Reviews have an immense impact on your online reputation and a knock-on effect on booking rates. According to recent research from TripAdvisor, as many as 93% of travellers around the world say their holiday decisions are impacted by the reviews they read online.
With such weight placed on the opinions of other guests, and so many people ready to leave overly negative reviews over even the smallest of shortcomings, it’s no wonder many properties feel powerless when it comes to protecting their reputation on the web.
So what can you do to take control and put your best face forward online? Use these four steps as your guide.
Step 1: Learn From Bad Reviews and Take Action
Although some reviews are left out of spite and are completely unjust, in most cases, there’s something to learn from even the most negative piece of feedback.
In fact, analysing less than complimentary guest reviews, then taking action to change, is one of the best ways you can take real, actionable steps to improve your service. It might be something as simple as re-training staff on telephone etiquette, adjusting your check-out times or changing to a more reliable WiFi provider, for example.
Step 2: Let Disgruntled Guests (and the world) Know You’ve Taken Action
Have you fixed the issue of the faulty air conditioning system in room 4? If so, let the original reviewer - and everyone else – know about it. Take time to write a polite and positive response, thanking the person for their feedback and apologising for the inconvenience caused. Reassure them that the problem has now been resolved and perhaps offer a discount on a future booking if you think the situation warrants it.
You should also be ready to say thank you if you receive a particularly positive review. Responding to as much of your feedback as you can will illustrate to the global online audience that you are truly committed to providing a great guest experience.
Step 3: Look Into Online Reputation Management Tools
There’s a plethora of tools out there designed to help you monitor, manage and improve your online reputation. Whether you use a free tool like Google Alerts or opt for a paid service such as ReviewPro, these tools will speed up the process of finding and responding to potentially damaging reviews online, helping you to polish your digital reputation and drive more bookings as a result.
Step 4: Provide The Best Service You Can
This one almost goes without saying but there’s no better way to ensure a shining reputation on the internet than by making sure your guests are happy before they check out. By encouraging guests to leave feedback before they leave the property (via reminder texts, paper questionnaires etc) and ensuring your reception staff are adequately trained to deal with complaints, you may be able to stop some of the most vitriolic reviews finding their way onto the web.
Managing online negativity is great, striving to eliminate these negative comments is even better.
How does your resort protect your reputation online? Let us know in the comments below!