If you've landed here, it's probably because you understand how important online reviews are for your hotel.
They have a significant impact on a property's success, occupancy levels, and short and medium-term viability. That's why you're likely to feel frustrated when you read a negative review from someone who has already left your hotel.
Don't you think it's all about that?
Being prepared for an unsatisfied guest, so you don't have to learn the hard way what doesn't work at your hotel.
Therefore, providing your staff with the tools to deal with negative experiences on the fly is a must.
That’s why we wrote this post.
In this article, we'll share tips that will skyrocket your ratings, and we'll introduce you to the latest trends in the hotel industry to start receiving 10/10 reviews right away.
Why is your online reputation crucial?
The star rating and brand of a hotel played a crucial role in occupancy, success, and revenue decades ago.
Despite this, the hospitality industry and the way guests book their rooms have changed significantly over the past years.
We mentioned it in a previous post on 2023’s trends. 81% of travelers always or often read reviews before booking their accommodations.
In parallel, an Expedia study found that in 72% of cases, travelers will choose a hotel with a higher guest review score over one with a brand name or a lower price. For example, guests would pay 35% more for a hotel with a score of 4.4/5 compared to a hotel with a score of 3.9/5.
To put it another way:
It is not enough to deliver a world-class guest experience. It needs to be displayed on external review platforms too.
How can you boost your Hotel’s reviews?
We have examined how the most successful hotels are growing.
Briefly, it is a combination of implementing the right technology and empowering your staff.
Following are six key tips that will help you see the big picture.
1. Address negative feedback… immediately!
"Listen to your guests... while they're in your hotel. And act before they leave your facilities."
This may sound simple, but it's not.
One of the biggest pain points for hoteliers is not being able to know what their guests are thinking in time to take action.
It's especially frustrating when you read a negative review on Booking or Expedia and realize you were more than prepared to act instantly.
In other words, you could have improved your guest's experience but you did not.
Since reviews play a crucial role in determining the success of hotels today, it's essential to act before they leave.
Hotels should make an effort to gather immediate feedback from guests in order to take action on any issues or complaints on the go. A guest app that receives real-time feedback can help you do this and organize your staff to act right away.
We're talking about a tool like Instant Feedback that allows the hotel to send short questions that can be answered through their app.
But there's more. It's not just about receiving immediate feedback and taking action right away. It's about asking the right questions at the key moment of the guest's stay, so that the information you receive is not biased and reflects reality.
With this kind of solutions, you will be able to decide when to ask the question, and just as importantly, the guest will be able to answer quickly and easily in just a few seconds. This leads to more feedback too.
These tools are going to make the reviews of your hotel soar.
2. Keep your receptionist motivated: help them with a guest app
It may seem obvious, but boosting your brand reputation starts with providing a pleasant guest experience. It's as simple and as complex as that.
Which employees play a key role in achieving this goal?
Everyone, but especially receptionists.
They play a key role in ensuring that guests have a positive experience from start to finish. As the first and last face guests see, receptionists have a unique opportunity to make a lasting impression and influence your online reputation.
To excel in customer satisfaction, receptionists should:
- Engage guests' interests and needs by greeting them warmly
- Go above and beyond guests' expectations by responding instantly to any issues.
- Show they care. All the time.
- Follow up with guests, be knowledgeable, and provide recommendations.
In any case, keep this in mind:
If they are busy with mechanical tasks, they won’t be able to make an impact on your guests.
By prioritizing exceptional customer service, receptionists can help build a positive reputation for your hotel and ensure that guests leave happy and satisfied.
That’s why implementing a guest app can make a difference in the way your receptionists make your brand shine.
Plus: they will enjoy their duties more and more, and rotation will be less likely to happen.
3. Learn from your mistakes and use reviews to identify areas for improvement
Reviews can provide valuable insights into areas where your hotel can improve.
Look for patterns in feedback and identify common issues that guests have experienced. Use this feedback to make changes to your hotel, whether it's updating your amenities or improving your customer service training.
Consider implementing a tool such as Instant Feedback, where you can see all the statistics broken out by different services. Smart hoteliers know that insights and an appropriate “act-on-the-fly” strategy lead to success. Never miss a beat again - monitor and track your reviews regularly with this guest experience hack.
But if you still have not considered implementing this tool: Set up alerts on review sites to notify you when new reviews are posted.
Why are we doing this? We will take it right away.
4. Respond to reviews, both positive and negative
Responding to reviews shows that you value your guests' feedback and are committed to providing excellent service.
Always respond to positive feedback with a genuine thank-you message.
When responding to negative reviews, apologize and show that you are committed to making things right. Responding to negative reviews in a professional and empathetic manner can turn a negative experience into a positive one.
Though as we said before, anything that you can do to improve your guest experience while they are in-house is the fastest way to skyrocket your hotel’s online reputation.
By acting on the fly, you can ensure that your guests feel valued and appreciated, resulting in glowing reviews and increased bookings.
So why wait?
5. Honesty is key when sharing photos of your hotel rooms
Honesty is the best policy, especially when it comes to showcasing your hotel rooms.
Misleading photos can lead to disappointed guests, negative reviews, and ultimately, a damaged reputation.
That's why we recommend always displaying realistic and accurate photos of your rooms, even if they aren't the most glamorous.
Attracting guests who appreciate transparency and honesty can actually work to your advantage in the long run. If you manage expectations and show your rooms and facilities honestly, you will avoid disappointments among guests... and when you read your online reviews.
Choose honesty and transparency. Showcase your hotel in the best light possible, while staying true to your values.
6. Incorporate positive reviews into your marketing to highlight your hotel's unique features
Positive reviews are a powerful marketing tool.
Use them in your social media posts, on your website, and in your email marketing campaigns. Highlight specific comments or feedback that show your hotel's strengths, such as your exceptional customer service or your comfortable beds.
Focus not only on providing a high level of service to your guests, but also on demonstrating it through all of your communication channels.
A hotel in 2023 can be well-equipped with the tools and strategies to avoid bad online reviews, and above all, to act with a dissatisfied guest before they leave your hotel.
Make sure your online reputation management strategies are up to date.
Remember that the early bird catches the worm. The hospitality industry is not an exception.