What’s in it for me?
A high-end guide focusing on the concept of Online Reputation Management for hotels and teaching hoteliers the importance of focusing on its management consistently by crushing their review score, improving their guest feedback strategy, optimizing their website and providing an unforgettable guest experience!
“49% of consumers need at least a four-star rating before they choose to use a business.”
As the digital population continues to rise in the country and all over the world, it has become crucial for hotels to maintain a good online image. This has led to the emergence of concepts and tools such as Online reputation management (ORM). Hence, it comes as no surprise that the hotel reputation management has been gaining popularity because more and more people are relying on hotel online reviews and social media to make a booking decision.
Online reputation can be regarded as the consensus public opinion about an individual or an entity on digital platforms and the internet. Its surge in popularity has been fueled by the wider availability of the internet and the rapid growth of social media. The brand image of an organization is usually affected by the content it produces followed by user engagement and reaction. Some of the things that affect the online reputation are as follows:
• Negative reviews
• Social media
• Poor campaigns
• Security breaches
• Understanding what’s being said about you online
• Actively working towards enhancing your hotel’s reputation
The hotel business is very much susceptible to online reputation and customer reviews. A sound reputation of your hotel will have a direct impact on your hotel occupancy levels in the long run. Therefore, hotel reputation management is critical for the overall growth of the business. If done correctly, practicing it can enhance brand value, increase repeated guests, and give a boost to hotel revenue. From the perspective of the customers, the hotel reviews provide them with a clear idea of the services and the amenities provided by the hotel so that they can make an informed booking decision. Some of the features that make it an integral part of the business are as follows:
• Reputation Monitoring: Reputation management provides the opportunity to evaluate your issue followed by a reputation monitoring plan. It aims to create and maintain a positive reputation in the virtual domain.
• Reputation Repairing: The act of repairing reputation includes detecting negative content during the search results and addressing them if required. Addressing these issues usually helps in generating goodwill and creating a positive reputation.
• Reputation Building: Building a positive hotel reputation can help project a good brand image and attract more traffic to your websites. One of the ways to achieve this is by creating some positive content.
The hospitality industry is highly vulnerable to the impact of reputation management. Today’s travelers are empowered with technology to make lodging decisions based on a hotel’s online reputation. While a good reputation goes a long way into establishing a successful relationship between a hotel and its guests, a bad reputation can leave a hotel in ruins. This is how you can keep a track of your ORM’s growth on various platforms:
• Online Reviews and Ratings: Online reviews are highly influential and usually represent consumer opinion. Responding to positive and negative feedback along with making smart business decisions based on the review insights can be some of the proactive steps that can be undertaken.
• Social Media Likes and Followers: Social media plays a critical role in influencing your prospective customers. A positive social media reputation helps you generate more audience and ideally a surge in revenue from the increased hotel bookings.
• Website Content and Optimization: Having additional features like AI-driven WebChat coupled with stellar content that can cater effectively to the target audience is one of the surefire ways to improve your hotel reputation and overall ranking. In other words, give them fewer or no reasons to abandon your website and not book with you.
Reputation management is important for all hotels, especially for the management of your online reputation:
• However, most hotels are not able to optimally utilize this particular aspect of the modern travel market. Therefore, it is paramount for the hoteliers to not only understand the significance of the tremendous opportunity that lies within ORM but also take advantage of such tools to create a good online reputation while connecting with potential guests in the virtual domain.
• It helps in increasing sales: People research online for brands, services, and products before they make a final decision. Even before visiting a place, people rely on online reviews by people who have visited the place. Businesses with good online reviews tend to attract more people. Businesses with a bad reputation and those with maximum number of negative reviews, miss out on big sales. That’s why your brand needs to have positive reviews on the internet.
• It helps build credibility: Social media platforms have allowed us to give an opinion about everything. People prefer to use brands that they trust. A negative word about your brand will spread faster than a positive one. Again, no opinion at all on your business is a sign of unreliability and trust issues. But having an effective ORM strategy and addressing it right in time will help tackle that.
• It helps attract employees: Reviews not only attract customers but it is equally important in attracting employees. Having professional staff is a foundation of a successful workforce. A good online reputation drives applications in high volume for any job openings.
• It helps increase visibility: Online reviews, especially positive reviews, can give businesses plenty of opportunities to increase exposure and influence to prospects. Paying attention to online reviews is not only essential to managing your hotel reputation but to grow your business, too. Positive reviews also help in increasing the visibility of the brand and, in turn, help in attracting more customers. Although more traffic does not necessarily translate to more room bookings, it does increase the probability of increasing occupancy of your hotel rooms.
• It helps in maximizing your revenue: In the current highly competitive market and business environment, the way your brand is being perceived by people has a direct impact on the sales and revenue of your organization. Thus, it helps in maximizing revenue while simultaneously creating a good reputation.
It is important to remember that reputation can be changed over time. Just as reputation can be tarnished, it can also be repaired for you to reap the benefits of having a positive online reputation. It’s important, and it’s worth the time to keep it in the best possible shape. When exploring how to manage your hotel’s reputation online, here are some tactics to navigate this tricky landscape with a bit more ease. It’s important to put these tactics into a long-term hotel reputation management strategy by doing the needful:
• Send automated feedback surveys: Asking your guests directly regarding their experience at your hotel is expected to provide you with a better chance of collecting reviews. Sending automated feedback surveys to the guests is perhaps the easiest way to do this. It is advisable to send a brief feedback survey to gauge the guest experience before asking directly for a review. This will help in addressing any unfortunate issues experienced by the guests along with garnering honest feedback. This step can help in reducing the number of negative reviews even before they are posted online and can also help in mid-service recovery.
• Responding to the reviews: Responding to all the reviews is often considered to be as important as collecting them. According to TripAdvisor, 65% of users would rather book a hotel that responds to reviews and 85% of users say that their impression of a hotel improves when they read a good management response to a bad review. This means that the majority of people care about your hotel reputation and how you deal with negative responses posted by them. A tactful response has the potential to turn the tide in your favor.
• Consistency is the key: A consistent and regular response mechanism is one of the most important and successful ORM strategies that can be employed by you. Limiting the number of people who are responsible for the task can help you maintain consistency and keep it crisp and to the point.
• Schedule time to respond regularly: Regularly responding to customer feedback is a major part of the consistency paradigm. Responding to feedback on time and regularly often helps in minimizing the gravity of the situation much before it gets out of hand.
• Integrate and automate: Delegating these tasks to technological boons such as online reputation management tools or reputation management software for hotels can help you save precious time and increase efficiency. Automated solutions help you gather reviews from all sources on one platform, respond to reviews quickly, thereby allowing you to address more reviews and any issues as fast as possible. The time saved through the automation of hotel reputation management, can be utilized to attend to your guests and drastically enhance the holistic experience as well as the impression of your hotel. Integrated reputation management for hotels also helps in managing communications and store the guest data seamlessly.
• Provide a seamless guest experience: All the above-mentioned points will come to nothing if your guests leave the hotel dissatisfied with the stay and your service. Hence mapping the hotel guest journey the right way to anticipate the needs of the guests from right before they arrive at your doorstep is a one-stop solution to all your problems. This helps you prepare accordingly and personalize the experience for each of your guests.
⇒ Send automated responses using the thoughtfully curated and handcrafted templates by a team of experts. With just one click, you are saving plenty of time in typing things out from scratch.
⇒ Collect reviews from all the online sources and view them on a single dashboard
⇒ Send automated guest surveys and enhance the operational efficiency at your place.
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