News for the Hospitality Executive
December 17, 2012 - There is much chatter about the importance of reviews and social media for hotels and businesses worldwide. With more than 80% of travelers reading reviews prior to making a booking decision, hotels must pay attention to guest opinions to stay ahead of the game. Online opinions are important and listened to by fellow travelers. But how does the quantity of reviews impact businesses? Does more really matter? Indeed it does. The quantity of reviews a hotel receives has a very big impact on its revenue. Here are some stats to prove it:
Before they arrive
What hotels do (or don’t do) during a traveler’s planning makes a difference. Here are three simple steps to influence guests to write a review before they even arrive.
1. Set guest expectations. Use what guests are already saying as a guide to set realistic expectations for their stay at the hotel. Known for being family friendly? Do what you do best. Don’t be a chameleon and pretend to be the perfect spot for a romantic getaway. This allows hotels to live up its guest expectations. Hotels that are able to meet – and exceed – expectations are much more likely to receive reviews (and glowing ones at that!).During Their Stay
2. Show that the hotel values guest feedback by displaying reviews on its website. By showing reviews on its own website, hotels send the message to guests that their feedback is important, which, in turn, makes guests feel more compelled to write a review. It’s also important to note that people are more likely to trust a hotel that puts all reviews on the site and doesn’t practice selective honesty with just the five-star reviews.
3. Respond to current feedback. Responding to reviews has many benefits – it raises guest opinions of the hotel increases its scores and significantly increases the average number of reviews. A recent TrustYou study found that hotels that respond to reviews boast up to 147% more reviews than those that do not. Things go wrong, it is life. How they are handled and responded to can make all the difference.
After the guest has booked, hotels can take action during their stay to encourage more reviews while the guest is in the hotel.
1. Sneak in ways for them to give feedback or simply ask! Add QR codes/links to fliers/postcards at the front desk/lobby, key cards, dinner receipts, etc. This makes it easy for guests to write a quick review during their downtime. Even better, encourage staff to ask guests during their stay, especially if they are clearly enjoying their time or give unsolicited compliments.
2. Try new technology to encourage more feedback. New tech platforms are fun to use, so it is no surprise that guests are more engaged here than on standard surveys or review sites. From connected iPads to Facebook review apps and internet-connected TVs in the room, hotels that find new ways to get guests excited about giving feedback will likely see an increase in reviews.
3. Give guests an experience they can’t wait to talk about. Make a point to impress guests and over deliver on their expectations. Give guests memorable experiences so that they have something they want to talk about with their friends, and in reviews. Referring to guests by name, welcoming them back if they have stayed before, anticipatory service (you overheard them mention a snag in their hem and send up a mending kit), winning over kids with fun surprises are some ways to make a difference. And, quite simply, thank guests for their business.
When they leave
Now is the time that most reviews are actually written. Use these simple tips to increase your feedback.
1. Ask for a review at checkout. Upon checkout, staff should ask if guests enjoyed their stay. If so, encourage them to share their feedback. Hotels can even leave its staff equipped with ways to collect reviews during the checkout process (iPads, etc.).
2. Follow up with a thank you email. Not only will a brief thank you help customers feel more positive about your hotel, but the follow up is also a reminder for guests who had planned to write a review, but forgot during busy travels. Remember to keep the note concise, yet friendly and personal, and don’t forget to include a link for guests to give feedback.
3. Strategically distribute reviews. The link that hotels include in the thank you has some serious power – it can send guests to third party review sites and OTAs, to niche sites in new markets, or even to its own internal system. Hotels should determine which platforms matter most to its overall strategy and send guests there. With new survey distribution options available, hotels can now strategically place the feedback in mediums that fit with its business plan.
Get out there and start collecting! Hoteliers who implement these steps will drive more feedback, leading to better scores, more visibility and more rankings.
TrustYou offers free online customer satisfaction surveys and SaaS analytics dashboards that capture sentiment and opinions from millions of comments from sources like Tripadvisor, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Yelp, etc. across 23 different languages. TrustYou already has more than 10,000 customers and partners in 60 countries among them companies like Accor, Marriott, Starwood, Hard Rock Cafes, Best Western Hotels, Holidaycheck, Micros-Fidelio and many others. TrustYou’s headquarters are in Munich, Germany and Dallas, USA with further representatives in the U.K., the Netherlands, France, Central Europe, Asia and Australia. To learn more about TrustYou visit www.trustyou.com.
©2012 TrustYou, All rights reserved
TrustYou / Review Analyst
and TrustYou Partner to Provide Hotels a More Comprehensive Tool for
Monitoring Reviews; New Global Partnership Gives TrustYou Clients
Authorized Access to TripAdvisor Review Content / August 2012
Offers Free Guest Survey Tool to Hotels; Complimentary Product Enables
Capture, Analysis, Response and Integration of Reviews through a
Hotel's Own Site with Follow-up Push to Third-party Sites /