Hotel reviews are important for driving new business for hotels, as most guests book their stay online from OTAs like Booking.com or Expedia. Travelers looking to book their next vacation are very likely to search for destinations & hotels on Google & TripAdvisor.
First and foremost, reviews will affect your hotel’s rankings on OTAs and Metasearch engines. But another important aspect is that guests who view your hotel online are affected by your review scores and by your recent reviews.
The KPIs to look out for
1. Review Score
Multiple studies on e-word-of-mouth for hotels, have proven that the most important factor affecting booking decisions is a hotel’s Review Score. If a guest had to choose between 2 hotels with similar location, amenities & facilities and at the same price that it is way more likely for them to book the one with the highest review score.
But what’s important for you, is that travelers are actually willing to pay more for a hotel with a higher review score so this is a great investment to stand out from your competition and increase your RevPAR. Studies have shown, that on average every 1% improvement in online reputation translates to a 1.4% improvement in RevPAR.
So since your review score, will impact your Occupancy rate and RevPAR, this should be one of the main KPIs to track.
2. Number of reviews
The number of reviews you have can affect a prospective guest’s decision to book a room at your hotel. This happens because if you have more reviews it’s easier for a guest to trust that those reviews are genuine. So, you need to make sure that you have enough reviews so that potential buyers can be sure that the review score they’re seeing is realistic and genuine.
Unfortunately, this is a KPI that matters less once you acquire more than enough reviews. Regardless, it’s important to get many review in the channels you are interested in.
3. Comments & guest opinions in recent reviews
Most travelers trust other people’s opinions when they are reading their online reviews. It is important to maintain mostly positive reviews, ideally ones that highlight your main selling points and keep negative reviews as low as possible. It is important to respond to negative reviews quickly, as it gives you a chance to convince new guests to pay less attention to the negative review while showing that you care about your guest’s experience.
Rankings have a strong effect on your visiblity and total reach online, which essentially means the higher you rank more people will view your property. This KPI is more tricky, as there are only a few things in your direct control to improve your rankings. By improving your review score and review volume you should expect to see higher rankings, but you will need to be patient as it takes time. Ranking in the top 10 hotels of your city or location can prove very useful in ensuring your long-term success.
How do I improve my review score?
Of course there are many things you can do to improve your review score. Your focus should be around improving the experience for guests so they will gladly promote your hotel after their check-out. Buying or getting fake reviews in any sort of way puts your online reputation in very high risk and I would discourage you from doing any such moves.
Ideally, you should focus on real-time (or close to real-time) guest feedback and reputation monitoring in order to identify recurring issues and quickly offer solutions that will improve the experience for guests. Common problems that are easily fixed are the following:
The check-in experience
Guests who arrive at your hotel, may often be tired from long trips or being sleepless while traveling, so one of the most important aspects you need to focus on is the check-in experience because first impressions last.
If your hotel offers breakfast, you should focus to offer enough variety to cover many dietary needs and make sure to have vegan and vegetarian options. Investing in providing high-quality breakfast to guests is a far better choice than getting negative reviews that will cost you more in the long run.
Room lighting & noise
One of the most common issues that we see with guest reviews are related to noise or lighting issues within the room. Make sure to include high-quality and low energy consumption lighting in the rooms, invest in curtains that can make the room pitch black when needed and also focus on insulating from noise so that guests can enjoy quality sleep.
Staff behavior & friendliness
Gone are the days when guests only expect a bed to sleep in. Due to the high level of competition, customer expectations are very high and your staff should be well trained in providing high quality service while being friendly & professional at all times.
How do I get more reviews?
One of the simplest ways is to kindly ask guests who are leaving to write a review for your property online so that you can maintain a high level of service for all future guests. No need to bribe guests, as that can be abused.
Send out Guest Surveys
You can send out Guest Surveys through e-mail to guests after their checkout and once they submit them, you can redirect them to a review site of your choice to get more reviews.
How do I monitor what guests are saying?
Unless you own a small property (<10 rooms), it becomes harder and harder to monitor all reviews on all the channels. Ideally, you should monitor all reviews and not focus selectively on just TripAdvisor or Booking.com.
Since it’s impractical to read all reviews each week and each month for reporting reasons, it’s clear that a more automated approach is needed. See how GuestFlip can help you automate 90% of your reputation management efforts and how we help you succeed.
How do I rank higher on TripAdvisor?
Ranking higher on TripAdvisor is not a simple process and you are guaranteed to face roadblocks on your way up the ladder. It’s a highly competitive process but you need to focus on the following:
Improve your review scores
Follow the tips included in this guide to get higher review scores because rankings are mostly based on your review score.
Monitor your competition
Monitor the reviews of your competitors in order to identify their strengths and weaknesses. This way, you can get new ideas about improving your service and slowly climbing up the ladder.
Get more reviews
So you have already made many improvements and you are consistently getting better review scores. Now’s the time to up the volume by sending out surveys and urging your guests to share their opinion online. By getting more reviews with higher average scores, you can achieve higher review scores within a few months and start ranking better on TripAdvisor.
With GuestFlip you can view all your reviews in one dashboard and use our automated response builder to create personalized responses in a matter of seconds.
Closely monitor your competition using our competitive intelligence tool and set goals to improve your overall ratings.