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!
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.
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.
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.
• 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
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?”
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!
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).
• 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!
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.
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 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:
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:
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”
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!
Arnold World Hotel
Anne, Guest Relations Team
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!
“Bad vibes, dirty rooms, and shower, foul smell and spotted a roach too. Why are they even into this business?
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!
Arnold World Hotel
Anne, Guest Relations Team
“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!”
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!
Arnold World Hotel
Anne, Guest Relations Team
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.
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!