The Complete Guide to Hotel Reputation Management

Eric Welke Guides, Hospitality, Reputation Management Leave a Comment

Lucy and her family are traveling to your area for a fun, relaxing vacation. Before they can depart, they have to make all their travel arrangements. Since Lucy has never been to your area, she decides researching hotels online will be her best option for finding an enjoyable place to stay.

She compares reviews on the popular website TripAdvisor. Lucy decides to make reservations and spend her money at a well-liked and highly reviewed hotel online.

So the question stems, did she make her reservations at your hotel? If your hotel strives to succeed in Hotel Reputation Management, there is a good chance she picked you!

Hotel Reputation Management Is Vital in Achieving Success

If you want to run a successful hotel, then you must understand hotel reputation management. So, what exactly is reputation management for hotels? It is the supervision and inspiration of your hotel’s brand on the Internet.  This often employs specialized software to help automate the process of managing your online reputation and reviews across the web.

If someone like Lucy goes to a search engine and types in hotels in your area, review sites and even blogs will pop up with a list of places for her to stay. Would she see your hotel? And would she decide to stay as your guest?

Reputation management is a unique aspect of the hospitality industry because not many other trades are as contingent on their online reputation for business. Think about it…all over the world, people are choosing their destinations for a business trip, vacation, major event, etc.

Guests are leaving their homes and comfort zones looking for a secure and welcoming place to stay. And in the 21st century, the Internet is often the first place they turn to for recommendations.

If you want to run a successful hotel and desire to see a steady flow of business walk through your doors, you have to understand and succeed in reputation management for hotels.

Chances are, many of your customers have seen your online reviews and take them seriously. Many of them have either chosen your place because of others positive comments; or on the contrary, the hotel down the street gained guests that would have stayed with you had you of better monitored your reviews.

Online Reviews Tell You More Than a Traditional Guest Survey

If you think saying the majority of guests decide on a hotel based on reviews is extreme, consider these numbers from a TripAdvisor survey: 53% of guests will only book a hotel with reviews from previous guests and 93% of people say reviews are important to them. Do you hear that…93% of your guests take value and importance in reviews! So what can online reviews do for your business? Think about it. Let it sink in.

Do you have mostly positive reviews? Or does your property need improvement? As Lucy scrolls through her options of lodging in her area, there is an 80% chance she will read at least 6-12 reviews before she makes a decision and books a hotel.

With such high statistics from consumers claiming reviews are important to them and listen to what others have to say, it is vital in todays market to stay relevant online and consistently monitor all review sites.

You Have to Know What Is Being Said About Your Hotel At All Times

You probably have a profile or perhaps even a few on different social media platforms and review websites, be sure to keep those active and up to date. There is nothing worse than when a potential guest goes to your Facebook page or yelp page and finds outdated information and even comments from others and you haven’t responded to. Be sure to only create profiles online if you the time and resources to attend to them.

Reputation Management goes beyond the property, it is about managing the overall customer experience. When you have multiple guests in and out of your door on a daily basis, it becomes nearly impossible for you to ask all of them face to face what they thought of their stay: what went well and what needed improvement. Many people want to be heard and want others to know their thoughts on their visit with you.

This is where an online platform comes in handy to the guest. In fact, customers are more likely to complain on a review platform than to the front desk or hotel manager.

Don’t just monitor your reviews, interact with them and truly take them seriously. When someone leaves a positive review, thank him or her and invite them back. In your response, it’s always helpful to reiterate an aspect of it back to show you are listening.

Take note of what is being done well. If a staff member is specifically named, praise them and let them know their hard work is being seen. This will encourage them to continue working hard in order to make guest experiences’ pleasurable.

Interacting with Comments Is Imperative

When negative reviews are written about your property, it is crucial you don’t brush them off or let them see you sweat or get angry. You need to respond with empathy and thoughtfulness. Dealing with comments needs to be dealt with in a timely manner. Here are some important guidelines to remember when a negative review is posted about your hotel:

-The customer is always right: Even when they are wrong…others are reading their review and want to see their experience. Begin your comment on their review with an apology and the acknowledgment a mistake was made.

-Understand they commented for a reason: Most people don’t typically go out of their way to make a negative comment for no reason. They probably feel they are justified for being upset. Validate them and remember others are watching your response.

-Always stay upbeat and optimistic: Transparency in your business is important and by staying optimistic that the issue can be resolved, people will put more faith in you.

-Never get defensive: If need be, take a moment to calm yourself. If you go on the defensive, readers will be deterred from your business and it will endorse your hotel as unfriendly.

