Top Hacks for Improving Your Hotel's Online Reputation

What's in it for me?

A handy guide helping to understand the immense significance of maintaining a good reputation management for your hotel on the online platforms alongside a few practical tips, useful hacks and quick fixes to improve your brand's online presence by using the various ORM tools, importance of review management, review responses and a lot more!

"It takes a lifetime to build a good reputation, but you can lose it in a minute" Will Rogers

What Is Hotel Reputation Management?

The hospitality industry has undergone a massive change in the past few decades with the introduction and implementation of technology. The advancement of technology has expanded the reach of hoteliers and benefited them in numerous ways. Every business craves an increased amount of visibility. How a hotel appears online and how it is perceived by others has become a staple for hoteliers around the world. A profitable stream of hotel revenue usually depends on multiple factors. One of these factors is the hotel's online reputation and presence, and online reviews are perhaps one of the clearest indicators of this factor, apart from the other factors like optimizing the website, improving social media engagement, and a lot more.

Good, Bad, Or Satisfactory...How Do You Measure A Hotel’s Online Reputation?

Hoteliers often stutter over the question, “How to do online reputation management?” While online reviews and ratings on platforms like TripAdvisor, Booking.com, Expedia, and even Google are some of the simplest and easiest ways to gauge a hotel’s overall performance, two other factors also contribute to measuring its online reputation:

a. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
b. Natural Language Processing (NLP)

a. Net Promoter Score: It takes into account the ratings of a review. If the rating is 9/10 or ⅘ and above, it is regarded as a promoter while a rating of 6/10 or ⅖ is considered as a detractor. Reviews with ratings of 6 to 8/10 or ⅗ are regarded as passive.

b. Natural Language Processing (NLP): It is an AI-based way of gauging the online reputation by analyzing the guest sentiments in reviews. For instance, the negative-sounding words like horrible, bad, or worst indicate unfavorable feedback whereas words like good, amazing, or great point to the review being positive.

Why Is Online Reputation Management For Hotels Important?

To help the online crowd and travelers perceive your hotel in a positive light, it is important to work on your property’s ORM because:

• 52% of individuals would never book a hotel with zero reviews.
• 88% of travelers won’t even consider hotels with a star-rating of less than three.

Again, it is crucial to build a good online profile and visibility for your property on the OTA channels. A good hotel online reputation score aids in bettering your position in search results and optimizes your visibility on various booking channels. More exposure is what you gain from a flourishing ORM, something that goes without saying! That is why good online reputation management for the hotel industry is a must.

And guess what? It is a common tendency on the part of the guests to pay more attention or to be more inclined towards booking a property that ranks in the top 10-15 search results. And if your property happens to be on this list, it’s going to work wonders for you in every aspect- getting more bookings, driving sales, crushing your review score, getting more positive reviews, and so on.

Beneficial Effects In Maintaining A High Reputation Online For Your Hotel

ORM is crucial in many areas for modern hoteliers and is something that needs to be worked on diligently unlike a quick-fix like advertising and promotions. That being said, the following are the benefits of improving your hotel’s online presence:

• Increased visibility and great exposure
• More bookings, even the direct ones
• More reviews including the positive reviews
• Improved score over the OTAs
• Helps build a long-lasting relationship with your guests post-stay to be able to convert most of them into repeat customers
• With a great review inflow, you can also target improvement areas to enhance the guest experience even further at your property

Hacks for Improving The Hotel’s Online Reputation

As consumers have exponentially increased their reliance on the online reputation of a hotel, the latter has started ramping up its efforts towards improving its overall image in the virtual domain. While online reviews form the crux of this, we will take them up in detail at a later point in the course of our discussion on this topic. Meanwhile, let us concentrate on few other techniques that can help enhance your brand reputation and answer your question on “how to manage hotel online reputation?”

1. Maximize Your Social Media Presence

The entire world today is on social media. Hence maximizing your online presence on social platforms won’t hurt at all. You can use social media channels to find and connect with your target audience based on relevant content. Find out what travelers are looking for, what is trending and on that basis, gear up to strike a tone that can help establish your brand in people’s eyes. And how do you do that?Let us take the current times only as an example. With the global outbreak looming large, safety has become an important concern for guests all over the world before planning a trip today. On your Facebook and Instagram pages, you can deploy powerful content to assure your guests that your property is extremely safe and that it strictly adheres to all the health and safety guidelines and protocols. Update on what’s going on in your area and the measures that you have adopted to provide your guests a stay that is going to be worth every penny even during such a challenging period!

2. Be Available For Your Guests Online

A hotel’s online reputation and brand image are not only gauged in the post-stay period! How you connect (or don’t) connect with potential visitors even at the pre-booking or booking stages also go a long way in instilling your brand's image in their minds. For instance, if a potential visitor has queries regarding whether or not you offer breakfast or shuttle service, and happen to connect with you over WebChat or any other channel, responding to their queries within the shortest time possible is the key to converting these visitors into guests. With time and speed, the quality of your help also matters. Hence don’t forget that!

