We understand that hotel review management is not an easy task. But with enough focus, it can be a great strategy for increasing your competitive muscle in your location. Rocking your hotel review management strategy means that you will improve your hotel reputation leading to higher occupancy rates, increased prices, or even both. In this article, we’ll try to give you the tips that will help you stand out in a positive way and make the most out of your review management strategy.
#1 Respond to reviews on all channels, not just TripAdvisor
A common mistake that we see with many hotels is that they respond only to TripAdvisor reviews. Don’t get me wrong, responding to TripAdvisor reviews is important. But you should focus on other channels that may be important for your business as well. Google reviews are growing a lot so they should be a part of your hotel review management strategy as well. And of course you shouldn’t forget OTA reviews where a response (or a lack thereof) can directly impact booking decisions.
Ideally, you should upgrade your review management strategy by:
- Monitoring at least 5 of the online channels that bring you the most bookings
- Responding to all negative reviews on all channels
- Picking 2-3 channels where you’ll expend more energy on creating a stellar image for your hotel reviews
#2 Offer personalized responses
Offering personalized responses is a must in today’s review management landscape. Large hotel chains such as Marriott and Hilton offer quite personalized responses for each guest review. The reason for that, is that multiple studies have shown that copy-paste responses create a negative image for your property. So it is obvious that responding to reviews in a unique and personalized way is a must.
Personalized responses should greet the guest with their name or online nickname if available. You should include information based on what the guest has talked about. For example, if your guest comments positively on the pool, your response should contain a message regarding that.
Interested in improving your responding strategy? View our complete responding guide.
#3 Monitor your competition
The goal of hotel review management is to optimize your image in order to stand out from your competition. According to Peter Drucker, “What gets measured gets managed”. And this applies to review management and competitive analysis as well. If you want to beat your competition and climb the rankings then you need to closely monitor their performance.
But just measuring numbers such as total reviews and number of stars on each platform doesn’t give you much edge over your competitors. You need detailed information that helps you identify your strong points compared to your competition.
Aspects that you can monitor:
- Common complaints for your competitor’s properties
- The facilities that most guests praise in their reviews
- Their responding strategy and response rate
Using this information and comparing it with your own will help you identify key things you can do to stand out.
#4 Train your team on how to improve hotel reputation
Growing and maintaining a stellar online reputation for your hotel needs to be a team effort. There are 2 things that you need to get right:
- Your team in the online world
- But most importantly, your front-line team
Employee training needs to be one of your first priorities to ensure that your guests have the 5-star experience they deserve. At the same time, your marketing team needs to work tightly together to produce great content, respond to online reviews and promote your hotel to the world. If you are successful at both of these things, you are guaranteed to find success in your online reviews.
#5 Speed up your hotel review management
You need to protect your online image from misinformation and from false accusations. But you need to do so fast, because each second that passes can hurt your business. It’s important to respond to negative feedback on online channels in less than 24 hours. This way you avoid losing potential customers who would have clicked away from your property’s listing based on the reviews they read. It has been shown that 90% of travelers agree that a professional response to a negative review improves their impression of your property. So make sure to respond to any negative feedback swiftly.
#6 Analyse your hotel’s performance over time
Online reputation management is definitely not a short-term play. It can take months to see improvements in online scores and it can be an uphill battle. Focus on the small victories, each 5-star review is a win and each negative review that is prevented is also a win. In order to be effective in this process, you need to track the following on a monthly basis:
- Your ratings on the sources (e.g. TripAdvisor, Booking.com) that bring you bookings
- The number of reviews you are receiving
- Your response rate
- Your online rankings
- Common complaints or praises from guests
By measuring the above, you should have a clear roadmap of the things you can do to conquer online review sources. Improve your services based on the complaints you receive but also highlight your strong points. Identify the reasons behind negative reviews so that you can make sure to prevent similar scenarios in the future. Finally, you should set a goal for your response rate and hold your team accountable for maintaining a high response rate to reviews.
Learn more about building a review management strategy, by reading our “Begginer’s guide to Hotel Review Management”
These tips will hopefully make you more effective at managing your online reviews and improving your hotel reputation. Remember that it’s a process that needs patience and that it’s going to be a team effort. Make sure to do the most to make your hotel stand out from the competition, improve your competitive rankings and get more happy guests through the door.
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. Rapidly react and engage with your guests in a fraction of the time.