What’s in it for me?
A quick guide focusing on the importance of reviews for improving your hotel’s online reputation. It covers the ways in which hotels can enhance their guest feedback strategy and devise some of the most effective means to secure reviews from their guests at the vital stages of the hotel guest journey.
The world runs on reviews!
The modern-day consumers or travelers seek opinions of other fellow consumers or travelers with prior experience of using a product or service Online reviews have thus become an integral part of the consumer’s decision-making process as
Also, the growing significance of hotel online reviews can be easily gauged from the fact that 52% of individuals would never book a hotel having zero reviews
Thus, the hotel reviews provide additional information for the travelers to mitigate the uncertainty about the quality of a hotel and about its fit to their needs and preferences. It is the responsibility of the hotels to play a more active role in maintaining and developing their online reputation in order to ensure that their business has a positive reputation in the online domain to secure more bookings. In this context, the emergence of online hotel reviews has played a key role in shaping and transforming the holistic guest experience and is considered to be more trustworthy by the consumers.
Customers will value guest ratings over a hotel’s brand 72% of the time. It has become important for hotels to realize the significance of hotel reviews for the guests and form suitable strategies to get hold of the online travel booking market in which the guest reviews play a key role.
What Is Hotel ORM?
The hotel online reputation management (ORM) concept is not a new one and has been in existence for the past few decades. The technological evolution has resulted in ORM gaining immense popularity. Online reputation in simple terms is the management of the brand reputation in the form of ratings and reviews. It can also be regarded as being responsible for creating and maintaining a positive perception of you and your business among people. In the context of the hospitality industry, it involves dealing with hotel online reviews or feedback. However, in a broader sense, it involves optimizing the content that describes the business or the brand and increases the brand’s visibility among the target audience.
Why Is ORM Important For Hotels?
The management of online reputation for hotels has become an important aspect for the modern hospitality industry. The reasons for the rise in this particular domain are numerous. No other industry is as susceptible to online reputation and customer reviews as the hospitality industry. A sound reputation of your hotel will have a direct impact on your hotel occupancy levels in the long run.
With the help of technology, you can leverage hotel reviews to increase business, boost your ratings and stay ahead of your competition. How travelers perceive, rate, review, share, and search for information about your establishment directly affects the success of your hotel. Hence maintaining a sound reputation with a generous amount of reviews, greater quantity of positive reviews, an effective guest engagement strategy, and guest communication channels, etc. is important for the hotels to gain customer loyalty and forge long-term relationships.
How travelers perceive, rate, review, share, and search for information about your establishment directly affects the success of your hotel!
Hence maintaining a sound reputation with a generous amount of reviews, greater quantity of positive reviews, an effective guest engagement strategy, and guest communication channels, etc. is important for the hotels to gain customer loyalty and forge long-term relationships.
Role Of Online Reviews Of Hotel In Enhancing The ORM
Online Hotel Reviews Impact
A hotel with zero reviews is shunned by the hoteliers!
Even if you’re doing good in your field, the fact that you don’t get to listen from your guests very often can be one of the biggest reasons behind lowering your online score. That is why it is important for the hotels to keep devising various strategies to extract feedback from the guests and encourage them to leave a review online. Again, hotel online reviews are a two-way process. As soon as you hear from your guests, it is equally important to make them feel heard through an appropriate management response to their review. One of the most important and significant ways of tackling this particular issue is to address the online reviews received by your hotel.
85% of guests agree that a thoughtful response to a review will improve their impression of the hotel
Acquiring a hotel guest review forms a considerable part of the online reputation management system and is often quite a task for some of the properties. After all, people need an opinion from their fellow travelers before investing in you by booking their stay. On the other hand, getting only positive reviews is something that comes shrouded in suspicion and hints at the plausible inauthenticity of a business.
