The Importance of Earning New Reviews Through Post-Stay Marketing
With many areas across the nation still affected by COVID-19, interest in travel and hotels regularly waxes and wanes. Travel is recovering, but the slow pace may be leaving your hotel with outdated reviews. This may also be the case if your hotel had to temporarily close its doors during the early stages of the pandemic.
Any review you receive post-COVID will be critical to your hotel’s reputation. Potential guests will see these reviews first, placing the most trust in them over old reviews – even if you feel the old reviews still accurately reflect your hotel’s operations. Through post-stay marketing, you can earn more feedback from your guests, which results in guests placing more trust in your hotel.
Reviews Influence Reputation
It should be no question that guest reviews affect the way travelers perceive your hotel. In fact, research from Sprout Social says that when brands respond to customers, 65% become more loyal to the brand. Brand loyalty is especially important to hotels, as building a reliable network of guests can help earn repeat visits. Guests who return to your hotel consistently are also more likely to share recommendations to their friends and family, which are more likely to be trusted than traditional means of advertising.
On the other hand, if your hotel receives more than three negative reviews that are found in search results, research suggests you can expect to lose 59.2% of your potential guests. In a post-COVID world, a percentage like that can be devastating. Plus, if you’re not earning good reviews to balance out older negative reviews, that poor impression is what sticks around to anyone who’s looking for a trustworthy place to stay now.
New Guests Seek Recency
A crucial consideration of reviews posted about your hotel is how new they are. Post-stay marketing encourages guests who do stay in your hotel during COVID-19 to leave reviews about their experience, creating a pool of information for future travelers to reference when comparing you to a competitor.
By earning more recent reviews on a regular basis, your 1st Impression Score™ will also go up. While the 1st Impression Score™ is a metric designed by Travel Media Group to help you measure your hotel’s reputation at a glance, its foundation rests on real data from guests and travelers online. This metric updates in real-time, so if you’re a part of our reputation management program, you can monitor your progress every time you get another new review.
Encourage Guests to Leave Feedback
Earning new reviews from guests is critical, but how do you utilize post-stay marketing to encourage guests to leave their feedback? The most popular method is sending post-stay emails. Strategically sent after a guest’s stay ends, post-stay emails remind guests to leave a review sharing what they enjoyed about their visit. An important thing to mention in these emails is how little time it takes to leave a review. After a vacation, guests aren’t always thinking about what the hotel stay was like, nor do they feel like they have time to take out of their busy days to write up a whole response. However, guests may feel more inclined to share feedback after hearing that it only takes a couple of short minutes to fill out a response form.
To further boost the likelihood that a guest leaves a response, you can even send a follow-up email a week after their stay has passed, if they haven’t left one at that point. Further strategies often include incentivizing guests, offering chances to win gift cards, or a night’s free stay. However, these strategies are not strictly necessary: your goal is just to secure more reviews, and often the reminder from the first email is enough to spur guests into action.
Generating an email list and sending emails out to previous guests may seem daunting, but it’s key to help you earn valuable new reviews. At Travel Media Group, our team of dedicated client success representatives are available to help you maximize the potential for earning post-stay reviews. Our OneView® platform aggregates your data, simplifying your workflow process, and saving you time. Read more about our services and contact us today so we can help you improve your post-stay marketing strategy.