What’s in it for me?
An empirical approach towards strengthening your hotel revenue through room sales by building upon your hotel’s online presence. From how your property is being perceived online to the reviews on your customer service, all stand as strong factors in determining the number of bookings that you’ll get, including the value that you’ll be providing to each of your guests!
It’s impossible to think about hotel revenue and profitability without bringing in the room occupancy factor into the picture!
Keeping pace with the room sales is as important as focusing on providing your guests with a stellar experience. The online travel booking market share is assumed to form around 63% of the estimated $1.2 trillion revenue of the travel industry. This provides a huge opportunity for the entities associated with the hospitality industry to emphasize the importance of a hotel’s online reputation and online reviews. These are playing a critical role in the process of booking hotels.
What Is Hotel Reputation Management?
Hotel reputation management can be regarded as the phenomenon of influencing and monitoring the extent of your property’s perception throughout the world of the web.
93% of the people use online reviews when determining which hotel they want to stay at.
While a positive brand image attracts the masses to book with you and rely on your service quality (thanks to online reviews), a negative online image, on the other hand, is a dreadful prospect for hoteliers. It adversely affects the performance and revenue of the hotels.
Improving the reputation of your hotel online can be regarded as a continuous process requiring you to be proactive, reactive, and perceptive. It is important to remember that guest expectations evolve continuously. Hence, your aim, as someone associated with the hospitality industry, should be to provide quality experiences for your guests. You must also strive to acquire positive reviews to improve your online reputation.
Significance Of Improving Your Hotel’s Reputation
The modern business environment emphasizes a great deal on building and maintaining a positive online reputation across various sectors. The hospitality industry is, perhaps, the most susceptible and vulnerable to reputation both in real-world and virtual domains.
Acquiring online hotel reviews forms a considerable part of the online reputation management system. It is often quite a task for some of the properties. After all, people need an opinion from their fellow travelers before booking their stay.
While getting just the positive reviews is 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. Therefore, it is critical for you as someone associated with the hospitality industry to invest a considerable amount of time in improving your online reputation.
A positive reputation has a direct correlation with long-term and medium-term revenue and occupancy levels. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the hotels to maintain a solid reputation on online platforms as it provides a host of benefits that include higher trust, better talent, less risk, and more profit.
What Do People Look For When Booking A Hotel Online?
Ask yourself this: what sets your hotel apart from the rest? How are you being perceived online?
In a world where practically everything is on the internet, your hotel needs to be too. In other words, building a strong online presence is the very oxygen for survival as far as the hospitality industry is concerned. From how your website appears to the onlookers to what your online reviews say about you, you need to measure it all.
It’s surely a matter of yay or nay!
And to be a “yay” for your customers, you need to fight tooth and nail to create an attractive brand image online. Reviews are the stepping stones! But there’s more to that!
The things that mainly prod people to book with you include:
• An updated and well-optimized website with gripping content and accurate information
• An AI-powered WebChat or a messaging solution that instantly responds to all their booking-related queries
• A seamless booking engine
• Up to date presence across all the social media platforms
• Reviews and experiences of guests who have already stayed at your property
• Brand image
Inadvertently, these are the very things that prepare the ground for your property’s online reputation.
Hacks For Improving Your Hotel’s Reputation To Boost Room Sales
81% of travelers frequently or always read reviews before booking a hotel
It has been observed that while researching their traveling destination and property for staying, the majority of the travelers prefer going through a hotel’s reviews.
96% consider reviews important in the research phase
Also, it is important to understand the significance of the online image and reviews as they more often than not play a significant role in the occupancy of your hotel, thereby boosting your room sales. As stated earlier, consumers have increased their reliance on the opinion of travelers which forms the reputation of the hotel. Thus, it has become critical for hotels to realize the importance of online reputation and ramp up efforts towards creating a positive brand image.
Consequently, you can enhance your hotel’s brand reputation by emphasizing the following techniques:
• Maximizing Social Media Presence
The significance of social media and the management of the reputation of hotels have become an integral aspect of the modern hospitality industry. The reasons for the rise in this particular domain are numerous and the host of advantages it provides has resulted in its prominence. This paves the way for the hoteliers to communicate more freely with their guests and also address any issues that may have been encountered by them during their stay at the property.
Optimal utilization of the various channels to seek and connect with your target audience can help you secure more bookings and boost room sales. This provides a huge opportunity to improve the online reputation by having a comprehensive understanding of the current market scenario along with the needs and demands of the travelers.
• Being Available For The Guests Online
The pre-arrival stage is the first point of contact between the guest and the hotel and can be considered to be the most important stage of the entire cycle. It forms the initial impression of the hotel in the mind of the guests and stands to impact the hotel reputation in the long run.
Travelers usually spend a significant amount of time researching their ideal holiday destination that will contribute to an amplified experience. The amount of time, money, and effort invested is in expectations of a memorable and lifelong experience.
Nowadays, guests prefer a personalized service and quick response to their queries. Guest Messaging can help you in creating a great first impression on your guests by instantly responding to their queries. These queries may range from a wide variety of issues from something as obvious as the room availability, shuttle service, and the type of breakfast to the weather details, exact location, value-added services, etc. all of which provide a unique opportunity to solidify the online reputation with proper handling of the entire guest cycle journey even before a visitor even books with you.
