Everything that you need to know about Hotel reputation management
Though reputation management is important for every business that’s out there, for hotels, monitoring and managing customer perceptions can be a matter of life and death. This is one place where negative feedback tends to have an adverse effect on your ability to generate business, which is why we have decided to create this guide to effective hotel Reputation Management.
Hotels are not easy to run
One of the things that we need to take note of is the fact that it’s not really easy to run a hotel. A major challenge in this regard is that interaction with your customers is in such close quarters that chances of something going wrong are increased double-fold.
A seemingly small thing such as a missing towel can be turned into a mountain, with the customer instantly going to TripAdvisor and leaving a negative review about your business. Hotels, over and above sheltering people, also have to manage perceptions, which tends to be a difficult proposition.
People rely on the internet for information about hotels
Hotels, though physical entities, have to deal with the digital consequences of the world in which we live today, largely due to the fact that most people find almost all the information that they need about a particular establishment on the internet. That is the major reason why online reputation management is so important for hotels.
Defining Reputation Management
Reputation Management is something that we have already mentioned a couple of times in this post, but what, really, are we referring to? In essence, reputation management is the process by which businesses monitor and manage perceptions about their brands. In today’s world, online reviews are an integral part of the reputation management cycle.
Online reviews have made the hotel industry fiercely competitive
If you thing that ORM is inconsequential for those in the hotel industry, then consider the fact that not only are you jostling for customers with your competitors offline, but you are also doing so in the digital world. Online Reviews have made it simple for between to choose between one establishment and the other based on a number of factors, including ratings, price and popularity.
Negative feedback is inevitable for hotels
We have already noted that hotels have a much more intimate form of interaction with their customers. Though this can be a plus, it does tend to have it’s major negatives. For one thing, a simple thing can, as already noted, end up getting blown out of proportion, with the result that you will have negative reviews posted all over the internet. So, how do your protect your hotel from this negative feedback.
Effective Reputation Management for Hotels
- Have a presence where it matter
This is the first thing that you need to do as far as managing your hotel’s online reputation is concerned. Several platforms dominate the industry and you should make sure that your (satisfied) customers leave feedback there. These include TripAdvisor, Booking.com, Airbnb and many more.
You should also make sure that you have claimed your business listing on various platforms, including on Yelp and Google My Business. The great thing about most of these listings is that they come free of charge. Yet they tend to have an oversized impact on your reputation and on your ability to generate more business.
- Be on the lookout for negative review
This is another useful piece of advice as far as ORM for hotels is concerned. A major challenge in this regard is that reviews usually appear with the latest showing first. So, if you have recently received a negative review, this is the one that people will likely see first when they look up your brand.
- Automate the ORM process
The internet is wide, and through there are a few established players when it comes to gathering online reviews, it’s never going to be possible for you to manually check out each and every site for mentions of your brand. That is why it’s so important for you to use software that has been designed to automate the process of managing your online reputation.
This is something that we, at Boost Reviews, specialize in. Our top of the range platform gives you the ability to gather reviews, dispute negative reviews and syndicate them to major search engines for Star Ratings. All this while scouring across the net for mentions of your brand. Having this kind of information allows you to quickly and effectively respond to negative feedback.
- Never respond to fire with fire
You may have already come across a number of instances where a business owner unwisely chose to fight fire with fire, with the result that, instead of dying a natural death, a negative review turned viral, and ended up getting splashed across the internet.
Patience and empathy are two of the most important qualities that every ORM expert should look to develop. The thing to remember is that you need to quickly respond to negative reviews, which gives you a better chance of connecting with the concerned customer.
- Have fake reviews removed
Depending on the platform, there are ways that you are going to be able to use to have negative reviews removed. Google, as an example, allows you to flag reviews that are patently false, contain inappropriate language and are offensive.
- Encourage customers to leave reviews
One of the things that you need to take note of is the fact that people are not naturally inclined to leave reviews on the internet. You actually need to nudge them in order to get them to do so. Encouraging people to leave reviews is, therefore, an important part of the ORM process. You can send them reminders via email, by SMS or even over the phone.
- Offer incentives to people who leave reviews
One of the ways through which you can get people to review your hotel is by offering them an incentive for doing so. Give them a discount on their next visit, and you will ensure that not only will they choose your hotel the next time that they are in the area, but that they will also give you the kind of feedback that you are looking for.
- High Quality Online Materials
Another thing to remember is that your hotel’s online asserts should be as high a quality as is possible. Having high quality images on your website, as an example, will ensure that not only will you be taken seriously, but also that people will have greater confidence in you as a business, largely due to the fact that they will be able to see what’s on offer.