The best source of new business has always come from word-of-mouth and having a sound referral marketing strategy in place proves invaluable in generating new and repeat stays for your independent hotel. However, like everything else today, these referrals are coming less often from family and friends and more frequently from online sources, review sites, and 3rd party booking sites. Currently, 88% of consumers report that they trust online reviews as much as those received from people they know, solidifying these sites are all formative factors in your hotel’s online presence
The average guest reads 6-8 reviews before booking, so it’s essential that these encompass everything that’s wonderful about your hotel and make a good impression. While you can’t always control the kind of reviews that are posted on these sites, or what they say, you can decide how to respond to them. And these responses, recent surveys show, might be more impactful to the booking process than anything else. 87% of guests agree that an appropriate management response to a bad review improves their impression of the hotel. Mistakes happen, and your guests understand that there are things beyond your control, but they do expect empathy and an attempt to rectify the situation.
Oftentimes, your guests just want to know that they are being heard. For this reason, reaching out to them, before they have a chance to rant on review sites or social media, is the best course of action. Signpost’s technology does this automatically, by contacting recent guests and asking them for feedback. We’ve found this typically intercepts the guests who would have left bad reviews, while also providing valuable insight into areas that can be improved upon to create a better experience, while ensuring guests’ satisfaction and more business for your hotel.