Do you want on-line reviews? will your property still get adequate bookings while not them?
Hoteliers and promoting consultants disagree in their views regarding the role of reviews. Some bat for it, some don’t. However, the very fact is that Trip authority had 260 million distinctive monthly guests in 2013. nearer home, vacation intelligence quotient gets fifty hundred thousand distinctive monthly guests monthly. Clearly, there’s no different to client reviews for hotels.
They make or break
A study by PhoCus Wright, the leading travel analysis company, reveals that fifty three of individuals don’t book space till they scan reviews. eightieth scan a minimum of 6-12 reviews before selecting a edifice.
Realising this dynamical trend of zeroing in on rooms, most of the hoteliers square measure registering their presence on on-line review portals. The Review categorical, launched by Trip authority in might 2013, has seen quite forty seven,000 properties registering with them to date. The shocking reality – quite hr of those hotels square measure medium sized hotels.
How reviews affect your bottom lines?
Everyone agrees that reviews are critical for a hotel. But till a study by the Cornell University a few years back, this view was just subjective. This study explored the direct connection between revenue and online reputation. A 1% increase in a hotel’s online reputation score was found to increase Revenue per available room (RevPAR) by almost 1%.
Do you swear by them?
Naturally, mid-sized and smaller hotels are more concerned about bad reviews. A bad review gets more Press than a good one. An unpleasant review can wipe out years of your reputation in a go. Moreover, fake reviews can be unnerving too. What if your competitors write fake reviews about you? Olery, a company which offers media monitoring tools for the leisure industry, estimates that 10% of social media reviews are fake.
But isn’t it better to have an active presence on online review platforms and attract criticism, than to be obscure?
How to ride the review wave?
Accept it or not, one cannot wish away the online review portals. So, why not make the best out of these platforms?
If you are a start-up, don’t sweat much about the negative reviews: This was the most interesting fact which came out of the Cornell study. The rating for a hotel with 11 to 20 reviews hovers around 3.5. So, if you are a start-up hotel, take the negative reviews in your stride. But, this doesn’t imply that you should ignore those reviews. These reviews are a source of great advice to your hotel, and that too for free. Analyze what all the guests have written about and take corrective actions.
Ask for more: As the number of reviews increase, so do the ratings. When a hotel has more than 101 reviews, the average rating rises up to 3.9. So, proactively ask for more reviews. Send emails to your guests requesting them to review your hotel on leading portals such as Trip Advisor. Tools like Trip Advisor’s Review Express helps you send customised email to even 1,000 customers asking them to review your property. In addition to this, you can ask guests while they are checking out to give their reviews.
The greater the number of positive reviews, the higher Google will rank your hotel in searches. So, it assumes more importance to take the number of reviews for your hotel to the next level.
However, there are a couple of things a hotel should think about before asking for reviews. If a customer wasn’t satisfied with your services, please refrain from asking his online review. Also, some review portals do not accept reviews while a guest is still at the hotel.
Trip Advisor found out that hotels with more than 30 photographs experience 41% more user engagement than those with ten or fewer images.
Respond to your reviews: Let the review be good or bad or even neutral, but it pays to acknowledge the review.
A study found out that given a chance to choose between two comparable hotels, 68% will select that hotel which had management responses.
Thank your good reviewers. Be even more polite and courteous with guests who reviewed you poorly. At the onset, give them a call and apologise for the inconvenience caused to them. Also, post your comments, replies and corrective measures on the review portal too.
Most of the times, guests email you their grievance and go online only when they fail to get a satisfactory response. So, have a proper complaint management system in place. Acknowledge complaints promptly and keep your customers updated on the progress of grievance redressal. It is better to assuage the hurt feelings of the customers in person rather than doing damage control online in front of hundreds of users.
Collect reviews constantly: Newness attracts all of us. If given a chance, what will you read – the latest edition of a magazine or the last month’s edition?
The PhoCus Wright study found out that 80% of the travellers focus on the latest reviews. So ask for regular reviews.
Finally, the happy news for you. After an analysis of 1.28 million reviews on Trip Advisor, it was found out that the majority of the reviews (70%) were positive.