Most hoteliers know that to encourage guest reviews is beneficial. But it’s not always easy. So, how can you get your guests to leave a review?
Why Should I Encourage More Guest Reviews?
The number of reviews your hotel receives has a direct impact on several areas:
- Your ranking in review sites
- Your ranking in third-party distribution websites (OTAs)
- Your ranking in search engines’ results pages
- Your online reputation
With so much at stake, how can you increase the volume of reviews of your hotel? Below we share some best practices for you to encourage more guest reviews:
Things to Take into Consideration Before You Ask
1. Set the Right Expectations
Everything starts before the guest checks in: set the right expectations. Avoid setting expectations in your advertising and marketing materials that will be impossible to deliver, and make sure your information and pictures on OTAs are representative of the experience at your establishment. The majority of positive guest reviews come when guests are pleasantly surprised by what they receive.
2. Create Remarkable experiences
Create an experience that is worth talking about. “Remarkable” literally means “worth remarking about”, so take it very literally. Does your guest experience live up to that? Take a look at what previous guests have mentioned about their stay at your property and improve those things that guests complain about.
How to Ask Your Guests for Reviews?
3. Explain the Process
Sometimes it is just a case of the guest not being familiar with guest review sites. Explain to them why they are important to you and how their feedback will be influential in improving the experience for them next time. Explain the steps the person will have to go through to leave a review online.
4. Make it easy
Remove any obstacles to people reviewing your hotel online. Let your guests know which review sites you would like them to leave a review on by adding them to tent cards which you can display at the reception. Or, have a “review our hotel” link on your hotel website, or emails, or your guest messaging landing page from which guests can contact you through a chat.
5. Offer options
People should leave a review wherever it feels most comfortable, and wherever they already have accounts set up. Avoid limiting your request to just one website, which could restrict the overall number of reviews you receive online. Take into consideration where your guests come from, as different review sources are popular in different markets.
When to Ask Your Guests?
6. Encourage Guests During the Check-Out Process
First ask if the guest had a positive experience at your hotel and if they did, you can encourage them to share that on a review site of their choice. This is perhaps the best time to ask, as the positive emotions of their stay will be fresh on their mind. Even more, if your front desk staff has had a positive interaction with these guests during their stay.
7. Follow-up emails
Some hotels send a “Thank You” email after their guests have left to thank them for their stay and to welcome them back soon. Consider placing a link to review sites within this message. Or for business travelers email them the invoice and include a link to review the hotel.
If you have implemented contactless check-out, you can add a “review our hotel” in your confirmation email once the process is completed.
8. When Receiving Unsolicited Feedback
Make your whole operation obsessed with feedback. It is vital everyone on your team understands the importance of collecting this feedback and what to do with it. So, when one of your staff receives unsolicited positive feedback, they can personally encourage the guest to leave a positive review.
9. After a Post-Stay Survey
When someone has taken the time to leave you a positive response in a guest survey, that usually means they are motivated to share their experiences. Respond to their response to thank them for the feedback and ask them to leave you an online review.
Another way is by participating in a review collection program, like the ones from TripAdvisor, Google, or HolidayCheck. This way after filling in the survey, they will be prompted with a review solicitation form.
What to Do After You Have Asked Them?
10. Listen to the feedback
Although guest reviews are important for your rankings and reputation, the ultimate aim for asking guests to leave a review should be to collect valuable insights. With the feedback your guests leave you, you can improve your processes, services, and product, as well as better understand what your unique selling points are.
Once guests see you are a guest-centric organization that really listens to their feedback and that makes improvements as suggested by them, they will be more likely to keep leaving reviews.
In the end, encouraging more guest reviews is essential for your business to grow and develop successfully because, without guest feedback, there is no way to understand if you’re meeting your guests’ needs and expectations.
Find out more about ReviewPro’s Online Reputation Management solution: