More than half of travellers around the world won’t even consider booking a hotel before reading what previous guests have to say, with the majority of Australians preferring to read through as many as 8 reviews before deciding on a property.
Good, bad and ugly, the opinions of your guests are out there available for anyone to leaf through – and they can make or break the success of your entire digital campaign. The positive news is, with a little management, you can turn guest feedback into a powerful marketing force.
1. Respond To All Reviews Quickly
This is priority one when it comes to making the most of guest feedback. Whether the review is glowing or negative, responding to everyone who has taken the time to leave their thoughts on your service demonstrates to your guests – and the rest of the world- that you value their opinions and are ready to learn and improve. Don’t waste this very public opportunity to showcase your commitment to customer care.
2. Showcase Positive Reviews On Your Website
What better way to give your guests a final push to book direct than a few, carefully placed reviews on your hotel’s website? You can either incorporate content directly from review sites using a TripAdvisor widget, or (with your guests’ permission) simply use their words and picture to add authenticity to your marketing fire. You may even consider adding a separate page for guest reviews.
Whatever you opt for, proudly displaying the feedback of past guests is a great way to harness the power of word of mouth marketing on your hotel website.
3. Leverage Feedback On Social Media
While TripAdvisor may still be the first port of call for most holiday planners, your guests are increasingly turning to social media to discover what friends, family and their wider networks are saying about your hotel.
As well as regularly reminding guests to leave reviews and cross promoting the best of the bunch between platforms, don’t forget the power of running guest surveys and publishing the results. When you do post a review, whether it’s in its’ entirety or just a snippet, adding an eye catching image will help capture the attention of even more guests.
4. Share Guest Reviews Via Email
The average working person spends up to 30% of their day checking their inboxes, and receives more messages than they have time to read, so it’s pretty important that your hotel’s emails pack a powerful marketing punch. Including a selection of feedback in your emails is a good way to encourage prospective guests who may be on the fence about booking and remind previous guests why they should book again, pronto.
5. Make It Super Easy To Leave Reviews
If you want to encourage a steady stream of guest feedback, you’ve got to make it easy –really easy – for even the laziest traveller to leave a review. Offering free in-room WiFi has been shown to increase reviews, as well as increasing the likelihood that the review left will be a positive one.
There are multiple touch points where you should take the opportunity to drive reviews, from during check-out to post stay emails and on your hotel’s landing pages. However you’re encouraging reviews, just make sure it’s simple to actually leave one. Remove any obstacles and unnecessary clicks in the review process. Keep feedback forms and surveys short and to the point, and display links to review sites prominently in your review request emails.
Are there any other ways guest reviews can be used to market your hotel? Let us know in the comments below!