As hotel manager you might be concerned with a lot of things. Hotel Reputation Management is only one. Yet, with a flawed reputation, your hotel won't run…
“Online reputation management is becoming hugely important to hotels because reviews have a direct correlation with demand, the holy grail of revenue management.” – Corin Burr, director of Bamboo Revenue, London
What is Hotel Reputation Management?
Hotel Reputation management is recognized as the practice of monitoring and influencing the image of your property throughout the web. The concept arose within public relations but quickly shifted its focus towards newly emerging review sites, social media and search engine results.
Barely any other industry is likewise affected by the impact of Reputation Management as the hospitality industry. People all over the world and from all age groups use to perform online travel research before booking an accommodation. According to Tripadvisor, 93% of the people find reviews important when determining which hotel they want to stay at. 53% of the people surveyed would not book a hotel without having a guest opinion about it. Hence, user generated content, as reviews or feedback, grew to a major decision factor for customers.
So, positive feedback from satisfied guests sharing their experiences with your hotel is very precious. Negative reviews – in contrast – should be diminished and used to improve the quality of the hotel. For this reason, it is becoming more and more important for you as a hotelier to build up a professional Hotel Reputation Management that keeps tracking your reputation all over the web. The very success of your hotel is dependent on it.
Only if you have a clue about what people think when they hear your hotel’s name, you can counteract the impact of negative reviews or highlight positive feedback. Consequently, Hotel Reputation Management should not be reduced to single, loose measures. It should rather be an essential part of your marketing mix.
The link between Hotel Reputation Management and Revenue Management
In the very competitive field of hospitality industry, your online reputation directly affects your sales volume. Thus, effective Hotel Reputation Management can help you to obtain a competitive advantage for your property in terms of revenue management. On the other side, poor online reputation could potentially sum up to serious losses. According to revenue management experts, as Don Sorensen - president of Big Blue Robot - there are many marketing executives failing to understand that correlation.
Disregarding negative comments appearing on first search result pages cost many times as much as putting sufficient resources in qualified Hotel Reputation Management measures. In many cases, business owners spent years to build up a good image of their brand. Oftentimes they are surprised and hit off-guard when experiencing their reputation end up being ruined within a short period. As a consequence, the key to success lays is being proactive. Do not wait until negative comments appear and try to clean up the mess when it might probably be too late. The right time to start your Hotel Reputation Management activities would be … right now!
You can make use of several new possiblities resulting from the rise of review portals. For instance, it has become much easier for you to compare your hotel’s performance with services
and products to those of your competitors. A Customer Satisfaction Index displays a representative rating for hotels that is composed by and for hotel guests. A high rating means your reputation is on a good level, automatically driving demand for your hotel and creating revenue for you.
Hotel Reputation Management is not only about the property – it is also about you
For most hoteliers out there, Hotel Reputation Management is a new field to explore. With not having acquired profounded experience, doing a good job can be a tough mission. Apart from that, a hotel manager still has another job to do… managing the hotel. Thus, you should consider hiring a professional reputation company as there is a whole lot to concern about, not only about the property. Oftentimes, also the CEO’s name is closely related to a company. Don Sorensen puts it this way:
“There has never been a more important time for CEOs to actively manage their online reputations. A positive reputation can establish credibility and trust with shareholders, the media and customers. Conversely, when there is a personal or company crisis, a CEO’s online reputation can fall quickly. Without the proper management, it may be impossible to recover.”
In this regard, it does not even matter if reviews about you and your hotel are true or false, fair or insultive. They might appear on highly ranked websites, making them immediately visible for anyone who is searching your hotel. You and your Hotel Reputation Management want to avoid these negative outcomes by all means since they could turn into a vicious circle.
A damaged reputation will not only cause customers to be sceptical about booking one of your hotel rooms. It can likewise influence the picture of you and your hotel’s name within the media landscape. Also, negative reputation could affect the decision of potential partners to invest in you or let employees reconsider whether they want to work for you.
So, the question arises how to tackle these issues the best way to work proactively against the emergence of a negative reputation?
