4 Steps to managing your online hotel reputation

online-hotel-reputationAs more and more guests book online, reviews that people post online are an important part of increasing bookings and improving revenue. To help you manage your online hotel reputation, we put together a checklist of things to do to help you manage your online reputation. We call it the MAAC method. Monitor, Analyze, Address and Change.

  1. Monitor/Listen
  2. Analyze/Review
  3. Address
  4. Change

The opinions of your guests matter more than ever. By regularly monitoring comments and feedback from your guests on OTAs and other review websites, you can remain in-tune with their needs and proactively manage their experience.

Knowledge sharing among travelers has long been a routine practice. But today, there is tangible value in the collective opinions of hotel guests. In addition to OTAs, websites like TripAdvisor and Yelp are designed specifically to harness the influence of user reviews. In maintaining the health of their business, hotel operators should not view these sites as threats but as opportunities to gain perspective and insight.

Hotel managers should regularly read what guests have to say about their experience in their hotel and competing properties. To analyze this feedback, operators should ask themselves the following questions:

  • Do their opinions match my perception of my hotel?
  • Do their opinions match my perception of my competitors?
  • Where are my opportunities for improvement?
  • What are my competitors doing that I should also consider?
  • How do I ensure the best possible experience for my future guests?

Guests tend to be very honest on OTAs and review sites, so this is a great opportunity to gather unsolicited feedback and use it to improve your operations. At times guests will post comments that are negative and seem unfair, but remember that consumers lead the online conversation. However, by actively monitoring their feedback, you will stay informed and aware of any opportunities that can be implemented to improve the guest experience.

When you do find a negative post that you want to address, do so. Sign in as yourself- the hotel owner or manager- and reply to the comment honestly. Apologize to the guest and let them know that they have been heard and changes will be made. You can take this time to remind them that the next time they are on site, you welcome feedback like this in person so it can be addressed immediately so the remainder of their stay is not impacted. And, you can offer a discount code or appreciation gift in the hopes of getting them to return.

Addressing guest concerns online shows your future guests that you have taken measures to improve, and you are aware of the problem. Let’s say someone writes a bad review of your property online. First you need to identify where it is written. In this case, it is on Orbitz. Now that you have identified where the review is, you will address the review publicly. Then you may decide to offer a special discount to Orbitz customers via the GDS. This not only offsets the bad review, but it also entices potential future guests to book at your property.

Bring these reviews to your employees. Make sure that they understand that every interaction with a guest is now public, and it needs to be the best experience possible. Give employees the power to rectify problems on the spot. For example, give employees coupons for $5 off per night that they can hand out, that guests can redeem upon check-out. This is a great way to quickly address any complaints. If the guest is still unhappy, there needs to be a manager available at all times to deal with guest needs or problems. Make sure that employees know where this manager is and how to get a hold of them.

We understand that the exercises mentioned above require an investment of time and effort that many independent hotel operators will find difficult to squeeze into the work day. However, ignoring the influence of OTAs has the potential to be a very expensive mistake. This is why we designed innRoad with the needs of busy independent hotel operators in mind. With our cloud-based hotel property management software, you can save time completing routine, but essential, daily tasks so that you can focus on managing more complex responsibilities, such as monitoring and leveraging OTAs to generate future business. Our goal is to help you better operate your hotel and position it for greater success.

Contact us today to schedule a personalized demo and get your hotel on its path to profits.