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Online Reputation Management (ORM) is crucial for hotels to monitor and improve their image in the digital space. It involves tracking what is being said about the hotel online, responding to guest reviews, and building and maintaining a positive online reputation. In this guide, we will provide tips and strategies to improve the guest experience from pre-stay to post-stay, ultimately enhancing your hotel’s online reputation.
Why is Online Reputation Management Important for Hotels?
The online reputation of a hotel significantly impacts its future bookings and revenue. By effectively managing your online reputation, you increase the chances of getting more bookings, encourage guests to return, and have them become brand ambassadors.
A positive online reputation can also improve your Average Daily Rate (ADR) and Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR). Guests are willing to pay more for a hotel with a strong reputation and higher scores. This leads to increased ADR and RevPAR, resulting in enhanced revenue and profitability.
Furthermore, actively managing your online reputation allows you to benefit from upselling and cross-selling activities. When guests have a positive experience at a hotel, they are more likely to be receptive to additional services, such as spa treatments, restaurant reservations, or tours.
What Matters Most for the Modern Traveler
When booking a stay, modern travelers prioritize online reviews. According to recent data, 95% of travelers scan feedback before making a booking. Positive reviews and high ratings can help a property stand out and increase bookings. However, negative reviews are equally important, as consumers consider both sides of the coin before making a decision.
On average, travelers read nine reviews before booking, with 57% being positive and 43% being negative. Therefore, it is essential to have a strong online presence on platforms where travelers read reviews. These platforms include:
By being present on these platforms and regularly updating your profile with appealing content, you can attract more bookings and actively respond to guest feedback during both the pre-stay and post-stay phases.
Build and Manage Your Hotel’s Online Reputation
To build and manage your hotel’s online reputation effectively, it is crucial to develop a mindset focused on quality and improvement. Strive for a strategy where quality is deeply integrated into everything you do. This will demonstrate to your guests and staff that you value their experience and are committed to going the extra mile.
One effective approach to implementing quality improvements is the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle. This iterative process involves four steps:
Plan: Develop a plan for improving hotel operations and services. Identify areas that need improvement, set goals and objectives, and create a plan to achieve those goals. For example, if guest satisfaction is identified as an area needing improvement, analyze review data to determine specific areas that require attention.
Do: Implement the plan. This may involve upgrading technology, training staff, or making operational changes based on the identified areas for improvement.
Check: Assess whether the implementation has achieved the desired result. Monitor review data to determine if there is a decrease in negative reviews related to the areas targeted for improvement.
Act: Implement any necessary adjustments based on the lessons learned in the previous step. Continuously strive for improvement by repeating the PDCA cycle.
By implementing the PDCA cycle, you can develop an improvement mindset and actively work towards enhancing your hotel’s online reputation.
Look Through the Eyes of Your Guests
To improve your hotel’s online reputation, it is crucial to understand how your guests experience their stay. Collect as much information as possible on how your guests perceive your property and service from pre-stay to post-stay. Use this information to improve your offerings using the PDCA cycle.
Here are some areas to consider for improving the guest experience at each stage:
The pre-stay phase is the potential guest’s first impression of your property. To improve this experience, consider the following:
Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses: Analyze guest reviews to determine what guests mention most positively and negatively about your hotel. Use this information to identify your unique selling points and areas for improvement.
Showcase Your Unique Selling Points: Display a summary of reviews on your website to highlight your hotel’s strengths. Use TrustYou Widgets to provide a Meta-Review that summarizes your hotel’s overall reputation and features.
Optimize Your Booking Process: Offer a clear, comprehensive, and user-friendly booking process. Ensure that information provided during the booking process is accurate and matches the actual offerings of your hotel.
Offer Great Customer Service from the Beginning: Provide various contact channels, such as email, phone, and live chat, on your website. Respond promptly and professionally to inquiries to create a positive first impression.
During a guest’s stay, it is essential to address any issues or concerns promptly. By solving issues on the go, you can prevent negative reviews and demonstrate your commitment to providing a positive experience. For example, if a guest complains about a noisy room, offer a room change or provide earplugs to alleviate the issue.
Utilize tools like TrustYou Live Survey to gather real-time feedback from guests and address any concerns immediately.
After a guest has checked out, it is crucial to continue managing your hotel’s online reputation. This can be done by responding to guest reviews and actively seeking feedback.
Respond to Guest Reviews: Reply to both positive and negative reviews to show that you value guest feedback. By responding to reviews, you increase the chances of guests returning to your property.
Ask for Feedback: Use TrustYou Post-Stay Survey to collect feedback from guests. Customize the survey to ask relevant questions about their experience. This feedback can provide valuable insights for improving your hotel’s offerings.
By actively managing your hotel’s online reputation in the post-stay phase, you can demonstrate your commitment to guest satisfaction and continuously improve your services.
Your Staff, Your Stars
Hotel staff plays a critical role in online reputation management. Their interactions with guests, handling of complaints, and overall service can significantly influence guest satisfaction and reviews.
Ensure that your staff is well-trained, motivated, and appreciated. Investing in your staff directly impacts the quality and reputation of your hotel. Provide ongoing training to enhance their skills and empower them to provide exceptional service.
Craft Your Online Presence
A well-crafted digital presence is essential for hotels to connect with potential guests, promote their brand and services, and manage their online reputation.
To enhance your hotel’s online presence, consider the following strategies:
Refine Your Website: Ensure that your website is visually appealing, easy to navigate, mobile-friendly, and provides relevant content. Display guest reviews and ratings prominently to build trust.
Make it Easy for Travelers to Find You Online: Implement an SEO strategy to improve your website’s visibility in search engine results. Optimize your website structure, conduct keyword research, and focus on local SEO to attract relevant traffic.
Be Engaged on Social Media: Develop a social media strategy, choose the right platforms, create engaging content, utilize social media advertising, and respond to customer inquiries and feedback. Track and analyze your social media performance to optimize your strategy.
By refining your website, improving your search engine visibility, and engaging with potential guests on social media, you can enhance your hotel’s online presence and reputation.
Online reputation management is a crucial aspect of hotel operations. By actively managing your hotel’s online reputation, you can attract more bookings, encourage guest loyalty, and improve your revenue. Focus on providing exceptional guest experiences, collecting and responding to feedback, and consistently striving for improvement. With a well-crafted digital presence and a dedicated staff, you can enhance your hotel’s online reputation and stand out in the competitive hospitality industry.