3. Optimize Your Hotel’s Website

Why do you need that? Yes, to rank higher on search engines and make your site readily available to travelers looking to book a property like you. Ranking higher on search engines connotes a good exposure which means that you are more likely to be found by the users searching for you.

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93% of online experiences begin with search engines, and more importantly through good content creation!

And how to work on that?

• For your site to be discoverable, it needs enough content for the SEO engines. An impressive site and page architecture coupled with smooth navigation are what you need to get started with.

• Ensure that the loading time is not too much. A slow site is highly likely to put your visitors off and abandon it for good.

• Work on the site content by posting engaging stuff. Describe your location, vision, amenities, rooms page, nearby attractions clearly and beautifully. Again, high-quality images and videos can also help reveal more about your property.

• Work on SEO by targeting the relevant and right amount of keywords to optimize your site for the search engines.

• Create a mobile-friendly website and build secure pages (HTTPS).

4. Do Not Underestimate The Power Of Marketing

With the world going digital, why should you fall behind? A staunch digital marketing strategy is a must to give your hotel’s online reputation the right amount of boost over every online channel and stay ahead of your competitors. Hence the marketing of all sorts is something that you must spread your tentacles over to advertise your property better and build a great online reputation:

• Engage your guests with the most effective, relevant, and attractive content, one that is also equally informative.
• Keep optimizing your social media platforms, online profiles, and website from time to time.
• Reap the benefits of email marketing to stay in touch with past and repeat customers. With the right mail at the right time, a hotel can win the hearts of its guests!

Other Vital Points For Enhancing the Brand Image

5. Usage Of An Empathetic Approach

Keep yourself in the shoes of your customers and think from their viewpoint too. If someone is repeatedly mentioning housing a coffee-making facility in the room in their review, pause to think from their perspective that equipping your room with one can benefit your guest feedback score, even if it seems like a small thing to do!

6. Address the Negative Points

Shunning negative reviews just because you don’t want to entertain them is not the right thing to do. Your negative points can help highlight the problem areas, preparing you better for hosting future guests flawlessly. So take it constructively and use it to create the best version of your property both online and offline.

Extremely Doable Hacks

7. Automate Your Processes

Living in a technically advanced world is of no use if you cannot harness technology’s good side! Resorting to automation of the SOPs, other operations, overall functioning, and guest feedback collection can help to a great extent in saving your brands’ face and improving your hotel’s online reputation.

8. Use Of Advanced Analytics, Hotel Tools And Software

With advanced analytics, you can study your customer behavior by gathering enough data. With the right kind of integration and online reputation management tools, you can automate your outreach, collect more reviews, hear more from your guests and save time that can be spent on other significant areas of your hotel management process.

Hotel Online Reviews

Since a large part of your hotel’s online reputation depends on the quality and quantity of the reviews that you receive, we will be focusing a bit more on this particular aspect in our article. In other words, reviews form the crux of your brand’s image.Easy access to the internet has resulted in a radical change in the decision-making process related to booking a hotel. Consumers' emphasis on reviews has increased significantly and it has become an integral part of their decision-making process. The following data aims to shed light on this growing significance:

• 93% of travelers stated that reviews play a crucial role in their booking decision
• 81% of travelers consult online reviews before booking a hotel
• 72% of guests are willing to pay more for a hotel with a higher rating

Thus, the significance of online reviews has amplified over time and is going to increase in the coming years. Hoteliers cannot ignore the role of online reviews in the process of
brand image creation and widening of customer base along with its direct correlation
with changes in the revenue. According to TripAdvisor, 97.7% of travelers/guests/consumers go through online reviews before booking a hotel or planning a holiday.

Importance of Hotel Reviews Management For Hotel’s Online Reputation

Reviews stand to impact various aspects of business such as brand loyalty, trust,
conversions, ROI. Reviews are the most critical tools of conversion when compared to
the others. In simple words, higher rating scores provide increased/higher confidence to the travelers, which, in turn, leads to a higher amount of conversions and bookings. People usually trust the reviews of other travelers instead of the hotels. Online reviews can also be regarded as the “Snakes and Ladders” of a hotel’s online reputation. While every good/positive review can be considered to be a ladder move to the successive level, a negative review, on the other hand, can be regarded as a snake that is bound to bring the reputation down. Once a hotel falls down the ladder of reputation, it needs to rework itself to get back. Every feedback stands to impact the ranking on every booking and reviewing platform.

Review Responses

Review responses are an integral part of the management of online reputation and the emphasis on building up a quality review address system/process/routine is essential for a hotel to create and maintain a brand reputation. Getting more positive reviews and keeping the negative reviews at bay is ideal for all the hotels around the world.

