Alongside room rates, closely followed by brand name and online images of your hotel, guest reviews play a big part in converting hotel browsers into customers, and generate an overall brand rating that, as we move into a new decade, is no longer possible to ignore.
Heavily visited travel websites such as TripAdvisor, Expedia, Hotels, Yelp - not forgetting Google and Facebook - have made reviews and ratings more visible than ever, having huge influence on customers and prompting hoteliers to think twice about the service they provide. In a two-part blog on hotel review management, here’s why you should make the guest experience your top priority in 2020:
Guest Reviews Are More Important Than Ever
Booking online is customary - fast and straightforward for guests with all the information they need waiting at a glance. This is great news for hoteliers, but also means your guest reviews and ratings are no secret. Airbnb, now bragging more than 150-million users worldwide, is giving hoteliers a run for their money, with one main reason being its close-knit, trustworthy online community where reviews mean business for hosts or none at all.
Whether your guest rating is outstanding or less than satisfactory, there's always room for improvement and extra effort to be made in outshining your competitors. Thankfully, this can be done over time by simply listening to your guests and encouraging the review process.
Strive for Online Reviews at Every Step
The keyword here is online - from a simple “We can’t wait to read your review of our excellent customer service” at the email confirmation stage to a friendly follow-up after departure, inspire your guests to leave an online review at every step of the guest experience, as positive reviews, even moderate reviews, will balance out your online ratings, increase exposure and acquire space where past negative reviews stood out like a sore thumb.
So, in 2020, encourage reviews as much as possible: before and after emails, subtle reminders from staff and review methods across all your online platforms. If you’re generous, you can even offer a reward in exchange, such as a small discount on a second booking. It also goes without saying that, provided your service is ideal, guests will be driven to leave a public review out of sheer satisfaction from their experience.
Learn From What Your Guests Are Saying
A good online rating comes from great reviews, which will accumulate by providing the best customer experience possible. While online reviews boost ratings, comment cards and paper surveys remain important in that they provide more valuable guest feedback, which you can take on board, in addition to what your online reviews are saying, to bolster your overall service.
Your guests are the number-one source for learning your strengths and pinpointing your weaknesses - by knowing these unreservedly, you can focus on each aspect which, in turn, will produce satisfied customers and a steady stream of favourable online feedback.
Showcase Your Positive Customer Feedback
What good is a perfect 5-star guest review if it’s not seen? Never be afraid to entice new customers with your positive online reviews and feedback; there’s no shame in displaying them across your online platforms, which lets customers know that your hotel delivers - and also takes pride - in the service it provides.
In the event of a bad review, however, make sure you’re armed and ready with need-to-know tips in our second blog: Managing Hotel Reviews Part II - 2020 Guide for Dealing with a Bad Review.
Are you actively striving for flawless guest reviews? Let us know in the comments below!
RELATED PAGES AND BLOG POSTS:
- Guest Wellbeing - What Your Hotel Rooms Should Inspire
- The Importance of Guest Feedback and Managing Your Online Reputation
- Managing Hotel Reviews Part II - 2020 Guide for Dealing with a Bad Review