Before making purchases, many consumers seek the opinions of others to gauge how well products and services perform. Even though experiences often vary from person to person, there’s value in knowing that specific products and services can deliver on expectations, especially when they come with a high price tag.
When it comes to travel, consumers rely heavily on OTAs and TripAdvisor to find out what other travelers think about hotels, airlines, destinations, etc. These online discussions can have a measurable offline impact for independent hotels, so it’s important to listen to what guests are saying and take action. Here are some tips to help you do this:
If you’re not checking your hotel’s online reviews daily – start now. Knowing what past guests think of your hotel is important for securing future bookings.
Engage in the conversation
Travelers will always lead the conversation on review sites, but hoteliers should regularly engage to show they’re listening. Whether it’s a simple “Thank you” response to a positive review or asking an upset traveler to contact you directly, hoteliers must communicate online to show travelers that their opinions matter.
Most independents will have to deal with one-off complaints from disgruntled travelers from time to time – it comes with the territory. However, if multiple travelers start logging similar complaints, it’s time to take action. Start by moving these conversations offline by asking travelers to connect via phone or email so you can gather more information about their issue. Then, using their feedback, develop a solution to cure the problem for future travelers.
After fixing issues raised by past guests, be sure to follow up with them directly and by replying to their online comments. In general, following up lets them know their feedback was taken seriously, but by replying online, potential guests will also see that your hotel is focused on making sure its guests have great experiences.
Signing up to leave online reviews is free for travelers, but, depending on what they have to say, the impact can be costly for independent hotels. If you’re interested in learning more about starting or better managing your hotel’s online reviews, contact one of our independent hotel experts today.