The trivago team recently set up shop at the world’s leading travel trade show—ITB Berlin. It was an exciting time for us, to be meeting with hoteliers and advertisers, discovering what’s on the horizon for the hospitality industry. No less exciting, for me at least, was staying at a hotel with a great hotel reputation.
It’s got such a good reputation, in fact, that even though I’d never been there before, had never even heard of the brand nor had selected this hotel for our trip, I was enthusiastic about the stay well before checking in.
What was it that got me so over-the-moon excited?
Simple: the fabulous reviews. And I’m not alone in my slightly obsessive attention to these hotel reputation details.
According to hotel reputation management firm Customer Alliance, “93% of people use online reviews when determining which hotel they want to stay at.” And further, most people would not even book a stay at a hotel without reviews.
Now, I’m not here to preach to the choir; I know you appreciate the value of online reviews. But what about the importance of managing your hotel reputation?
It’s something you might not have thought of before. Especially if you run a mom-and-pop place, with only a few rooms but an endless number of things to do. But no matter the size of your property nor how busy you may be, you’ve got to manage that online reputation of yours if you want to boost your bookings.
It may seem like a daunting task, especially if you’re already stretching your resources thin. So let me help with a simple “hotel reputation management” checklist. These 10 items are easy to take care of and when you commit to doing them each and every day, it’ll help you earn more bookings. Big time!
The 10-item checklist for managing your hotel reputation
#1 Give little extras where you can
Your guests start to develop their impression of your hotel with the first review they read online, and continue to assess your property right up to when they’re ready to leave their own review. Give them a good reason to write a positive one by going the extra mile with these tips.
#2 Stock rooms with review tent cards
Let guests know where they can leave their reviews of your hotel by placing a tent card in each room with the logos of your most prominent sites. Make sure they don’t get lost and replace them the moment they start to show signs of wear.
#3 Ask guests about their stay
Face-to-face communication is your friend. Use it to check on guests’ satisfaction levels while they’re still at the hotel—and you can still influence them.
#4 Acknowledge and fix any issues
The simplest gestures can entirely change a guest’s experience. Perhaps a softer pillow or more tea varieties in their room is all they need to leave a 4- or 5-star rating.
#5 Ask for online reviews during check-out
It takes a few minutes to process the key return and print the receipt; the same amount of time it takes to leave a review. Ask guests to rate your hotel on your preferred review site during the short time it takes you to complete their check-out.
#6 Check all major online review sites
You have your preferred review sites, and your guests have theirs. By checking every significant website, social page, and booking portal where guests might leave a comment about your business, you ensure that no review goes unnoticed.
#7 Respond to less-than-stellar reviews
The odd negative review won’t irreparably damage your reputation. What will damage it, however, is an unprofessional, hasty response or no response at all. Treat every piece of negative feedback professionally and with sincerity, gratitude, and a timely response.
#8 Acknowledge positive reviews
When someone positively reviews your property, they’re promoting it to an audience of potential guests. Thank people for their kind comments to show them you’re paying attention and appreciate their feedback.
#9 Solicit reviews from past guests via email
Do you have past guests who were thrilled with their stay? It’s not too late to reach out to them with an email asking for a review. You’d be surprised by how many reply.
#10 Add high-value reviews to your website
While checking online review sites you could very well come across one for your hotel that’s especially flattering, a celebration of everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve in your guest experience. When you do, get permission from that guest to share their words right on your website.
Using this checklist and monitoring the results
Each of the above actions takes just few minutes to complete, and when you’re able to check them all off daily, you’ll be amazed by how much stronger your online hotel reputation can become.
Now that you’re carefully managing your hotel reputation, you’re going to want to keep track of it. Based on aggregated ratings from across multiple review sources online, the trivago Rating Index generates your hotel’s overall reputation score and reveals it to the millions of travelers searching for hotels on trivago. By following this checklist, you can see both your hotel’s reputation score (and bookings) increase. Find out more about trivago and our free metasearch marketing platform trivago Hotel Manager here.
Is something missing from the list above? Let us know in the comment section below.