Website optimization is an integral concept of the modern hospitality industry. Wide usage of the internet coupled with rapid technological progress has paved the way for tools such as website optimization among others.
• Website Optimization For Hotels
It is considered to be such an important aspect of the hospitality industry as it improves the visibility of your website along with other factors such as improving the quality of the content, improving the user experience by making it easier for users to navigate and explore, etc.
It also increases the responsiveness of the web design and increases the overall speed of the website which is another key factor as the longer a user spends on your website, the amount of time for consuming content also increases. It has been proven that sites that load in five seconds (compared to those that load in 19) see 70% longer average sessions. Thus, website optimization is an important tool for improving a property’s online reputation.
• Emphasizing The Power Of Perception
Successful projection of testimonials from your satisfied guests is an inseparable part of digital marketing for hotels. A memorable customer experience is an opportunity for you to share your customer’s experience with the rest of the world to create a positive online reputation.
Also, it is advisable to add positive testimonials from guests, feedback, user-generated videos, and pictures on your website and social media platforms. This will surely set you apart from the existing competition and enhance the online reputation of the hotel.
Increase Sales With Reputation Management Online
Hoteliers can no longer afford to neglect the role of online reviews in the process of attracting a wide customer base and creating a positive brand image, thereby impacting the hotel revenue and increasing sales.
One negative review can cost your business up to 22% of its prospects.
Therefore, review monitoring that includes sentiment analysis has become an inseparable part of the business as ignoring reviews can inflict high damage to the reputation of a hotel. Since 93% of the travelers rely heavily on booking hotels, negative reviews can directly impact salesConversely, a one-star increase on Yelp leads to a 5-9% increase in business revenue.
Manual monitoring of online reviews can be easily done by visiting websites such as Yelp, Google My Business among others, or through bookmarking. However, various tools for automating the process are also available to celebrate positive feedback and address the negative ones.
To avoid loss of revenue due to poor online reputation, it is important to have a proper review management strategy in place that helps you improve the hotel’s reputation and secure financial solidity by increasing the hotel occupancy rate in the long run.
Some of the steps that can be undertaken to utilize the reputation management aspect to boost sales and increase the revenue of the hotel are as follows:
→You can attempt to level the playing field by addressing all the negative reviews on time
→Regular posting of updated news about the property by posting images and videos along with sharing customer experiences across all online channels
→Engaging your target audience with quality content can help you create a massive following
How Does Hotel Reputation Impact Revenue
As discussed already, online reviews impact various aspects of business such as brand loyalty, trust, conversions, and ROI. In other words, higher rating scores provide increased/higher confidence to the travelers, which, in turn, leads to a higher amount of bookings. People usually trust the reviews of other travelers and every feedback stands to impact the ranking on every booking and reviewing platform.
Hence, it is pertinent for hotels to focus on the aspect of Online Reputation Management and assess the impact that it stands to have on their financial performance and revenue collection. The financial performance of a hotel can be assessed by the usage of RevPAR, which can also be regarded as revenue per available room. It is usually considered a key performance metric or indicator for achieving full occupancy as it provides a clear idea of the present performance of a hotel, and in turn, helps them to charge accordingly.
The main focus is to augment the online reputation by finding the balance between occupancy and price to ensure both variable and fixed cost of a hotel is covered by the Average Daily Rate (ADR). With incessant technological progress, the current business scenario has shifted the focus towards guest reviews, ratings, and having a positive reputation. Hence, the price chargeable for your hotel room can be regarded as being directly proportional to the online reputation of your hotel. Nowadays, travelers give in more to the “sell by value” than the “sell by rate” factor endorsed by the property owners.
Reputation management and revenue management go hand in hand as customer reviews are directly correlated with supply and demand along with pricing which is considered to be the holy grail of revenue management. That is why, it is important to continuously work towards improving your online image, online ratings, and online reviews which can be done by improving guest satisfaction by enhancing operational efficiency
It is the responsibility of the hotels to ensure that the amount of time and effort invested in the online hotel reputation management improves their ADR, RevPAR, and direct bookings. Research depicts that hotel reputation is one of the most powerful drivers of the hotel’s revenue and growth.
A study reveals that an increase of 1 point in the hotel’s review scores leads to an increase of 0.89% in price (ADR), a 0.54 % increase in occupancy, and a 1.42% increase in Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR).
Hotel reputation is controlled by a large number of factors and each of them need to be worked upon in its own, unique way to produce collective positive results. Tools such as automated guest messaging, and website optimization are critical for boosting the online reputation of a hotel and have become an integral part of the hospitality business. Therefore, it requires an investment of both time and money to improve financial performance and generate more revenue.
Build a strong online presence by collecting reviews, responding to the reviews on the go, and engaging with your audience the right way. Remember, there is no stronger backing than a powerful online reputation.
⇒ Our hotel website 3.0 is launched to increase the rate of conversion and enhance direct engagement with your visitors
⇒ Collect mid-stay feedback through surveys to make last-minute amendments to possible service flaws
⇒ Design gripping surveys that can encourage guests to leave reviews, thereby putting your normal surveys to shame