Whether you have a guest house or large hotel, managing your online reputation is crucial in the 21st century. Gone are the days of travellers relying on paper guides with most of us turning to online sources like Trip Advisor, Lonely Planet, Yelp and other digital platforms when planning our trips. The hospitality industry has been completely reshaped by the internet and for your hotel to thrive, managing your digital reputation is essential.
First and foremost making sure that your hotel is visible online is critical. The more platforms the merrier! Not only will this boost your reach but a well-maintained online presence will boost your reputation. So, run a quick digital inventory and make sure that your hotel has a profile on all relevant sites and that the information is up to date with as many pictures and details as possible. More often than not the information that your guests have about your hotel they have found out online, so this step is essential to reaching and securing their booking.
Reviews are reputation gold
It’s no trade secret that reviews are key to your hotel’s reputation with quality and quantity being equally important. Thankfully there are many ways to go about securing that valuable guest feedback.
Firstly, ensure that your team forms a bond with guests upon arrival to help them feel welcome and connected to your hotel. You can also empower your staff to communicate with your guests where appropriate about the property, your brand and how valuable they and their opinions are to your hotel. If a guest is made to feel special throughout their stay they’re more likely to take the time to leave you a review.
Another great way to collect reviews from your guests is through post stay emails. These can be automated to send when your guest checks out and is not only a nice touch to thank your guest for their stay but is an important opportunity to direct them to a review site of your preference.
How to handle the bad ones
Reviews can be a wonderful marketing tool for your hotel. However, no matter how many positive reviews your hotel collects there will undoubtedly be a few negative comments. The most important thing for you to do is make sure that you regularly check review sites and respond to negativity as soon as possible. It’s also important to make sure you don’t forget your social media, as these are increasingly popular platforms for guest interaction. It’s worth noting that guests may leave comments on your posts and interactions, not just your review section so stay mindful!
Though it isn’t pleasant discovering a negative review, if handled correctly you can still maintain customer loyalty and protect your rating. To do this you need to ensure the guest is responded to promptly and politely. Reassure them that you will be looking into their concern and taking all necessary steps. If you can evidence that you truly care about their experience and are implementing change where appropriate you can not only keep guests happy and loyal but improve your reputation.
Travellers value reviews left by guests more than the information you provide through your website and social media channels. To this end, reputation management and online reviews are intrinsically linked. By being visible online, encouraging positive reviews and quickly managing any negative comments you’re well on your way to managing your online reputation.
Top tip: Use the best reviews for social media posts. Not only does this give you some easy content but it helps spread the word about how great staying with you really is.
If you have any questions about the above article, or would like more information about setting up post stay emails please call: 03330 033320 or email email@example.com