“All you have in business is your reputation – so it’s very important that you keep your word.” Richard Branson
Imagine you are planning a trip and you spend countless hours trying to find the perfect place to stay. You find some results that look good. After clicking on one, the site looks clean and modern. The room pictures are high quality, the location is great… It seems like this is the place, then you are checking for reviews…
At this stage, a lot of hotel owners are crossing their fingers, Even if they have mastered the art of SEO, their website offers a great user experience and they are ranking well on Google, a bad or even tepid review can make or break a potential reservation. After all, it’s the day of social media and people are talking.
So, what are they saying? Booking a stay at a well-loved hotel is a no-brainer, but if your reviews are lacking, you may need some help.
WHY HOTEL REPUTATION MANAGEMENT MATTERS
Are you still dismissing the impact of Tripadvisor, Facebook, Yelp and Google reviews on your business? Let the following numbers sink in.
93% of hotel guests find reviews important. That’s almost everyone! With so many options available, people are turning to their peers to validate their hotel choices.
When it comes to reviews, studies are showing that quantity might matter more than quality. In the same survey, 53% of people wouldn’t book a hotel without reviews. In fact, Amazon found that items with a 1-star rating sold more than those without ratings.
We see time and time again that having more reviews is always better, regardless of the rating. After all, if you have 500 reviews, you’d expect a couple bad scores. However, if you only have 20 reviews, those unsatisfied guests are much harder to ignore.
WHAT’S THE FIRST STEP ?
This one is easy – give phenomenal customer service!
Guests tend to seek out opportunities to review a stay in two situations:
- It was an unbelievable trip! Everything was perfect and they couldn’t be happier with their stay
- It was an unbelievable trip! Who would have thought that a stay could get this bad?!
When was the last time you told a friend about a mediocre restaurant or a movie that was just so-so? Most people will rave about an amazing time or vent about horrible service, but are less likely to talk about a neutral experience.
So, the best way to get reviews is to make people either really, really happy or really, really mad. We don’t need to tell you which will serve your company better.
But don’t stop there; you have more work to do.
Another great way to get more reviews is to ask your guests. Yes, it’s really just that simple! A delighted customer is usually happy to return the favor. Gently prod them for a review and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how quickly you rack up ratings.
Asking each individual guest for reviews can be a time-consuming process but you can automate the process with Quicktext. For instance, you can program Quicktext to send a instant message 2 hours after a guest checks out of your property. They’ll be directed to leave a review on the site of their choice.
GOOGLE, TRIPADVISOR, FACEBOOK…WHERE DO I START?
As a general rule of thumb, we love Google reviews. As Google takes up more and more market share and expands their travel-related offerings, your guests are turning to Google for answers. With all of the information right there next to the reviews, you can bet that they are reading what your past guests had to say. While reviews are imperative to managing the reputation of your hotel, they also serve another purpose. Google reviews can impact your organic ranking. It’s generally a good idea to let your happy guests help you increase your reputation and your search result ranking.
That’s not to say that reviews on other sources don’t matter. Based on your customer demographics, you may also want to influence reviews from social platforms like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Facebook. You want to have a strong presence where your guests are – current, future, and even that dream guest you’ve been trying to reach.
HOW TO DEAL WITH A BAD HOTEL REVIEW.
The best defense to a bad review is a great response. That sounds a little simpler than it actually is. Try following these steps to craft an effective reply:
- Reply quickly, but maybe not immediately. Check your emotions – do you need a chance to cool down? Take a few moment to consider how to respond to the review, keeping in mind how it will be read by your potential future guests. The worst thing you could do here is sound defensive.
- Address their issues. Maybe you don’t agree that the room was too small or that the bathroom was dirty, but a guest’s perception is their reality. Review readers love seeing humility and a sincere apology, so make sure your message acknowledges the shortcomings your guest is upset about
- Offer to make it right. Provide a simple way for the reviewer to contact you, and suggest a solution to mend the problem. This could not only turn around an unhappy visitor, but allow potential guests to feel confident that any issues they might have will be appropriately handled. Plus, if you’re sure the review is fake, offering a huge discount or comp will look fantastic without harming your bottom line.
- Learn. It’s hard to get honest feedback, so cherish this opportunity as a chance to make a great stay at your hotel even better!
Do you really want only 5 star-reviews?. You might think that having all 4-5 star reviews is ideal, but actually, it may give vacation planners pause. After all, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Having a few bad reviews gives your business more credibility, especially when you have given a great response to each of those.
LET QUICKTEXT HELP YOU
Getting and responding to reviews can be time-consuming. QuickText will automate the task for you and let you focus on providing the best customer service to your guests.
Contact us today to get started!