It is worth to hire a professional Hotel Reputation Management company
“Common sense dictates that there is a link between guest reviews and revenue performance. Of course, there are many contributing factors, but to watch your Revenue Generation Index increase as your Guest Satisfaction Index increases puts more science into the instinct.” – Corin Burr, director of Bamboo Revenue, London
As discussed before, there is a lot on stake for you and your hotel going hand in hand with your online reputation. You need to do a lot of constant work including PR-campaigns, social media activity, building up useful content that you ideally want to present on your individual hotel blog or forum. However, it is one thing to engage actively in order to promote your reputation one in a while. It is yet another thing to keep constantly monitoring recent developments and staying interactive with your guests.
That might be easier said than done. As a hotel manager, you are regularly very occupied with handling your daily business. You cannot be everywhere at once and usually there is just not enough time to make sufficient efforts to care about online reviews and expand your Hotel Reputation Management. However, by not emphasizing enough on this field, hoteliers might miss the opportunity to activate a new and huge revenue channel. Again: The way online users perceive your hotel when doing online research directly influences your booking volume and your general success. Always keep this in mind when deciding whether or not to hire a professional company that will monitor and improve your online reputation.
What can Customer Alliance do for you in terms of Hotel Reputation Management?
Collection & Analysis
Customer Alliance is an independent review provider for hotels that offers a comprehensive service. The combination from the products “review analytics” and “price analytics” helps you to automatically collect customer feedback – far more than you would do on conventional ways. Once you are registered, all your guests will receive an email – send in the name of your hotel – including a questionnaire. Therefore, every single review you receive through Customer Alliance has been submitted by a real customer and cannot be manipulated. Only customers who have interacted with the business can write a review. Due to this principle, guaranteed by a Review Certificate (Image), you will bridge the trust gap between you and your guests. For the purpose of measurement, there is a Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) indicating how happy the guests are with your property – based on your reviews throughout the web.
Further, Customer Alliance will help your Hotel Reputation Management efforts by distributing your reviews automatically into various social networks and review portals. You can even choose on which portals these reviews will show up. This way, you can improve your respective ratings on each platform in order to upgrade your general CSI. Let’s make an example: If your average ranking is about 90% but your ranking on let’s say “Hotelcheck” is valued 73% only, you can let the system distribute all the reviews collected to “Hotelcheck” specifically, improving your rating on this particular site matching the average ranking.
The correlation between successful Hotel Reputation Management and a potential rise in sales was calculated by Cornell University: If you can improve your review score by one point (on a five-point scale), you could increase your price level by 11% while maintaining the same occupancy and market share.
Another convincing argument for Customer Alliance is the intention to turn your website into a working sales channel. (Click here to get useful insights on how to design your hotel website). The Customer Alliance Quality Seal will become integrated on your homepage directly linking customers to your booking engine. By this, you can severely reduce the costs for provision fees that you had to bear if guests would book your Hotel from a third party OTA.
Investing into a professional Hotel Reputation Management solution makes sense in almost every case. If you would like to see this theory validated by practical examples, take a look at three case studies from Hotels, which could already benefit from the services Customer Alliance has to offer:
Learn more about our software solution! We will be pleased to show you the advantages of our software in a free demonstration >> Click here
About the author and Customer Alliance
Torsten is the COO and Co-Founder of Customer Alliance. He holds a BBA from Maastricht Hotel Management School and is a hotel specialist with extensive experiences from Swissôtel, Accor and designhotels.com. Torsten is an active supporter of HSMAI in Europe and serves members as the Head of the Advisory Board for Digital Marketing.
360° Review Management for hotel business
More direct bookings and safety from fake reviews
With its software as a service Review Analytics, Customer Alliance provides a reliable 360° review management solution for the professional handling of online reviews. It gives hotels the opportunity to manage their online reviews and obtain important statistics for their quality management.
Furthermore, the Price Analytics tool supports hotels in doing effective pricing by tracking competitors and forewarning hoteliers about severe changes on the business market.
Since its inception in 2009, Customer Alliance was able to convince over 2500 hotels from 35 countries of their products and employs an international team of 60 people.
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