Top 5 Review Response Trends for Hotels and Hotel Groups in 2023 [Webinar]
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Online reviews for topics such as products, restaurants, and hotels are more relevant now than ever before. Reviews continue to be the best way to influence potential customers and guests to convert.
It is now standard practice for undecided shoppers and travelers to go immediately to the online review section before they even look at your offering. Businesses like Amazon, Lyft, and Uber Eats are great examples of platforms that rely heavily on reviews to obtain credibility.
On websites like Youtube, viewers are constantly giving feedback and opinions via the comment sections and liking and disliking content. As hoteliers, our first goal is to receive as much guest feedback as possible and leverage that sentiment to further develop our hotel properties and enhance the guest experience, on-site or online.
Trend #1: Reviews Are Becoming More Important, Not Less
It is no surprise that reviews are only becoming more critical and relevant to your hotel’s online presence. Websites like TripAdvisor and Google even reward guests that leave reviews for hotels. As online reviews become more integrated into our everyday lives, hoteliers must understand just how impactful and influential they can be.
TripAdvisor is very interesting because the platform allows reviewers to gain levels and titles by consistently sharing feedback and posting accurate and trustworthy reviews on the site. This system establishes reputable profiles that other travelers can reference for information and insight.
If a reviewer has a high level and posts a negative review on your hotel property, it will be received by other travelers as the undeniable truth. Trying to resolve such a review will be extremely difficult, negatively affecting your hotel’s reputation immensely. It is best to be proactive regarding your hotel reputation and online guest reviews so that you do not find yourself in a situation like this.
Trend #2: Guests Use Review Response To Score Your Customer Service Skills
Not only do guests use reviews to set their expectations and plan their trips, but they also use reviews to read your responses to these reviews. You can set customer service standards and expectations as a hotelier through review responses. Prospective guests will be reading your responses closely, so make sure you deliver the feeling of professionalism and attention to detail in your replies.
The next piece you need to be aware of is what guests look for when they read online reviews. First and foremost, guests are looking at the recency of the post. Travelers like to know what people are saying about your hotel property as close to real-time as possible. So if a review is a month old, that may hold little to no value for readers. Keep in mind that it’s not only the overall score of your hotel that guests are interested in but the reviews and the quality of responses.
Lastly, you may receive a dozen 5-star reviews in the same period that you receive only a single 1-star review. Still, viewers will base their impression of your customer service on the 1-star review every time because it demonstrates how you handle negative criticism. If writing review responses was like grade school, you should aim for an A+ every time you begin writing, so refrain from generic or templated responses.
Trend #3: Google Wants To Get Better At Predicting and Using Reviews and Responses as Guides
As online reviews continue to evolve rapidly, it is not surprising that search engines like Google are trying their best to identify reviews and use them as guides for other searchers. By predicting and indexing these reviews effectively, Google can provide more value to online searchers quicker with relevant reviews.
An interesting function that Google offers hotels with their property listed online is the ability to look at the top things to know about your hotel. This information is highly insightful because it highlights all the great things to know about your hotel to Google searchers. You can even go to Google right now and look at what it says about your hotel as a personal exercise.
Trend #4: Travelers Want To See Your Hotels Personality Through Review Responses
Putting a personal touch and human voice into your hotel brand is critical. Guests are constantly looking for those review responses that bring character and tone to it. The goal is to create an authentic voice representing your hotel and consistently deliver that to each guest review. For example, whether you go with a laid-back or professional tone, make sure to make it a well-written response that addresses all the comments and concerns of the guest.
If you are an economy hotel, luxury hotel, or anything in between, your hotel review response voice is somewhere on the spectrum. It could be friendly or professional, apologetic or non-apologetic, but it needs to be consistent. If required, take a few moments to think about your hotel and the appropriate tone.
Trend #5: Hotels Are Now Using Review Responses as a Sales and Marketing Tool
Throughout the history of review responses, there have always been two ways to classify them. The hotels that respond and those that do not. But as review response has evolved with digital marketing, now there is a new “bucket”. This bucket is for the hoteliers who utilize these responses to interact and engage with guests and promote their properties.
A common question that hoteliers often think of when it comes to review responses is the practice’s profitability. When you look at the numbers, hoteliers who start responding to guest reviews receive 12% more reviews, and their overall ratings increase. In addition, almost a third of the hotels increase their rounded ratings by a half star within six months which is crucial for websites like TripAdvisor. This is significant because TripAdvisor rounds up or down to half, which means a 4.25 rating is a 4.5. However, if your hotel rating is 4.24, it will be rounded to a 4-star overall rating. So again, looking at a 0.12 increase in rating by responding to reviews is very beneficial.
So what is the selling point here?
Ultimately, if a hotel increases its review scores by 1 point, it can increase its price by 11.2%. Increasing your room rates and being able to justify the increase due to positive guest reviews and your improved online score will lead to more revenue for your property.
Get better reviews, responses, ratings, and revenue with Travel Media Group
With 40 years of experience in the hospitality industry and review response writing, Travel Media Group allows you to focus on running your hotel and attending to guests instead of worrying about review responses.
Our team of professional writers understands your hotelier’s voice and elevates your online responses. By consistently delivering high-quality responses and paying keen attention to every aspect of sentiment in the review, your hotel receives more reviews, better responses, and higher ratings.
Contact us today to learn more about our Respond & Resolve™ solution or to speak with one of our representatives directly.
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