The Importance of Strategic Reputation Management
Why Does Your Online Reputation Matter?
A recent study1 showed that online hotel bookers are ”free agents”, meaning that unlike their brand-loyal predecessors, they aren’t booking directly with your hotel.
Instead, they are motivated by non-brand factors, including price, location, and, most importantly, your online reputation. 81% of travelers2 usually or always reference TripAdvisor reviews when deciding where to stay. That means your online rating is more important than ever.
Not only that, but an increase in your hotel rating on review websites can increase your occupancy3, allowing you to also increase your room rates.
5 Tips for Improving Your Reputation Online
So, now that you know your online reputation is important, what comes next? Here are some key strategies that you can use to help manage your reviews.
1. Read & Respond to Reviews
You should continually monitor your online reviews and respond to them as frequently as possible. This takes both time and commitment, but it will really pay off.
78% of online hotel bookers2 say that managers that respond to reviews (good and bad) care more about their customers. That’s a huge deal for your reputation. By simply taking the time to write a unique response to each review, you show travelers who look at your profile that you care.
Did you know? 84% of review readers2 say that when a hotel manager offers an appropriate response to a negative review, it improves their impression of the hotel.
But, how do you respond appropriately to negative reviews? You should apologize that the guest had an unsatisfactory experience, but emphasize how important it is to you to provide quality service to every customer. You should also let them know what action you will take based on their review; That will show them that you’re committed to making the experience better in the future.
2. Request Reviews From Satisfied Customers
Make it a priority to openly discuss online reviews with your hotel guests. That way when your staff members receive a compliment, they can encourage happy customers to share their experience on TripAdvisor and other review sites like Google and other major travel websites.
3. Discuss Reviews With Your Staff
After reading a particularly positive or negative review, be sure to share it with your staff members. It’s likely that they aren’t monitoring review websites the way you are, so you can use positive reviews to motivate them and acknowledge their hard work, and use negative reviews as training opportunities.
4. Get Social
90% off all interactions today are screen-based4. Use this to your advantage and connect with travelers where they spend their time on social networks. Social media allows brands to interact with consumers on a more personal level. By maintaining a good social media presence on platforms like Facebook, you can provide personalized customer service to your guests.
When your hotel guests interact with you on social networks, their friends will be able to see a positive guest experience in action!
5. Focus on Your Customer
Guest experience factors are the main influencer on hotel selection3, so it’s important to consistently provide positive traveler experiences at your property.
Your online reputation will never be good if you aren’t offering a good customer experience offline. By focusing on providing quality and value for your guests every day, you’ll be boosting your online reputation at the same time.
For additional assistance monitoring your online reviews, responding to reviews appropriately and managing your hotel’s online reputation, find out more about Reputation Management from Travel Media Group.
1. Harteveldt, Henry H. (2013). Who’s Sleeping With You? Detailed Look Into The US Online Hotel Guest, Adara Media, Hudson Crossing.
2. PhoCusWright (2012). Custom Survey Research Engagement, Prepared for TripAdvisor.
3. Anderson, Chris K. (2012). The Impact of Social Media on Lodging Performance, Cornell Hospitality Report, 12(15).
4. Google (2012). The New Multi-Screen World: Understanding Cross-Platform Consumer Behavior.