Did you know that online reviews can be used as a sales tool? While many hoteliers recognize that a great online reputation is vital to the sales team, few sales departments actively use online reviews to their full advantage. In this blog we will show you four ways that online reviews can support your sales team.
1) Testimonials. People tend to be wary of direct advertising and sales messaging, especially if they are not familiar with the brand or the sales representative. They have more trust in information and advice from other consumers, who are considered less biased. For this reason, online reviews are powerful when used as testimonials from real guests. When guests love your hotel, and talk about it online, they become an extension of your sales team – and your brand advocates.
2) Responses to Reviews. Online reviews are not only an opportunity for travel shoppers to get insight into your property, they also allow hotels the opportunity to respond, giving insight into the values and tone of your brand. Responding to negative reviews is especially important for reassuring prospective clients should something go wrong with an event, group or corporate client. By aligning your sales messaging to your management response strategy, you will help ensure that responses advance your sales goals.
3) Guest Intelligence. Online reviews and guest surveys are a valuable source of guest intelligence, providing feedback on why guests choose your hotel, what they liked and disliked, and why they will (or won’t) come back. Feedback from guests of meetings, conferences, events and tour groups can help sales managers tailor their pitches and know which strengths to emphasize in sales collateral, proposals and communications.
4) Competitive Insights. By reading reviews of competitors and comparing performance, sales staff can gain critical insight into their property’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats relative to competitors. This information can be used to position the hotel against competitors and develop the messaging you need to win business.
From providing authentic recommendations to helping to keep an eye on the competition, online reviews are much more than a barometer of success, they are a valuable sales tool.
If you would like to find out more about how you can leverage online reputation and guest feedback to boost sales and revenue, ask for a free demo.