“77% of Travelers More Likely to Book When Business Owners Respond to Reviews”

Also, 85% of the clients stated that the quality of response to a negative review could improve the hotel's reputation. Hence responding to reviews- positive, negative, mixed, etc. is a must. The different types of reviews and their significance in the context of a hotel’s online reputation are as follows:

1. Positive Reviews

Positive reviews reflect a guest's impression and experience during their stay at the hotel. If the hotel can match their expectations, the guests can happily provide them with a positive review. Positive reviews are easy to deal with but important to respond to. An example of a positive review is as follows:

Amazing!
Rating: 10/10
By: Sarrah J

“The location was convenient. Close to a lot of places which I had wanted to visit. Breakfast was good, the staff was polite and responsive. Will return"

Your response,

Dear Sarrah,

Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience at our hotel. I am glad that you found our hotel a good place to stay, and the proximity to the most commonly visited places suited you.  Again, we appreciate that you have acknowledged our efforts to provide a hospitable experience. Our staff would be pleased to learn of your high praise. We are pleased that you enjoyed so much of our establishment, and would be honored to have you return to our hotel in the future!

Best Regards,
Arnold World Hotel
Anne, Guest Relations Team

2. Negative Reviews

One of the most frequently asked questions is “why must hotels avoid complaints and maintain a good reputation?” The answer is simple: While a hotel cannot stop people from venting out their frustrations on the online platforms, how they respond to those complaints and act on them is a way of preserving a good reputation online.

Negative reviews are a failure on the part of the hotels to match up to the expectations of their guests. Negative reviews are a dreadful state of affairs by hotels/management. However, it can also be deemed as an opportunity. The hotel can drastically improve its reputation by being genuine with its response and stop such instances from recurring. They are sensitive and shall be dealt with accordingly. Managing negative reviews is one of the ways of maintaining a good reputation online.

Not returning ever!
Rating: 2/10
By: Nathaniel

“Bad vibes, dirty rooms, and shower, foul smell and spotted a roach too. Why are they even into this business?

Your response,

Hello Nathaniel,

Thank you for sharing your concerns regarding the recent stay at our property. We're extremely gutted to learn that you had a disappointing experience. We take our shortfalls seriously if any, and strive hard to make sure that we do not repeat these mistakes in the future. We wish to apologize for the lack of cleaning that was provided by our housekeeping department and the shower. That is unacceptable and has already been addressed with our housekeeping team. Again, we regret the inconvenience caused to you. Although we do not have any roach issues at our place, this might be taken as an occasional spotting. Sometimes, even the best of us cannot prevent a roach from climbing up a drainpipe and making itself visible to the guests which is unfortunate. But we understand your concern and will definitely fix this issue by doing the needful in this regard. We are sorry once again and we request you to give us another chance to change your perspective!

Best Regards,
Arnold World Hotel
Anne, Guest Relations Team

3. Neutral reviews

Neutral reviews are an outcome of both positive and negative experiences that a guest went through during their stay at the hotel. Their primary motive is to share their experience with others and not to magnify negative experiences.

Average!
Rating: 7/10
By: Vicky

“Not bad. An average motel with clean rooms. Would really appreciate a coffee-maker in the room. Loud noise from the adjacent room. Made it difficult to get a good night sleep!"

Your response,

Hi Vicky,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this thorough and insightful review. We appreciate that you've taken the time to share the ways that we have impressed you and the ways that we can improve. We are sensing some mixed sentiments in your review which is a perfect measure of the kind of hospitality that we're providing and the necessary improvements which still need to be introduced from our side. There's nothing called a perfect hotel experience if the guests do not take to this platform to voice their opinion with extreme honesty. We thank you for sharing your concerns with us along with the positives. We assure you that we'll pass on your feedback regarding the coffee-making facility to the management. Again, we are sorry for the disturbance caused to you. Had you advised us about the noise issue at the time, we would have rectified the situation immediately or possibly offered you a room move. Please know that we are always there to assist you with your needs. We hope that you will consider staying with us again so that we can have another chance to provide you with a superior experience!

Best Regards,
Arnold World Hotel
Anne, Guest Relations Team

Conclusion

As much as a hotel’s online reputation demands monitoring, tracking, and maintaining a property’s image constantly over various online platforms, it is equally a means of bridging the gap between how a hotel perceives itself and how others perceive it. A good online reputation is a great way of engaging with your guests (new and repeat), influencing their booking decisions, increasing your revenue, and earning the trust of your guests. At the same time, it is crucial for enhancing your brand value, to study and work on your guests through sentiment analysis and other helpful technology. Hence it is extremely important to work on it by arming yourself with a reputation management software that serves your property just right.

With GuestTouch, You Don’t Have to Move Mountains to Crush Your Review Game!

Get fresh reviews from multiple online review sites and manage them all in a single dashboard. Our modern yet simple-to-use reputation management solution will enable you to send uniquely designed feedback surveys to your guests, putting regular surveys to shame! Collect proactive feedback and authentic reviews. And how about responding to these reviews? With personalized, unique and 100% handcrafted responses, respond professionally to each of your reviews by monitoring them all on time. Draft compelling responses to each review with the help of our expert team and algorithmic prompts to make sure your property is perceived great.

Well, this was just a teaser. Excited to know more? We’ve got you covered!

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Posted on
April 1, 2021

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