The importance of online reviews is growing in the hospitality industry. Hoteliers can no longer ignore the role of online reputation management in building their brand image and widen customer base, and thereby directly impact their revenues. In fact, there are several statistics that prove why hotel reviews matter:
- A PwC report states that customers trust reviews by other travelers more than they do official business communication, because they assume that the reviews are independent.
- According to a TripAdvisor research, 97.7% of customers read other travelers’ online reviews before planning trips and booking hotels.
- A TrustYou study revealed that given equal prices, travelers were 3.9 times more likely to choose a hotel with higher review scores and 76% of travelers were willing to pay more for a hotel with higher review scores.
This means even a marginal improvement in your review score will increase saleability of your hotel manifold. Here is how you can use your hotel reviews to your advantage:
Monitor your social media platforms closely: The relationship with your guest does not end with their stay in your hotel. Rather, it is carried forward in the form of their experience with your hotel. Guests are likely to share these experiences online. So, keep a daily watch on your social media accounts to track reviews posted about your hotel.
Also Read: Online Reputation Management for your Hotel
Respond to the reviews: Whether the review is positive or negative, make sure to respond promptly. A simple ‘thank you’ for a favorable response will make guests feel acknowledged for their feedback and even earn their loyalty. However, it is the negative reviews which need your attention the most. Because, words like ‘we are sorry’ or ‘we apologize for the inconvenience’ are not enough. You need to go an extra mile to redeem yourself and your brand image. May be, you can offer a free night stay or a dedicated staff member at their beck and call during their next stay. So that when other travelers read this negative review, its effect is either minimized or neutralized.
Market the reviews: Whenever you receive testimonials from customer, publicize them on your website and social media pages. These testimonials will act as personal recommendations and build credibility among your guests.
Deploy technological tools to understand guest sentiment: It could get challenging to visit every social media platform to monitor the reviews. These days, there are guest intelligence tools which can help you manage your online reputation in just a few clicks. A few of these tools also offer semantic analysis through which you can measure guest sentiment and respond appropriately; and also understand which service department your guests find attractive and which need improvement. When you can gauge the guest behavior at a semantic level, you can create better experiences for them.
How Djubo Can Help?
Djubo offers a powerful guest intelligence tool called StarSight which brings all online review sources for your hotel on a single dashboard and lets you know where you hotel stands in the following ways:
- It leverages Big Data, Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to analyze both quantitative (ratings) & qualitative data (reviews) to bring deeper insights into your hotel’s online reputation on each sales channel. Its beauty lies in semantic analysis, which reads as well as comprehends nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs used in a review. This helps the hotels to decide the intensity of the sentiment. For example, a review with the word ‘pathetic’ is considered more negative than that with ‘bad’.
- It gives you a daily review report and single-window review aggregation & response, allowing you to respond faster to guest reviews.
- There are several online review sources. But, most hotels only monitor Tripadvisor and miss out on OTAs. Also, hotels read reviews only once a day, due to which they fail to track the overall trend about specific service quality and offering in the past to see if there has been an improvement or a further deterioration. StarSight monitors performance on more than 100 sources so that you don’t have to waste time jumping from one site to another. It also gives you analytics around guest sentiments about specific items across all reviews and study trends over time.
- StarSight categorizes guest reviews into over 60 service-related topics. So, you can drill down to burning issues instead of just reading heading and overall rating. You can dive deeper into what guests are saying about your brand.
- You can monitor trends across key topics such as food, cleanliness, room amenities and staff to understand what are your marketable strengths and what service areas need improvement.
- StarSight displays your hotel’s ratings against competitors for any time range. You can compare guest satisfaction against competitors, understand what works for them, and strategically outrank them on online sales channels through a better pricing, marketing and online reputation management strategy.
Your hotel reviews matter a great deal in increasing your revenues. Don’t ignore them.