-Correct facts, not opinions: By telling the customer their opinion is wrong, you are simply belittling the guest and making your hotel unattractive to potential customers. Focus on the facts instead.

-Be cool and collected: Staying professional with a touch of compassion can take you a long way.

-Turn it around: By responding, you have the opportunity to highlight your strengths.

-Own the issue: Don’t be afraid to admit your hotel made a mistake. The customers don’t expect perfection, but they will have a better response to you when you use a little humility.

-Share what has been done to avoid future mistakes: Format a plan and attack the issue at hand.

-Let them know you are available: Open the door of communication by giving them an email or phone number they can call to personally resolve the issue.

-Don’t use a template for responses: Guests will see through that in a matter of moments and find it insulting you chose not to take the time to make them feel heard and important.

Instead, take a couple extra moments to read and understand what the individual is saying and properly respond to each complaint or complement.

It will take a tad more effort, but it will show you have high standards and value each guest. Reviews can become your worst enemy or your best friend. You have to make the proactive choice to let them impact you in positive way, even negative reviews.

Most people reading reviews of your hotel will not expect 100% positivity. We live in a world of imperfection and guests don’t expect your business to be perfect. (In fact, some people will get suspicious of all positive reviews.)

Do take note that 66% of users on TripAdvisor said they ignore extreme reviews. What guests want to see is great customer service, that means acknowledging when a mistake is made and promptly and efficiently addressing it.

Reputation Management For Hotels Is Pointless Without Action

Without reviews, your business doesn’t have the chance to improve. Even if you think you are the best, there is always room for improvement. With the attitude that you cannot get better, you will fail. Reviews tell you where to improve. The guests have a different perspective than anyone working in the hotel.

They are a stranger to your business and by simply experiencing it as a customer, they can see areas of weakness or strength that you may be blind to. There is no sense in seeking success in the hotel industry if you refuse to listen to guest experience. You may truly believe you are doing a fabulous job, but your guests may have a different opinion. Use TripAdvisor to your advantage and keep striving to get better.

You exist for the public’s use and you want guests to keep coming back; and you want them to write positive reviews on sites like TripAdvisor and to recommend your lodging facility to friends and family. The more the reviews and the better the reviews, the more business through your door. The more you participate and respond in the reviews, the better you look to the public, and once again, the more business through your door. The website TripAdvisor plays a key role in reputation management for hotels. It is the largest and most visited website for world tourism. You are not simply selling a hotel; you are selling an experience.

If guests wanted just another hotel, they wouldn’t bother with review sites like TripAdvisor; however, the majority of travelers want a memorable experience and thus, making websites like TripAdvisor thrive. You have to go above and beyond in the world of customer service, food, atmosphere, cleanliness, etc. when it comes to running a successful hotel. Without this kind of success, you will not get positive reviews and this can actually affect your revenue.

Always Remember You Are in Business to Keep Business

It is becoming a known fact that guests are willing to spend a little more and stay in a different location if the reputation and online reviews for a hotel are highlighted in such a way they can’t resist booking their stay with you.

Guests are looking for an experience and they don’t want to waste their hard earned money. By putting an extra effort into a fabulous guest experience, the great reviews will come naturally. And when there are negative comments to be made, remember to take it seriously and don’t be afraid to adjust how your hotel runs to better please the customer.

It cannot be reiterated enough, online reviews management is the most important aspect of your hotel image! You have to be in the loop of what guests are saying about you and where they are saying it. The world will be able to tell if you are proactive and care about your guests’ experience simply by your hotel reputation management.

Use Reviews to Help Your Hotel Evolve

TripAdvisor also says that 80% of visitors to their site depend on the most recent reviews in making a booking decision. You have to stay proactive. Don’t look to collect reviews for a certain amount of time, but be continuously looking for what guests have to say. With response to recent reviews, you are staying relevant and potential customers have more confidence in your hotel.

Don’t just find satisfaction in guest reviews on sites like TripAdvisor, it is imperative you interact with the reviews as previously mentioned. Possible future guests reading reviews also look for personal interaction from the hotel, this can actually help them make a booking decision.

TripAdvisor states 68% of people polled made a final booking decision on similar properties because of the hotel’s personal responses to reviews. That is a lot of revenue coming in your door for simply responding to reviews!

Increase Revenue with Reputation Management For Hotels

Handling negative reviews can be tricky because the whole world is watching you. Imagine, Lucy has clicked on your hotel page on TripAdvisor and is reading through the most recent reviews.

Some are positive, but there are a few reviews where the guest claims to have had a bad experience for one reason or another. Lucy will become concerned, but looks to see if the hotel acknowledged them.

