Hotel Reputation Management: Let’s face facts, running a hotel is not an easy task!
There are so many things to take care of: cleaning, lodging, food, bar, customer service and so much more.
That’s not all! You need to think about marketing too: both online and offline.
In this era of digitalization, where everything is run by technology and information presented online, there’s an excellent chance that your guests are sharing their experiences online for the world to see.
Most customers gather their information about hotels either online or through social media platforms.
An Expedia study confirms, “….there is a 72% that a traveller would pay more for a hotel with higher guest ratings, versus solely selecting a hotel by brand.”
Your hotel can be physical, but your online reputation is digital, and it can either make or break your brand image.
Here’s a post to watch out for!
Let’s start with the basics…
What is hotel reputation management?
Hotel reputation management is about managing your hotel’s online brand to protect your business from public embarrassment and shame.
Businesses hire hotel reputation management companies to micromanage everything: tracking review sites, engaging on social media, optimizing sites for search, managing PR to handling scandals, and everything in between.
We can divide hotel reputation management into two parts:
1 Understanding through reviews and ratings about what is being said about your business online.
- Analysing the impact and taking steps actively to develop strategies to improve the hotel’s reputation.
Marrying these steps help your brand in the face of an unexpected crisis, and at the same time strengthens it during prosperous times.
Does your hotel business require hotel reputation management?
Whether you are in the hospitality industry or any other industry, online reviews are crucial for most businesses.
Here are a few pointers to help you understand the essence of hotel reputation management services for your business:
- The internet is teeming with choices
There are innumerable choices online, and you customers won’t think twice before selecting a high rated – or cheap -alternative. Therefore you need to make your presence loud and clear!
- Reviews are the new norm now
Nowadays, customers, never use their credit cards before checking reviews, especially when booking hotels. Hence online reviews are a big deal and you need hotel reputation management.
- Customers rely on reviews more than on websites
Businesses often tend to bend the truth in their marketing and add a few or more over-the-top reviews to catch the attention. But that doesn’t mean all are fake or paid reviews.
Maybe 1 or 2, but not all 100 of them.
A sheer volume of reviews helps customers believe more about your hotel, and also give them a sense of protection and trust.
6 tactics to effective hotel management reputation
When exploring ways to manage your hotel reputation online, you’ll come across plenty. Some are easy to follow while others can be a little tricky to navigate.
- Stay active on social media
Social media give your business and your brand recognition a voice and a platform that connects to thousands of people. Just like your brand, there are thousands of other brands too, working hard to gain popularity.
So what will distinguish your brand from others?
Consistency! It is the key to building and maintaining your community and your target audiences.
Did you know more than 72% of consumers learn better about a product or service through videos?
- Start making and posting videos to boost the engagement rate of your audience.
- Film behind-the-scenes footage and give the audience a sneak-peak of exclusivity.
- Partner with local businesses and highlight your exciting offers, unique features and more.
- Your audiences view you as an expert in the industry, hence use your platform, and your brand, to make an impact, effectively
- Real-time engagement with your audience
No strategy can overpower the effectiveness of authentic interaction and communication. Real-time engagement with audiences builds brand loyalty and make customers feel that you actually care for them – increasing your bookings and retention rate.
According to DJ Vallauri, president of writes for Hospitality Net, CEO and founder of Lodging Interactive’s founder, a business gets a competitive edge over its rivals just by being online.
Ways to improve your online engagement rate:
- Try to reply to comments (both positive and negative).
- Live chat with your audience and resolve their queries.
- Be available 24/7 on Messenger or Whatsapp to respond (you can also automate this service)
But, quick replies aren’t the solution to retain customers and make them happy. High –quality, personalized reply helps in forging better personal communication with target audiences.
- Optimization is key!!
According to a survey by imFroza, almost 93% of online transactions initiates with a search -therefore you must make your business visible to the target audiences.
How? Through SEO (Search Engine Optimization)!
A few SEO basics that will help make your business more visible:
If you abide by these core principles of SEO, your site will rank higher in the Google search results, helping customers to find you better,
- Gather good reviews
Did you know no more than 93 % of people determine whether or not to book a hotel based on online reviews?
No doubt, why reviews are so important.
According to Ipsos, 68% of customer trusts their friend’s reviews and 53% are
affected by user-generated content.
So how do get good reviews?
- Start building up your online presence on review sites like TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google Reviews that will help your audience know that your hotel is a top choice among guests and planners.
- Collect reviews from guests by explaining to them how important it is to your business
- Encourage your onsite staff to ask for reviews, especially if they have and a personal connection with the guests.
- Don’t forget to follow up with your guests either via phone or email to know more about their thoughts on your property.
- Conduct surveys and include the link in Yelp or TripAdvisor
- Don’t forget to set up a testimonials and reviews page on your website.
- Focus on digital marketing
In this era of digitalization, one cannot overlook the importance and the necessity of digital marketing for your business.
Digital marketing involves using different channels and types of content to create a digital a digital presence through:
- Email marketing
- Content marketing
- Digital advertising.
Visibility and communication are crucial more than ever. Audiences are curious to know everything about your business, your status, your story. This helps to build trust among your target audience.
- Try avoiding negative reviews
Different people have different perspectives and different thought processes. What one may find good, the other may not. You cannot control them!
But the best way to handle negative reviews is to avoid them.
Adele Gutman, the vice-president of sales, marketing, and revenue at the Library Hotel Collection has given some tips on hotel reputation management, saying, that the best way to make the journey on the first page of TripAdvisor is to avoid negative reviews.
It’s true that first impression matters but a last bad impression is even worse. Therefore make sure your guests leave your property on a good note.
To put it in simple terms, your hotel’s online reputation for n is significantly crucial for your online business. You must hire the best hotel reputation management company to help boost your brand image online.
Take full advantage of this article and make the most of it for your business.