Here’s an example from Banyan Tree Mayakoba property, that does a really great job of setting and meeting expectations via their website.
The description for the Bliss Pool Villa explicitly includes a private pool or outdoor bathtub, and private garden in the description. If a customer books that Villa, they’ll get just that!
Asking Friends and Family
Word of mouth remains ever-important, and what people say about you can have a big influence on who books with you – or not – in the future.
Comparing with Third Parties
Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) can have a massive impact on how you are perceived and how you rate against your competition. Let’s look at two hotels shown on Booking.com. What sets these two properties apart in ratings? You can bet that guests are investigating this right now.
Checking Social Media
People share their positive and negative experiences on social media. Guests will check what others say about you and what you say about yourself on social media. Here’s a great example from COMO Hotels about its Miami property. They really do a great job with their messaging on social media, highlighting their luxurious amenities and using hashtags to their advantage:
An incredible 80% of travelers read between 6-12 reviews before booking a hotel. These reviews not only influence their ultimate booking decision, but also what guests expect when they come to your hotel.
How does your hotel stack up when it comes to helping current and future guests set expectations? If you need some advice, our new eBook is here to help.
Ashley is Sojern's Marketing Manager, EMEA & APAC and works in the London office. Originally from Canada, she's been living in London for over four years, and is actively trying to fill all the pages in her passport. She has never met a cheese she didn't like.
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