Managing your hotel’s reputation is a top priority if you want to succeed online or offline.Today, star ratings are just as important as any other part of hotel operations. Negative star ratings come dissatisfied guests via online review, and can cause serious damage to a hotel’s reputation.
Why You Should Care About Your Online Reputation
In clear definition, hotel reputation management (online) is basically the process of monitoring, influencing and controlling how the day to day business is perceived all over the World Wide Web. Hotel reputation management focuses on online review control via diverse review sites, social media platforms & search engines. While every business (old or new) is affected by the impact of reputation management, the hospitality industry is the most vulnerable. Trip Advisor shared a few insights on online reviews:
93% of travelers check the online reviews before making a booking and,
53% of travelers said that they won’t book a hotel if it has no online reviews
With this in mind, it is vital that businesses centered on the hospitality industry should reviews and online reputation in their favor. Reviews determine if a potential guest will book a hotel or not. This means that as a hotelier, you need to strive towards acquiring positive feedback from all of your guests, and create maximum guest satisfaction and experience. To compete successfully in the hospitality industry, a hotel owner or general manager must focus on reputation management as a practice.
Every little bit of your online reputation should be tracked, and responded to creatively. Generally, guests are more frequently leaving reviews on third party review websites, OTAs and social media platforms.
Reputation Management & Revenue Management – The LINK
Online reputation for any business directly impacts revenue and sales volumes. When your reputation management is running smoothly , you will have a competitive advantage that will result in increased revenue. On the other hand, if you don’t pay attention to your online reputation, your booking and revenue will definitely be affected. If you choose to disregard negative reviews placed by guests, and those reviews find their way to the first page of Google, your hotel will undoubtedly suffer losses. The key to managing your hotel’s online reputation is be proactive, and cover all your bases, so no review goes unnoticed.
4 Ways to Track and Manage Your Online Reputation
Most hospitality organizations use a tool to help manage, improve and amplify their online reputation, but the same methods can be used in a manual process as well:
Track and Reply to Reviews
Guest reviews could appear on multiple websites like the OTA they used to book your hotel, pure review sites like TripAdvisor, or even social platforms like Facebook and Google. The first step to managing your online reputation is to collect all the reviews from these various sources.
The next (and most important) step is to respond to these reviews. Studies have shown that even if a hotel has negative reviews, a response to those reviews from management painted the hotel in a favorable light. Review websites and reputation management experts recommend replying to all negative reviews, and at least 70% of positive and neutral reviews.
Conduct an analysis on the data you collect
Data is king! Once you collect all the reviews from various online sources, you might want to analyze them. In conducting an analysis, certain insights and trends might become apparent that will help you establish which departments might need retraining, or which departments are bringing in the most revenue.
Here are a few parameters you could consider when consolidating and analyzing data:
- Review volume, responsiveness, and OTA distribution
- Competitor analysis
- Percentage of positive and negative reviews
- Number and sentiment of mentions of specific staff of departments
Collect Guest Feedback
An active feedback collection process also lets you collect and push reviews on third party websites, or an internal analysis. Collecting formalized feedback at various points in the guest journey not only reassures guests that you are open to suggestions and care about their experience, but will also allow you to gain insight into guests’ perception of your hotel and services.
More so, feedback collection throughout the guest journey might transform a potential negative review into a positive one, resulting in raising your hotel’s online profile, and attracting more bookings.
Act on Insights
Reduce the reoccurrence of issues highlighted in reviews by taking active steps to correct the problem. Negative mentions in reviews will deter potential guests that might be looking for a hotel to book.
When online reputation management is done right, it can help your hotel scale, boosting your visibility across diverse social media platforms, review and booking portals; and also drive targeted traffic to your hotel. Reviews are by far the most effective pieces of user generated content that have the power to directly influence prospective guests to choose you.