In the ever-evolving world of hospitality, hotel reviews on social network sites like Trip Advisor are becoming the gold standard in reputation. No longer is word of mouth the determining factor of a hotel’s success: it has given way to a wide world of peer-reviewed online chatter, which can make or break a hotel’s good name.
As a result, acquiring a large cache of positive reviews is imperative for any hotel owner. Negative reviews can stifle your bookings like the plague, so it is very important to obsess over reviews on a case-to-case basis since both literally and figuratively shape the way guests will be viewing your property.
1. Categorize the guest upon departure: determine whether they had a bad experience, an average experience, or an excellent experience.
2. If they had an average experience, it’s usually best to let them go their way. Perhaps send them a survey asking what you could have improved upon. But in general, average guests can be set free to the world.
3. If they had an excellent experience, it’s best to send them a personalized email asking them to write a review. Instead of being too overt, try to add in some personal anecdotes from their stay. Ask whether they got home safely or when they’ll be coming back to your part of town.
4. If they had a bad experience, send them an apology letter immediately. It’s recommended also to consider offering them a partial or full refund. Next, wait a couple of days (even if they respond quickly) and send a survey asking them to help you improve the level of your service. This has a way of allowing them to feel constructive without being evil.
5. It’s recommended, whether a guest had a good experience or not, to send them a personal email after their departure. The more personal and intimate you can make your email, the more effective it will be. Try reminding them about promotional discounts for returning guests or special events taking place in your neighborhood in the near future.
The old adage, “a happy guest tells one friend, an unhappy guest tells 10” rings true. Do anything you can to avoid negative reviews. They not only spoil an otherwise great online reputation but they can also directly decrease your bookings by lowering you on review site power rankings. Invest time and energy in your hotel reviews and your bookings will increase proportionally.
Evelyn was a researcher in the Increase Hotel Occupancy [http://www.howtoincreasehoteloccupancy.com] Project.
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