Thinking through her list of concerns, she first asks did you respond? And if so, what did you have to say? If you answered in a manner that showed respect and professionalism, especially apologizing, you have a greater chance of gaining Lucy’s business, as she likes your authenticity and transparency.

Gaining Lucy’s business means increased revenue. She may have a great stay with you and decide to write her own review and even personally recommend your accommodations to friends and family. So in summary, by your response to both positive and negative reviews online, you gain Lucy’s trust and she books with you.

She has a positive experience and writes her own reviews and tells others to stay with you. New guests make reservations because Lucy appreciated your response to your hotel reviews on TripAdvisor. This is cause and effect where revenue can increase.

With the existence of sites like TripAdvisor, the way hotels operate is changing. With every new review, your hotel has a better idea of what is working and what needs adjustment.

Sites like TripAdvisor are actually allowing for you to be in a better position to make or adjust policies, amenities, and services, even the retraining of employees based on guest reaction. Customers are talking and the hotels willing to listen are moving in the direction of success! If you decide to be an attentive hotelier, you are setting your hotel up for increased revenue and happier guests.

Stay on Top of Your Online Reputation At All Times

You have to monitor your reviews 24/7 in order to know what is being said at all times. You never know when a guest could have a complaint or even praise. With the popularity of the Internet and face-to-face interaction decreasing in today’s world, people often turn to the World Wide Web for their voice to be heard. It is up to you to monitor and respond in a timely manner.

The main goal of customer service, creating a happy guest (one who will return and tell others of their wonderful visit with you), hasn’t changed. It’s the method in reaching that goal that has transformed to meet the 21st century. And if you want to meet the desires of this world, you have to have a successful hotel brand management program.

Once you have effectively established your hotel reputation management, it can sustain itself with constant looking after. It will take a lot of effort, but you can make your hotel easy to find and a top result when searching for accommodations in your area. You have one chance to make a positive impression on potential guests searching the Internet for a place to stay, so make it count and convince travelers to book your hotel.

TripAdvisor Is The Number One Destination Review Website

There are many review sites online, from social media to personal blogs to Yelp, guests have an easy platform to review or comment on your hotel and services. But there is one that beats out all the others when it comes to most trusted: and that is TripAdvisor. Building a healthy profile full of positive reviews can boost your hotel and even bring in tourists from around the world.

TripAdvisor is leading the way in travel websites and brings in the most traffic when people are looking to do research on accommodations. By understanding the value of TripAdvisor, you can better attend to any comments on the site, constantly update your profile and encourage satisfied customers to leave a review on TripAdvisor. You have to understand the importance of TripAdvisor if you want to succeed in Reputation Management.

The Internet is open all day and night, which means reviews and comments can be written about your hotel at all hours. It can quickly become overwhelming, if not impossible to keep up with all the websites your hotel is mentioned on by guests.

New sites are constantly coming into existence, making the tracking of comments and reviews very difficult. In order to keep up with the extensive list of travel and review sites (even social media sites), it is highly recommended you invest in some hotel reputation management services/software.

Invest In Hotel Reputation Management Software and Services

Does it sound too extensive to monitor your reviews 24/7? RenegadeWorks is a great, affordable sight you can join to help you stay on top of your hotel reputation management.

RenegadeWorks helps hotels like yours improve customer experience. Frictionless surveys capture feedback at multiple business-customer integration points including website, point-of-sale, email, social media, mobile and offline.

RenegadeWorks Can Help Improve Your Guest Experience

RenegadeWorks is a 3-step process to increase your positive comments and reviews on sites like TripAdvisor. So how does it work?

Step 1: We will direct your guests to a quick 15-second survey with the option of additional comments.

Step 2: Customers are segmented into detractors, passives and promoters from survey results.

Step 3:Promoters are invited to leave a review on sites like Yelp, Google, Facebook and TripAdvisor. Passives are invited to connect on social media. And detractors submit feedback privately to management for follow up.

With RenegadeWorks, you can catch negative comments before they are posted all over the Internet. Wouldn’t it be best to enhance a guest experience before they degrade your image? There are additional features to RenegadeWorks you won’t want to miss out on. Like the personalized dashboard that will display reviews from all different review sites, such as TripAdvisor, Google, Yelp and Facebook.

With all your reviews in one place, imagine how much easier it will be to know what is being said about your hotel at all times. All you have to do is make an account with RenegadeWorks to better enhance your hotel reputation management. We invite you to give RenegadeWorks a try. You can sign up today for a Free Demo. You only have guest experience to improve and more revenue to gain with RenegadeWorks!

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