Blue Magnet Hotel Online Marketing Guide

How to Get the Most Value from Your Hotel’s Guest Reviews

Over the years, managing your hotel’s reputation has become more complex than just reviewing guest comment cards or speaking to guests directly. With the help of Internet, travelers can now give feedback with a click of a button on sites like TripAdvisor or Expedia (OTAs), social media channels (Facebook, Twitter), and local listings (Yelp, Google+). This means your hotel will be talked about in positive or negative light with or without you being present on that channel.

How do these online guest reviews affect your hotel? The answer is simple: a lot. With more than 290 million traveler opinions and over 190 reviews posted every minute on TripAdvisor and over 1.04 billion daily active Facebook users, potential guests have a lot of opportunities to find your hotel online, see what others are saying about you, and form an opinion without even stepping foot on your property.

We explored how to respond to online traveler reviews in a previous post; today I am going to guide you through managing your online reputation and discovering the value from these reviews.

Step One: How to Find Where Guests are Talking About You

Guests have plenty of opportunities to discuss their experience at your hotel throughout the internet. The most popular places are through your OTA listings, social media profiles, and local listings (listed below). Here is how you can locate these reviews in order to respond:

OTAs

Social Media Channels

Local Listings

Step Two: Respond to Reviews

After locating your reviews, continue the one-on-one conversation with your guests. An excellent way to tackle responding to all of these reviews is to create a team of dedicated responders. One of the most frequently asked questions we receive at Blue Magnet Interactive is, “Should we respond to ALL reviews?” The answer is no. As incredible as it would be to acknowledge each and every guests’ opinion, it is also very time consuming. Your hotel should strive to respond to 100% of negative reviews and at least 30% of positive and neutral reviews.

When replying to reviews, keep these tips in mind:

Step Three: Encourage Current Guests to Share Their Story

Avoid negative online feedback by being proactive and talking to your guests while they are at your hotel. Encourage your staff to mingle; this way, you have an opportunity to resolve any issues before your guest leaves. You can also share your TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence on your hotel’s brand and/or independent website and on social media. Your web visitors will be inspired to check out your TripAdvisor page, read about your hotel’s unique amenities, discover how much past guests have enjoyed staying with you, and then book with your hotel. If potential guests are reading a negative review and notice your hotel has responded, they are less likely to continue on with their research because they are seeing your hotel takes the initiative and values your guests’ opinion.

Step Four: Discover the Value

The final step in managing your hotel’s online reputation is to find the value in what guests are saying about your hotel. Appreciate the opportunities your past guests are providing you with and learn for future guest experiences. Do not just brush a negative review off. Investigate the comments and discuss with your staff during team meetings. This is also a fantastic chance to highlight team members praised in reviews.

Please, Thanks, and Learn

All that is left to do is sit back, monitor your reviews, and observe the difference in having an online presence compared to not actively being a part of the conversation. Now, it is your turn to say “please and thanks” to your reviewers and improve upon your efforts for future guests. By responding to reviews in a positive and polite tone, you are showing users that your hotel cares, changing a frustrated guest’s opinion, and encouraging potential guests to stay at your hotel.

For additional resources to manage your hotel’s online reputation, set up Google alerts or monitor all of your reviews in one place with a reputation management platform such as Revinate or your brand’s platform of choice (i.e. Marriott’s guestVoice).

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