Hotel reputation management, more simply known as hotel reputation monitoring, is extremely important for all hotels worldwide, particularly the management of your web site’s reputation. Hotel reputation monitoring is the process of tracking and influencing how that your hotel is perceived through the internet. A lot of people are apprehensive when they try to research and visit a new hotel because of some negative reviews that they read on the internet. If you have read bad reviews you will assume that the hotel is not up to par; and if you see a number of very bad reviews you’ll be more than ready to avoid the hotel entirely. However, sometimes bad reviews can also mean that there is a lot of truth to them; and if you’re a hotel owner you need to be able to discern between what is a legitimate complaint and a simple misunderstanding.
For the hospitality industry, particularly the service and food business, online reviews and feedback provide the vital information needed to effectively communicate with your guests and maintain positive client relationships. Without good customer service, revenue will naturally fall. Online reviews also allow you to get an objective look at your business through other customers’ eyes; and if done correctly can provide a vote of confidence for your hotel or other property. As a result of having many positive reviews and feedback from your guests, the volume of revenue that flows into your hotel will go up.
Hotels use many different strategies in their efforts to get a good review online and to maintain a high level of customer satisfaction. One of the most popular strategies is to participate in social media platforms and create content on the hotel’s Facebook page and Twitter account. Review sites like Yelp and Google+ also help the hotel industry by giving hotels a bad review an opportunity to amend it and show how they are improving. However, these review sites require hotels to take active participation, which means either manually making updates on a regular basis or using hired help services.
TripAdvisor, a travel website, has become one of the most popular forms of hotel reputation management. Its unique platform allows users to rate and comment on almost any aspect of their travel experiences, from hotel room experiences to vacation destinations and even restaurants and shopping experiences. Like other review sites, TripAdvisor requires hotels to take active participation, which means either manually making updates on a regular basis or using hired help services. By hiring a team of travel experts, a hotel has the ability to increase the level of customer satisfied than relying on manual updating alone. The more employees involved, the more money hoteliers stand to gain.
Another important tool in the fight against poor guest experiences is online community forums. These are places where travelers discuss their current hotel experiences in a completely anonymous fashion. While travel forums are beneficial to the hospitality industry because they provide a constant pool of information, they’re not necessarily the best source for content. Some of the most controversial issues in the travel industry have been surrounding social media platforms, both Facebook and Twitter, and this type of content may not always be appropriate for some reviewers.
This means that one of the few remaining ways in which to combat poor guest experiences rests with two different types of review sites: social media platforms and online reputation networks. Social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, allow customers to share reviews of local businesses with friends, family, and their contacts. Many people go on vacation to places they’ve never been before, which allows them to create a true bond with their loved ones and fellow travelers. While travel reviews on websites such as TripAdvisor can be helpful, it’s important to remember that the purpose of these sites is to attract business. Businesses can use Facebook and Twitter to attract customers who are already planning to travel to that particular destination. Both sites offer significant advantages to businesses in terms of hotel reputation management, which can be used in tandem to create a positive buzz about a particular property.
Positive feedback is paramount for creating a positive image in the minds of potential travelers, which is why hotel reputation management software can be so helpful. Such software works by collecting information from social media platforms and reviewing the comments left by visitors to the hotel’s website. It then processes the data to identify negative mentions, which can then be used to produce custom reports for use by a hotel’s marketing team. These reports can be used to provide potential customers with tips on how to improve their experience at the hotel, as well as highlighting any positive aspects that might be worth noting.
Hotel owners who use review portals, such as TripAdvisor, to combat bad reviews, will need to do more than create a single comment on the site. In order to get the most out of their efforts, they should actively monitor the discussion threads to determine which threads are being talked about most, as well as engage with guests directly to answer any questions they may have. For instance, instead of responding to a question by a guest with a generic “Thank you,” post a comment along the same lines as the original question, letting the guest know that you were not only satisfied with their experience but that you would be sure to return. Similarly, hotels should avoid posting messages on forums that are specifically mentioning the name of the hotel or discussing a negative review by a guest. While the hotel will still receive some initial comments regarding its performance, it will be met with an immediate counter from a review portal that is specifically looking to spotlight the negative reviews.