Hotel manager Giancarlo Carniani’s 37-room boutique hotel, Mulino di Firenze, fared poorly in online reviews when compared to competitors, despite obvious advantages such as a hammam spa, organic restaurant and waterfront views in the picturesque Tuscan countryside, just a few miles outside Florence.
Many luxury chains in the city center were proving fierce competition against Mulino by out-positioning this modest hotel on many of the most prominent Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) and review sites. But since signing up for ReviewPro in 2011, Carniani says Mulino’s guests are writing happier reviews, helping the hotel lift its Global Review Index™ (GRI) by several points.
“We realized immediately ReviewPro was a special product and that improving our online reputation would bring more traffic to our hotel,”
Carniani says. Along with increased GRI, Mulino’s revenue per available room (RevPAR) skyrocketed by 15% in the last year. This positive shift has helped Mulino to attract more guests and implement a more strategic pricing plan. “We have monitored every single aspect at Mulino, with excellent results.”
So, how did Carniani accomplish this victory for Mulino?
Action Step 1: Use competitive benchmarking to improve poor reviews
Using ReviewPro’s tools, Carniani began benchmarking the hotel against a pre-determined set of competitors, comparing and contrasting Mulino’s online reputation in a range of different areas. A careful and sustained analysis of guest reviews and GRI™ gave Carniani an in-depth understanding of the local hotel climate because he knew precisely which facilities and services that other hotels were doing well.
“One of the things I like the most about ReviewPro is that you can monitor competition – not only through statistics, but by service, too,” Carniani says.
“You’re able to identify which services are lacking, which need more attention, and which you are doing well.” Carniani also used ReviewPro’s semantic analysis tools to identify sore points with guests and resolve them.
Action Step 2: Focus on making relevant changes to boost hotel’s GRI
“By learning about what others were saying, we noticed two key areas for improvement.” says Carniani. “The first was the restaurant. We tracked what people were saying about it and realized that we could adjust certain details to make our guests happier.”
Carniani set out to play up Mulino’s waterfront restaurant, which had the potential to be a significant differentiator over competitors. The waterfront restaurant serves organic ingredients and takes pride in its zero food miles policy by sourcing everything locally – even the wine. House specialties combine the best of traditional Tuscan cuisine with a contemporary touch, such as the world famous Ribollita Toscana, a home-made bean, bread and red cabbage soup garnished with a drizzle of olive oil.
Analyzing negative reviews led Carniani to begin paying closer attention to staff attitudes. “We decided to train our staff more to offer a better sense of hospitality for guests,” he says.
“We began encouraging friendlier, more personalized interactions, particularly during check in and check out. Guest reviews began to reflect these changes straight away.”
It’s clear that these changes have had a direct and lasting impact on guest satisfaction and revenue at Mulino, he tells us. The higher proportion of positive reviews has given Carniani’s hotel a clear competitive advantage and higher GRI, but most importantly, happier guests. The bottom line? “We’re in a much better competitive position than before.”
To discover how you could use ReviewPro’s insights to take your guest satisfaction – and financial performance – to the next level by requesting more information from our reputation management advisors now.