The Importance of Strategic Reputation Management
More than ever, guests have less brand loyalty than in years past. Instead, today’s travelers are motivated by factors outside of the brand, including price, location, and, most importantly, your hotel’s online reputation.
81% of travelers usually or always reference online reviews when deciding where to stay. That means your online rating is a huge factor in determining the success of your hotel. Plus, an increase in your hotel rating on review websites can increase your occupancy, allowing you to increase your room rates.
5 Tips for Improving Your Hotel’s Online Reputation
With your online reputation influencing the decisions of every traveler that comes across your hotel, you need to know what you need to do to improve it. The experts at Travel Media Group have five tips to share with you to help improve your online reputation.
1. Read & Respond to Reviews
If you’re not doing it already, it’s a good idea to monitor your online reviews. You should be responding to them as often as possible so travelers know your hotel cares about guest feedback and improving the guest experience. By simply taking the time to write a unique response to each review, you show travelers who look at your profile that guests matter to your hotel.
85% of travelers say that a thoughtful response to a guest review from management improved their impression of the hotel. That’s a significant percentage of people you may miss out on bookings from simply because you aren’t responding or aren’t responding correctly. That begs the question: how do you respond appropriately to negative reviews?
If a guest leaves a review about an unsatisfactory experience, you should apologize 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 discuss online reviews with your hotel guests openly. 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.
You can also request reviews from guests with post-stay surveys. By simply sending your guests an email shortly after check-out with a link to a quick survey, you can encourage those with positive feedback to leave a public review.
The great thing about post-stay surveys is that it allows you to deal directly with negative feedback. If a guest’s survey results show they had a bad experience at your hotel, you will be notified privately and will be able to decide upon a course of action to fix any issues.
3. Discuss Reviews With Your Staff
After reading a particularly positive or negative review, be sure to share it with your staff members. Likely, they aren’t monitoring review websites the way you are. Treat each review as either encouragement or a teaching moment for your staff.
You can use positive reviews to motivate your staff and acknowledge their hard work. If a guest mentions one of your front desk staff in a glowing review, take a moment to show your appreciation for a job well done. Hospitality can be a challenging industry, so praising your staff can help keep morale high and even help you keep employees longer.
On the flip side, you can use negative reviews as training opportunities. Remember not to yell at or criticize your staff when something goes wrong. Instead, take the opportunity from a negative review mentioning cleanliness issues to talk to housekeeping. It may be a good time to review your policies and standards to address the problem and improve moving forward.
4. Get Social
With more and more travelers taking to social media for inspiration on where to stay, your social media presence is more important than ever. Take advantage of the fact that you have direct access to your audience through their phone screens and use social media to interact with consumers on a more personal level.
By maintaining a good social media presence on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you can provide your followers with the travel inspiration they’re looking for. Posting pictures of your rooms and amenities is a great way to entice travelers to book with your hotel.
Social media also offers you the opportunity to give personalized customer service to your guests. Many guests will reach out to you via social media, such as in the comments section or direct messaging. It’s your job as a hotelier to respond quickly and with relevant information.
5. Focus on Your Customer
If you’re not offering a superior guest experience offline, your online reputation will never rise. Your focus should be on your guests and ensuring they have a comfortable stay at your hotel. If your guests see that they’re getting quality and value from your property, they’ll let others know.
Boosting your reputation can be as simple as going back to the root of hospitality: making guests feel welcome and comfortable. Those guests will spread the word to other travelers. This word-of-mouth is so crucial because guest experience factors heavily influence hotel selection.
Take Control of Your Hotel’s Reputation
Based on the previous five tips, you should have a pretty good understanding of both the importance of managing your hotel’s online reputation and how to actually improve it. While cultivating your online reputation can be quite time-consuming, it pays off when your hotel gets more positive reviews and your ranking improves.
Because of how critical your online reputation is, you shouldn’t let it fall behind no matter how busy you are. At Travel Media Group, we understand just how busy hoteliers are, and that’s why we offer a proactive reputation management solution.
Our smart solution helps you with features such as post-stay surveys that encourage positive reviews while managing negative guest feedback. With increased positive reviews, watch your ranking – and bookings – soar!
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.