While getting just the positives is the ideal, an amalgamation of both the positive, negative and mixed reviews is something that reasonably aligns with the very concept and idea of online reputation management. It helps the businesses to at least step into the arena of ORM and get started, thereby motivating them to work on their reputation with time. Reviews play a crucial role in the decision-making process of the consumers and contribute to the hotel’s reputation in the virtual domain. There has been a significant rise in the dependence on hotel online reviews by travelers with its prominence in the decision-making process only to be bolstered by the fact that,
91% of 18-34 year-old travelers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations!
It has also been observed that while researching their travel destination and property for stay, a huge majority of the travelers prefer going through a hotel’s reviews and how they deal with them!
96% of the travelers consider reviews important in the research phase!
Are Hotel Reviews Useful?
Hotel reviews play a significant role in measuring the satisfaction level of the guests. Travelers have become increasingly dependent on online hotel reviews to select a property of their choice. The opinion of your hotel guests about your property in the form of a review such as messages, videos, or photos can be regarded as a sort of content that influences the decision-making process of other potential guests. Based on these reviews, the guests usually form an opinion about your hotel and decide whether to book it or not.
How Hotel Online Reviews Can Help Hotels Identify And Address Issues?
Online reviews have that eye-opening effect on you by providing you an objective perspective in the form of what others think about you. Based on their opinion, you are in a suitable position to identify the potential problem areas and bring about the necessary improvements which, in turn, can boost your reputation in the long run.
The way you respond to negative reviews and deal with them can greatly impact your reputation which is evident from the fact that four out of five believe that a hotel that responds to reviews cares more about its customers.
Negative reviews are considered to be a dreadful aspect of the business by hoteliers. However, the information gathered from the genuine ones can help you assess the gaps in your service offerings and take remedial actions to fill those gaps and ensure a satisfactory customer experience.
Importance Of Collecting Reviews
Travelers are more inclined towards sharing their experience whether it is good or bad. Positive reviews help you gain more popularity along with improvements in advanced search rankings. On the other hand, negative reviews might seem like an issue for the moment but if dealt with correctly, they can be regarded as the perfect opportunity to address and improve the opinion on your property. In addition, it has also been observed that hotels with a higher rating are primarily in a better position to secure more bookings compared to others, When deciding between two similar properties, 79% of consumers are more likely to reserve a room at the hotel with a higher rating.
How To Get Reviews For My Hotel?
It is not enough to merely provide a professional service but also letting others know of the service quality. Happy guest journeys are also mandatory to project a positive image and build up a good brand reputation. Both the positive and negative experiences that are narrated by the guests in the form of a review can be valuable lessons for you and the entire staff. However, reluctance on the part of the guests to review their experience does no good to the entire endeavor. Hence, it is important for you to have effective strategies in your arsenal to deal with such situations and secure more hotel online reviews. Thus, “how to improve hotel reviews” is a pertinent question and some of the steps that can be implemented to secure more reviews are as follows:
1. Plan an effective strategy: It is important for you to have a proper and effective policy that will help you take the necessary steps to garner more hotel guest reviews. The purpose of your strategy is to advertise the quality of your services to your target audience. From feedback forms and comments cards to surveys and questionnaires, whatever works for you, just get it right in order to listen as much as you can from the guests through implementing an effective hotel guest feedback system.
2. Know your guests better: The most important step of the entire process is to provide your guests a personalized and memorable experience. Amazing customer service and attempts to know the guests right before they come to stay at your property, helps personalize the guest experience which, in turn, aids in securing good reviews and projecting yourself as the ideal destination, ready to be there for their guests 24/7.
3. Train your staff to seek reviews during the stay: It is good to remember that only great customer service is not sufficient to secure more reviews for your hotel. It is recommended to utilize other methods of securing more reviews such as training your staff to seek reviews from your guests. Mid-stay feedback plays a crucial role and helps in instant damage control because the timing matters.
