Why should a hotel’s online reputation matter for every hotel owner?

Ways to manage your hotel’s online reputation

Your hotel’s online reputation management should be one of the core areas of focus for your brand. Every hotel owner needs to pay attention to a hotel’s online reputation as it directly impacts sales figures. Find out ways to manage your hotel’s reputation online.

How a hotel’s online reputation management impacts revenue

Online hotel reviews can be a source of motivation or worry for hotel owners! We live in times when everyone who has an opinion about a product or service shares the same on social media channels. It’s common for customers to look for online hotel reviews before hitting the “Book Now” button. For professionals in the hospitality industry, guests leaving online hotel reviews and detailing their experiences can be a matter of concern as guest reviews’ impact on hotel revenue is huge.

A hotel’s online reputation therefore holds value for travelers seeking to explore new destinations. Travelers check review sites and OTA platforms for not only the best deals, but to get a broader perspective of your hotel. The new-age traveler seeks to understand what others are saying about your hotel before confirming the booking status. Often, opinions of previous guests tend to influence the minds of the reader. Which is why, a one-star rating or a 5-star rating on a reputed platform often dictates the kind of revenue that can subsequently flow in for your hotel.

Importance of online reputation management for hotels

1) *A survey by Statistic Brain shows that as of 2017, 57% of travel reservations were made online.

What does this signify? Your target group is out there, surfing online and reading reviews via various devices.

2) 81% of travelers find online hotel reviews important and 49% will not make a reservation for a hotel that has zero reviews.

What your hotel guests say about your property in the form of text, photos or videos is the kind of content that is influencing the minds of the potential guests. Review sites such as TripAdvisor have a direct impact on the revenue for hotel owners.

Given that we now live in the Age of the Customer, it is but obvious that user-generated content is of paramount importance. This is one of the biggest forces in determining the hotel’s reputation online and can work wonders if strategized and managed properly. The best part is that Hotel online reputation management is not a mammoth task if done correctly.

How does hotel reputation connect with its revenue?

Hotel reviews can also have a direct impact on your hotel’s demand. A positive review from happy guests can influence the minds of the next reader toying with the idea of booking your hotel. Negative reviews on the other hand, can tarnish the image of your brand. Your hotel’s online reputation, therefore, holds tremendous value and must be a part of your marketing plan.

So, how can you go about with your hotel’s online reputation management?

The best way to ensure that your hotel reputation, both online and offline is pristine is to invest in a culture of solid, infallible guest experience. You won’t have to worry about the negative consequences when you avoid the causes all together. Hospitality is all about delighting your guests and when this is at the core of all your functions, a good chunk of your hotel online reputation management will be taken care of!

That being said, it is impossible to always be on top of everything when in the service industry! There will be times when unfavorable things happen, and this is why it is important to have an online reputation management plan for your hotel.

Read on to find out some ways in which you can manage your hotel’s reputation:

Pay attention to your guest: It’s simple, really! Creating an enhanced guest experience begins even before a customer makes a booking at your hotel. Ensure your hotel staff are trained to put guest experience at the centre of everything they do. This includes paying close attention to their needs through their stay with you and to proactively seek feedback. This will give you enough time to manage any queries or concerns raised by the guest at that moment. Pay attention to their specific preferences or demands and make a note of these preference as it might come in handy in the future, should the guest return to your property.

A happy guest will ensure others know about your property by posting hotel reviews, photos or videos that indicate the guest satisfaction levels. These naturally turn into testimonials that speaks volumes about your property.

Take the negative reviews in a positive light: Sure, not every guest will be a happy one. And, then, the grudges flow online. It’s ok to be a little stressed, but you can turn the situation in your favor with a response that aims to address the issue. Be polite, understand what your customer says and demonstrate how far you’d go to ensure the problem is resolved. Apologize sincerely and have them informed once the issue has been addressed.

You could also offer them a discount to entice them to revisit your property and thank them for giving you the opportunity to better your service. As you respond, there’ll be many other concerned travelers who will read and notice your approach. This shows your professional attitude that will help build trust and connect with your target group. Who knows, they could even go back to the review site to leave a revised hotel review for you, and voila! Your hotel’s reputation is back on track.

Use Automation Software: Technology has made hotels’ online reputation management quite an easy task. Be it independent hotel owners or a chain of hotels, smart hotel online reputation management tools are helping hoteliers drive more bookings. Instead of requesting a guest to fill up a feedback form at the time of check-out, you can automate the review collection process.

A Property Management System like Hotelogix that integrates with online hotel reputation management tools such as Review Express by TripAdvisor is highly recommended. With Review Express, you can customize your emails easily to obtain feedback. The PMS, in turn, can save the information and guest data for the future. Such emails remind guests to respond without the need for hotel staff to intrude in their personal space.

Besides, the email is sent out as soon as the guest checks out. This process helps increase your TripAdvisor ratings and reviews and displays latest reviews online. All these help you to generate more bookings

This is also important because the algorithm on which TripAdvisor works takes into account three factors, namely- quality of reviews, quantity and recency of reviews. Meaning the more positive reviews you have, the more the overall reviews you have and the ore recent reviews you get the higher you will be listed on TripAdvisor. By automating the review collection process to those guests who you know had a good time staying with you, you address all three factors that matter to the algorithm.

A sound reputation of your hotel will have a direct impact on your hotel occupancy levels in the long run. With the help of technology, you can leverage online reviews to increase business, boost your ratings and stay ahead of your competition. What are your ideas for online reputation management? Do let us know.

Ways to manage your hotel’s online reputation

The article is originally published on HospitalityNet

Divya Bhat

Divya Bhat is a content strategist and writer with over a decade’s experience in journalism and marketing. Apart from working with some of India’s leading media houses, she has also worked as a French language translator. An avid Customer Experience enthusiast, she is also passionate about the Travel & Hospitality industry. You can reach out to her at divya.bhat@hotelogix.com

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