Carrying on from the previous blogs where we discussed ways by which hotels can outsmart the competition, this blog is dedicated to guest management and how to get them to talk about you.
Get Your Guest Talking:
Starting off with this very simple question, which of the two would give you more confidence when you want to purchase an item or avail any service – Beautifully crafted advertisements or a trusted source that gives you a thorough insight into the item/ service? It would be fair enough to say that “a trusted source” is more probable an answer. Every service/product category has a review site be it phones, automobiles, or hotels. But are all hotel review sites 100% accurate and reliable? Well not really and responses cannot be standardized as hotels sell services and not products, making it all a little tricky. It however does gives you a fair idea based on which guests can confidently select their choice of hotel.
A study by Accor Hotels and Trust You showed that given equal prices, a person is 3.9 times more likely to choose a hotel with a higher review score. In fact, 76% of the respondents were ready to pay more for a hotel with a better review score. A Cornell Study showed that a one point increase in reputation will help increase room rates by 11.2%.
So, getting more reviews makes sense, but how will you get them?
Give them a reason to talk
Lot of hoteliers believe if the guest did not complain then they must be happy, heaving a sigh of relief that no negative review will go up on social media. But does this also mean that they will come back and stay with you? Well not really, next time they’d probably “try another hotel”. Now why would he do that? In their mind your hotel’s no different than any other so what is the harm in trying. Hoteliers need to evaluate avenues that will give them an edge over others. I am not saying be a “yes sir, sure sir” hotel and giving into ridiculous demands but evaluate avenues such as probably an in-room check in for guests arriving after a long flight or providing that special bottle of wine to honeymoon travellers. Hotels essentially sell time, so if you can respond to guest queries faster and in a more informed manner, you would leave them delighted and a high probability of them returning to your property.
Get to know them
Let’s take the example of a business traveller whom you greet with the regular questions “Good morning, hope the breakfast was good?” “Hope you’ve slept well?” “Is there anything I can do for you” No, there is no need to ditch these questions outright as they are important. What is important is to go beyond these. (Disclaimer – some guests like to be left alone, if you progress any further than these questions you are considered annoying, one size does not fit all)
your review would go something like this
“Was in town for business it is a good Hotel. Has a comfortable bed. Breakfast buffet was a good spread. Service was good.” Rating – 4 on 5.
Let’s take the example of the same business traveller. You chat him up and learn that he is in for a meeting tomorrow at 10 AM. What do you as hotelier do? Wished him all the best and smiled and continued work? Well maybe if you informed him that your city had a bad traffic problem and leaving earlier than usual is recommended, then he would probably be grateful to you. Simple but important gestures like these leave an impression on the guest’s mind. You can also try wishing them by their names since it helps break the ice.
Now your review would go something like this
“Was in town for business, delighted to be escorted into the room directly upon check-in after a long flight, not done by hotels on similar class in the city. Had a good room with comfortable bed, buffet breakfast was great. Service staff was extremely courteous and learning I was new in city told me when I should leave to get to my meeting on time which was great. Will certainly be back to the hotel when in town again. Highly Recommended Rating – 5 on 5.
Your learnings from this,
First – you are have just earned a loyal guest and repeat business
Second – this guest becomes your brand ambassador and leads to significant word of mouth marketing
Third – the review looked genuine, personalized and would instil more confidence among potential bookers
Sites like TripAdvisor are the most sought after review sites when travellers are looking to book. Make sure you automate review collection so that you get maximum reviews which will help you with better ranking as well and a better review score. Review Express tool by TripAdvisor will help you get there. Not just that, cloud PMS’s like Hotelogix will also integrate with Review Express so that you can retain these details as part of the guest history and refer to them later on too.
As always, do reach out to me on firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment with your views and thoughts.
Missed the first part of the blog? Read it here