Get More Hotel Online Reviews
4. Catch your guests while they are still in your hotel: It is believed that guests are more likely to provide feedback while they are still in your hotel. Encouraging your guests to provide more feedback offline often helps you to minimize negative comments and address issues quickly.
5. Make it simpler for the guests to provide feedback: At times, due to the complex nature of providing reviews, guests often shy away from this prospect. Therefore, it is your responsibility to provide a hassle-free process of generating feedback. Some of the steps that can be employed to ease the entire process are as follows:
→ Send the review link to the guests directly
→ Allow reviewing through QR codes
→ Automated guest messaging services can make reaching out easier due to the simplicity of use
6. Optimally utilize technological tools to simplify the endeavor: Technological tools can be employed by you to ease the feedback process by the guests. These tools have a wide variety of usage and can help provide services such as customer-focused texting to monitor online reviews. Feedback can be gathered through:
→ QR Codes
→ Automated messages/emails
→ Printed URLs
→ Reward programs and hotel mobile applications
Get More Hotel Online Reviews
7. Respond to all reviews, including the negative ones: While it is important to collect reviews, responding to online hotel reviews is equally important. Guests notice your response and the way you handle the online reviews, especially the negative ones. Responding to the reviews help provide your side of the story and address the issues if they are genuine.
8. Give timely responses to your reviews: The reason you need to take quick action here is because a stay remains fresh in the guest’s memory right after check-out which makes recollection better. On the other hand, a quick review response indicates the level of care and concern the hotel management bears towards their guests, as well as their eagerness to hear from their guests.
9. Keep your surveys short and simple: If you’re looking to win over your guests with a survey that can lead them to review you, make sure that your post-stay surveys are short, captivating and simple.
10. Do not overwhelm the guests: Sometimes, guests forget to review post stay! While sending a reminder is a wise thing to do, the timing must be kept in mind. Some properties cannot honor the fact that guests need to be given their own space and sweet time to reach out and unintentionally end up making the whole affair bothersome for the guests. That is why concentrating on other ways of getting feedback and making properly-timed and wise attempts at getting hotel online reviews post-stay should be practised to hear more often from your guests.
How To Manage Hotel Reviews?
Reviews provide hoteliers an opportunity to learn from and have an idea about their reputation in the virtual domain. It is also a chance for you to engage with your guests and address the issues highlighted by them. Guests appreciate quick and timely responses to the issues being revealed by them, while your potential guests minutely observe the management of the reviews. On the other hand, if the reviews are left unattended by the hotel this can steer your reputation in a negative direction. Therefore, the ideal way to ensure a positive image of the brand reputation that you have been working on so hard needs to be backed by strategies that can help deal with such unforeseen circumstances. Some of the best possible methods to manage hotel reviews include:
• It is recommended to limit the number of people responding to reviews
• Reviews should be responded to regularly and quickly
• It is important to be appreciative of any types of feedback
• It is advisable to not offer compensation in the virtual domain
• Seek support from your guests
• Work hard to address the issues at hand
Hotel online reviews have a great impact as more and more people are leaning towards online reviews as a trusted source or medium for booking hotels. Easy access to the internet has resulted in the surge of online population and an easier access to information. Therefore, it has become crucial for hotels to possess a wide range of strategies to deal with the situation. Also, it is important to have strategies to collect reviews and take time to deal with each of them respectively. With the correct strategies in place, it is merely a matter of time before your property enjoys a rise in popularity along with bookings.
Reviewing online needs no rocket-science! However, there can be many barriers to writing a review; search the right platform, search the right property, find the review link, log in or sign up, etc. This discourages most guests from writing a review, which means your hotel misses out on potential good reviews. With GuestTouch, writing a review becomes as simple as a click.
→ Most surveys suck! Send the feedback/survey that guests love to take up
→ Personalize responses to your hotel online reviews
→ Get actionable operational intelligence from all your guest reviews
→ Improve your hotel rankings on OTAs, and get fresh reviews where they matter: TripAdvisor, Google, etc.
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