Why You Should Respond to Online Hotel Reviews
The reputation of any business has been the backbone of success for as long as businesses have existed. In the past, reputation was strictly built with word-of-mouth and then was bolstered with articles in written publications and advertising. However, while word-of-mouth still carries a lot of weight, the reach of the internet and social media have made your reputation a tangible and measurable quality. In the hotel industry, this is even more apparent.
Today, more than ever before, feedback from your guests can be seen and considered by anyone with wi-fi access. What you say to your guests about their experience can speak volumes to potential customers. In this post, we’ll explain how online reviews impact your hotel business, why you should respond to them, and how.
Reviews Impact Bookings–and Revenue
First, let’s look at the statistics. According to a 2017 survey by Podium, 93% of all consumers say online reviews impact their purchasing decisions. The way that consumer engagement has evolved over time shows that 82% do look at reviews prior to making a purchase decision. Those numbers hold true in the hotel world, as 83% of travelers indicated that reviews help them pick the right hotel and 80% read at least six to twelve reviews prior to booking.
Revinate asked hotel shoppers: “If considering 2 properties, the presence of management responses in one would sway me in its favor.” 68% AGREE, 25% NEUTRAL, 4% Disagree
So, what does all this mean? Reviews impact bookings and revenue. With customers utilizing this level of online feedback, it is not an understatement to say that these reviews can make or break your business. Hotels with a positive online review sentiment can command higher ADRs while maintaining occupancy resulting in higher revenues. Hotels must monitor, respond & analyze guest feedback because it is too important to ignore.
How to Respond to Online Hotel Reviews
Every time a customer leaves a review is an opportunity to build trust with prospective buyers. Positive reviews not only help your business by letting guests know that a great experience was had but also give you the chance to offer responses to notable positive reviews. (Google) Potential guests want to experience your sincerity, so your time is better spent focusing on constructive responses rather than simply acknowledging every review.
While every positive review helps to validate that you have a wonderful property, there are excellent opportunities in responding to negative hotel reviews as well. You should be responding to 100% of negative reviews on all major channels; this shows potential guests that you are listening and that you care.
Simply put, by responding to both negative and positive feedback you show customers that you’re committed to listening to their concerns and exceeding their expectations.
Whether you choose to have a Hotel Manager or an online review management partner manage your reviews, they should have the following characteristics:
- Time Availability – at least 4 dedicated hours per week
- Writing & Communication Skills
- Brand Training
- Seasoned Hotelier
- Customer Care Focus
- Trusted Partner – with empowerment to solve problems.
Create a Positive Sentiment
When it comes to monitoring and responding to online hotel reviews, Positive Sentiment is here to help. Our staff is comprised of season hoteliers who specialize in analyzing and responding to online hotel reviews. We understand how important guest feedback is and we know how to leverage it for your hotel’s benefit. If you’re ready to take control of your online reputation, contact us to receive a personalized recommendation and instant pricing quote.