There are many factors that can attract guests to a Bed and Breakfast (B&B) style of hotel accommodation. While the reasons could be plenty, the competition is tough for the smaller players with small and mid-sized hotels being preferred by a majority of travelers. A B&B is a small establishment and often includes the hosts who greet the guests on a personal level. Or, it can also be managed by a professional team in case of a slightly larger accommodation. Bed and Breakfast comes equipped with luxury suites, home with private bedrooms and attached bathrooms and in some cases, these include a great number of amenities to match the bigger names in the hotel industry.
A B&B online reputation management plays a major role in attracting guests to the particular accommodation. Your guests have access to the latest of information, updates, recommendations and reviews online. Smartphones have made it easier for guests to surf information on hours on the kind of place they’d like to stay.
Why B&Bs need to opt for Online Reputation Management:
1) Online reputation management is all about building a positive brand image of the B&B
2) Observing guest feedback online helps to improve services
3) Online reviews play an important role in influencing guest decisions. It’s vital to watch what is being said about your property
4) Responding to criticism in an amicable manner shows the professionalism of your staff
6) *97.7 percent traveler’s read online reviews by other travelers
*As per survey on Hospitality.net
B&B Online Reputation Management Tips:
Here are 5 tips you can use to manage your B&Bs reputation online.
- Understand Feedback and Respond Accordingly
A good number of travelers often leave hotel reviews on sites such as TripAdvisor. This is the most important place online to read what your guests have to say. Try to get a complete grasp of the details. Positive reviews as well as poor reviews, both should hold equal weightage. Spend time to respond to both kinds of reviews. Always remember to respond politely to agitated guests and try to resolve the problem online. Offer to follow-up and sort out the problem to maintain a good relation with the guest. This will display a professional attitude to new travelers who are browsing the review site in search of a perfect B&B. As a B&B manager, you can use this situation to get more referrals.
- Request Feedback Personally
A key to manage online reputation is paying close attention to your guest during their stay. While not many would prefer the idea of being forced to give a feedback, a subtle reminder would be helpful to gauge their experience. For e.g.: you can request the front desk professional to gently ask a guest about the experience and share the details via a feedback form. Or, use the SMS service to send a link so that the guest can register the feedback at a convenient time. Ask for suggestions to improve, what was the best thing about the B&B and other questions that should give you detailed insights. This will help to resolve issues in real-time in case a particular guest is unhappy with the service. Understanding the problem-area once you receive the feedback and solving it instantly will be better rather than an annoyed guest writing hurtful remarks online.
- Watch your Profile Online
It’s not enough to update your profile on various websites and with OTAs. You need to update details constantly to attract travelers who are looking for the best deals online. A B&B may be a smaller property as compared to hotels but there’s a niche group of travelers looking for a personal touch to their stay. Use this to your advantage, update your online pages with the latest images, add videos, and be innovative in creating a buzz. Even if you are a small-sized BnB, highlight your Unique Selling Point. If you do not have a website ready, you must do it at once! A website is a must for new travelers seeking information and it can also drive direct bookings to your hotels. Be aware about the rates and details published on websites of OTAs and ensure to keep details updated at all times.
- Manage Social Media Presence
A majority of travelers upload photographs and videos of their travel stays on social media channels. This is one of the easiest ways to grab attention online. Get professional help to keep your social media channels updated. Be regular in posting updates, highlight package deals, videos and testimonials to drive more bookings. It’s not enough to talk only about your hotel premises. Spend time to engage with guests via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more. Ask questions, tag visitors, introduce offers, run contests and be creative to maintain a loyal base of fan following. Blog and connect with guest bloggers to widen your reach online.
- Be Efficient and Prompt
Another key to manage your online reputation is to ensure you show promptness in your replies. Your staff needs to be efficient while dealing with queries online. Your query may appear as a Facebook message, or a comment on your website. A prompt reply shows you have a team in place and you care what the guests have to say. This can be practiced at the hotel’s premises as well. Anything added to enhance a guest experience during their stay will speak volumes for the kind of reviews you will get online. So, remember efficiency and promptness in service must begin at the hotel to get better reviews online.
While everyone is most concerned about online reviews, another important factor to consider is the word-of-mouth publicity. Happy guests ensure they tell people about their stay. In today’s times, word-of-mouth can happen either in person or online. This is one of the best ways to get recommendations.
A b&b hotels’ reputation management is uncomplicated once you have your basics in place. If you have any questions about reputation management, do drop your question below.