One of the biggest challenges in 2015 is understanding how to above the noise of online feedback to impact potential guests. That’s why successful hotel marketers already understand the value in finding better ways to connect with consumers and leverage their support through online feedback and experiences. We’ve put together three of our winning tips and most helpful guides to help your improve your hotel’s online presence this year.
- Build Trust: Respond to guest feedback
- Make offline feedback social
- Improve your review-site rankings
Whether positive or negative, you should respond to as many reviews as your hotel’s resources allow. Replying to guest reviews builds trust, both in the mind of the reviewer, as well as any for other potential guests who read the review and management response at a later date. It also helps to build a relationship between the reviewer and hotel, which is the first step in developing brand loyalty and repeat customers (i.e direct bookings!).
It’s not always practical to respond to every single review so – at the very least – you should reply to all negative feedback, especially if they require an apology. Also respond if it requires clarification or a personal ‘thank you’.
TIP: Responses should always come from a manager or other senior level executive to show that management values the review.
More and more hotels are implementing post-stay surveys to discover operational and service issues that may exist during each guest’s stay – and forward-thinking hoteliers already address problems immediately to further improve the guest experience.
Guest surveys offer an important (and often overlooked) way of requesting structured guest feedback necessary to measure if service and operational standards are being met during each guest’s stay. As a hotelier, solving these issues to ensure greater guest satisfaction can positively impact your property’s ranking on TripAdvisor (as well as other online review sites).
Tip: Reduce the number of questions to decrease the time it takes for guests to complete the survey. Knowing that there are fewer questions to answer will make them more likely to complete it!
In “8 Strategies to Climb TripAdvisor rankings” Brian Payea, TripAdvisor’s Head of Industry Relations, explained that while many factors go into TripAdvisor’s Popularity Index algorithm, the key areas to focus on are review quality, recency and volume, which are “hugely important”.
Consider using a Guest Intelligence solution to analyze recurring positive and negative guest sentiment in TripAdvisor reviews. Implement necessary operational changes to improve the quality of your reviews and adopt a pro-active approach to requesting feedback (see No.2).
Tip: What do travelers gripe about most – aside from service? Unexpected Wi-Fi charges and surprise fees. Top-ranking hotels steer clear of such practices. Adjust your revenue strategy to provide free wi-fi, breakfast, upgrades, beverages and snacks to avoid the most common complaints in future.