Online hotel reviews can be source of motivation or worry for hotel owners! We live in times when everyone who has an opinion about a product or service shares the same on social media channels. It’s common for customers to surf the web for hotel reviews before the hitting the 'Book Now' button. For professionals in the hospitality industry, guests leaving online hotel reviews and detailing their experiences can be a matter of concern as it affects their click-through rates (CTR) and hotel revenue.
A hotel’s online reputation therefore holds value for travelers seeking to explore new destinations. Travelers check review sites and OTA platforms for not only the best deals, but to get a broader perspective of your hotel. The new-age traveler seeks to understand what others are saying about your hotel before confirming the booking status. Often, opinions of previous guests tend to influence the minds of the reader. Which is why, a one-star rating or a 5-star rating on a reputed platform often dictates the kind of revenue that can subsequently flow in for your hotel.
Why should your hotel’s online reputation management matter?
1. *A survey by Statistic Brain mentioned 57% of travel reservations were made online in 2017.
What does this signify? Your target group is out there, surfing online and reading reviews via various devices.
2. 81% of travelers find online reviews important for a hotel and 49% will not make a reservation for a hotel that has zero reviews.
What your hotel guests say about your property in the form of text, photos or videos is the kind of content that is influencing the minds of the potential guests. Review sites such as TripAdvisor have a direct impact on the revenue for hotel owners.
A hotel’s reputation management is not a mammoth task if done correctly. Besides, you certainly need to track your online reputation as it has a direct impact to your hotel’s revenue.
How does the online reputation connect with a hotel’s revenue?
Hotel reviews have a direct impact on your hotel’s demand. A positive review from happy guests can influence the minds of the next reader toying with the idea of booking your hotel. Negative reviews on the other hand, can tarnish the image of your brand. Your hotel’s online reputation therefore holds tremendous value and must be a part of your marketing plan.
So, how can you manage your hotel’s reputation online?
Pay attention to your guest: It’s simple, really! Creating an enhanced guest experience begins right from the time a customer books your hotel. Ensure your hotel staff pay close attention and seek feedback during the time of the stay. This will give you enough time to manage any queries or concerns raised by the guest at that moment. Pay attention, store a guests’ preferences for future use and exceed expectations every time. A happy guest will ensure others know about your property by posting photos or videos that indicate the guest satisfaction levels. These naturally turn into testimonials that speaks volumes about your property.
Take the negative reviews in a positive light: Sure, not every guest will be a happy one. And, then, the grudges flow online. It’s ok to be stressed a little, but you can turn the situation in your favour with a response that aims to address the issue. Be polite, understand what your customer says and demonstrate how far you’d go to ensure the problem is resolved. As you respond, there’ll be many other concerned travelers who will read and notice your approach. This shows your professional attitude that will help build trust and connect with your target group.
Use Automation Software: Technology has made online reputation management quite an easy task. Be it independent hotel owners or a chain of hotels, smart reputation management tools are helping hoteliers drive more bookings. Instead of requesting a guest to fill up a feedback form at the time of check-out, you can automate the review collection process.
A property management system that integrates with a tool such as Review Express by TripAdvisor is much advisable for all hotel owners. With Review Express, you can customize your emails easily to obtain feedback. The PMS in turn can save the information and guest data for the future. Such emails remind guests to respond without the need for hotel staff to intrude in their personal space. Besides, the email is sent out as soon as the guest checks out. This process helps increase your TripAdvisor ratings and reviews, and displays latest reviews online. All these help you to generate more bookings.
While you indicate that you value their opinion, you can also use it to improve your service where required.
A sound reputation of your hotel will have a direct impact on your hotel occupancy levels in the long run. With the help of technology, you can leverage online reviews to increase business, boost your ratings and stay ahead of your competition. What are your ideas for online reputation management? Do let us know.
About the Author
Kashmira Lad is a Senior Content Marketer with Hotelogix. She holds over 9 years of expertise in the field of design and content management. She’s worked for the leading newspaper brands in India and the IT industry. Connect with her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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