Hotel review websites like TripAdvisor and Yelp, today, control your bookings in more ways than one. Apart from showing prospective bookers the option of looking at accommodations based on their ratings, they also heavily influence their buying decisions. Reviews on hotels are one of the primary factors that guests today consider before going ahead with their reservations and it is wise not to treat this lightly.
Stats suggest that 96% of TripAdvisor users consider reviews important when planning trips and booking hotels.
Considering how dependent the new-age traveler is on hotel review sites, this is a vast majority of your audience. When it comes to managing your online reputation, there are several do’s and don’ts that come into play in defining your success. In our earlier blogs we’ve discussed how you can go about responding to online hotel reviews and also how to leverage guest hotel reviews so you can make money from them!
Having discussed just how important it is to pay heed to your guest reviews, how to respond to them and the benefits it brings to your business, let’s dive into the five mistakes that you should avoid when it comes to hotel guest review management.
Not having a personalized guest experience
Delivering an excellent and personalized guest experience is the stepping stone to getting awesome reviews. Think about it this way – while it may be true that as a hotelier you’ve seen hundreds of guests day in and day out at your property, it is equally true that every hotel is a new experience for your guests.
They want to be treated like they matter, and it is important for them to feel like they are being taken care of. This can only happen when you pay attention to guests and do the little things that communicate to them that your hotel values guests.
Not having an omni-channel approach to guest engagement
Chalk out a customer journey which will help you understand all the touchpoints at which your guests interact with you. Once you have this clarity, delighting your guests becomes so much easier. Engaging with your guests on multiple platforms will help build recall value as well as a long-term association with them. Using only one channel can be counter-productive as it might come across as being aggressive.
Try and diversify the platforms on which you touch base with them, like emails, calls, SMS, social media ads, etc. Make your emails light and engaging. Keep your calls genuine and sincere. Make sure your ads convey exactly what is being advertised without any exaggeration.
And personalize guest experience and engagement as far as possible. At the end of the day, you are talking to a person and so you want to retain the human element.
Not asking for feedback proactively
Most hotel owners don’t give enough credit for guest reviews on hotels and hotel review sites and the impact they can have on hotel businesses. The more popular you are on hotel review websites, like TripAdvisor, the higher the chances that prospective guess will make a booking with you. TripAdvisor’s popularity index revolves around three factors- quantity, quality and recency of reviews.
Therefore, it is mandatory that you reach out proactively to your guests and ask them for reviews. This is a very effective way to not only increase your guest reviews, but to also communicate with guests that you care about their experience with you.
The best part is that you need not manually do this! You can automate the process of review collection with the right integrations linked to your cloud PMS. This way, you can make sure every guest that leaves your property delighted, receives an email with a review request! You could follow this up with a call, just to make it personal.
Proactively seeking feedback and reviews on hotels is, however, a very subtle art that when not executed properly can tick guests off!
Not keeping track of your reviews
Staying on top of the reviews that guests leave is absolutely necessary for hotels. This allows you to remedy the situation at the earliest, in case of a negative review. And if the review is a good one, it always pays to gracefully thank them for their time and kindness. Mismanaged review responses can work against you as you will then have to respond to a big chunk of reviews at one go, making your response insincere and desperate.
You guests deserve honest responses that should convey to them that their feedback is valuable to you. And only when you genuinely invest time on this activity will you be able to make the most of reviews. Make a member of your staff the owner of keeping track of reviews so that they can stay abreast with what guests have to say about you on hotel review sites.
Not building a guest review management strategy
In today’s day and age, building trust with your customers is one of the most dependable ways to nurture long-term loyalty. Think about it - a single harsh review can ruin your online reputation. Likewise, when your first few reviews speak of awesome experiences, it builds confidence in prospective guests about your hotel.
This being the case, you simply cannot afford to miss out on the immense opportunity presented to you by hotel review websites. Take small but impactful measures to better streamline management of guest reviews - starting from delivering an excellent guest experience, to guest review collection to finally, responding to reviews. Every single aspect plays a role in defining your hotel’s image online and in shaping guests’ perception of you.
Understanding the power of guest review management is a huge boon for hoteliers. And the best part is that when leveraged properly, hotels can even make money from online reviews. If you’re wondering how this is possible, feel free to download our webinar here.
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