A stunning 97% of consumers look online for businesses. Thanks to the internet, finding reputable and good businesses have become easier. This means maintaining a good online reputation is crucial.
Online reputation is basically about what people are saying about your hotel on the internet. Online reviews, social media posts, forum discussions, and other online medium affect your online reputation. However, most part of it is shaped by online reviews. So, to maintain a good online reputation, you have to maintain good online reviews.
Managing Your Hotel Online Reviews
Online reviews are very important for hotels. They are the first thing people see about your business. 85% of people trust online reviews as if they were personal recommendations, so you can’t neglect them. They are the flesh and the bones of your reputation.
One of the best ways to get positive online reviews is to provide excellent services to your guests. Good reputation always starts with your guest’s experience. If they had a good time staying at your hotel, then there’s no reason to leave a negative review at all. It also makes it easier for you to ask them to write a positive review on popular review sites.
Your Staff and Their Role
One of the most important aspects of a hotel is the friendliness, expertise, and experience of its staff. Make sure you hire and train excellent staff. Teach them how to handle complaints in a positive, neutral, and friendly way and tell them to remain calm at all times no matter the situation. Your staff represent your hotel; they are the face of your business. Ensure that you give them proper training and also don’t forget to give them incentives when they do a job well done.
The Art and Importance Replying to Online Reviews for your Hotel
According to TripAdvisor, 65% of people are more likely to book a hotel that responds to reviews compared to those who doesn’t and 80% of people believe that hotels that respond to reviews care more about its guests. Therefore, you must try to reply to all reviews. Be it a positive one, showering you with praise, or a negative one, berating you, perhaps even threatening you, leave no stone unturned.
Replying to positive reviews may seem pointless, but it actually offers a number of benefits. It encourages loyalty and it turns reviewers into brand ambassadors that will spread good word about your hotel. In addition to that, people browsing for reviews will see your responses and it will leave a positive impression.
When replying to positive reviews, add a personal touch to your replies. Write the reviewer’s name, mirror the details of their response, and express your gratitude. One trick for this is to think about how you would reply in person. This will make your responses more engaging, more natural, and more personal.
You can skip replying on some of the positive reviews and its ok, but you must reply to all negative reviews. Not a single negative review should be left out. This is the area where you should put all of your efforts in.
Responding to all negative reviews is already a hard task. Make it even harder because you’ll have to read criticisms, backlash, negative emotions, and perhaps even threats.
Yes, this might be one of the most stressful tasks out there. But this is where you’ll shine!
Again, according to TripAdvisor, 85% of people agree that a thoughtful response to a bad review will improve their impression of the hotel. So, don’t be afraid to receive negative reviews and act like it’s the end of the world! If you can respond to them in the right way, you’ll still win in the end.
Just like what you’ll do in positive reviews, respond to negative reviews with a personal touch, but don’t add your personal wild emotions to it! Keep your responses calm and professional.
Guide the negative review writer. Address the issue and tell them to contact you to get it settled. Not only you’ll turn a bad review into a good one if you successfully settled the issue, you’ll also score points to your prospects by showing them that you truly care.
Another quick fact: 69% of people will less likely to book a hotel that leaves aggressive and defensive management responses. Another reason not to show your dark side on the internet.
Use Simple Language
Don’t use corporate terms or jargons or overly complicated words. Reply to reviews in a conversational tone or try to match the tone of the reviewer when responding to positive reviews (never match the reviewer’s tone in negative reviews unless you want to become one of the worst hotels). If your responses are too rigid, too formal, or too dry, you might sound like you’re just copy-pasting your responses. Respond like you’re talking to them face to face.
Encourage Guests to Leave Reviews for your Hotel
One of the best ways to build and maintain your online reputation is to encourage satisfied guests to leave reviews. A way to do this is by sending them a post-stay email, asking them for a feedback.
Make it easier for them to leave reviews. Place links to the review site of your preference in your email, plus include steps on how to write or register on the site.
Another way of doing asking for a review is by mentioning it at the front desk, especially after the guest(s) checked out. A simple one would do, like, “don’t forget to leave us a review at yelp.com (or whatever your preferred website is)” after thanking them for their stay.
Claim Your Hotel Online Business Profiles
Optimize your online presence by claiming and updating your online business profiles. For hotels, the most important review websites are Yelp, Google My Business, Hotels.com, Booking.com, and TripAdvisor.
By claiming your business profile, you can edit it with an updated and correct information. Most of the time, an unclaimed profile contains outdated, incorrect, or even misleading information and you can only fix that by claiming it. In addition to that, these websites make it easier for you to monitor and respond to reviews.
A hotel’s online reputation is everything nowadays. People use the internet to find and book hotels almost all the time, so it’s only natural that you monitor what they’re saying about you on the internet and responding to what they say in an appropriate manner.