Five ORM Tips Hoteliers Can Implement from Home
Whether you own a small bed and breakfast in the English countryside, or a large franchise of luxury hotels, you need to understand the importance of online reputation management services. Browsing through platforms such as Airbnb and Expedia have become ubiquitous for both business and pleasure travellers. A TripAdvisor study conducted in 2017 revealed that 93% of travellers filtered through reviews when searching for a hotel, while a whopping 52% stated they would never book a hotel that didn’t have online reviews. You can likely relate to this sentiment, especially on a site such as Airbnb that has varying standards from that of a hotel.
If you play an active role in the hospitality industry, you are probably already aware of the most popular causes of bad reviews. When it comes to the physical component of your hotel, the reviews may stem from environmental factors such as dirty facilities or missing equipment. On the other hand, the client may be dissatisfied with the service, which can range from unprofessionalism, service delays, and a lack of services. A smart hotel is one that not only comprehends how to respond to both positive and negative reviews effectively but also knows how to make the necessary amendments to the root of the bad reviews. It is imperative to thus understand the verity behind your reviews, and to always respond politely. In the same TripAdvisor study, 84% of potential clients who saw an appropriate response from management received a better impression of the hotel. However, 64% of users acknowledged that a bad response from management left a sour taste on their palettes.
ORM services are essential in the hospitality industry as they can work to suppress or remove unwanted searches from Google’s first page through proven reverse SEO tactics. However, there are a few easy tips that your management can use to soften the blow on reviews that may be hurting your reputation.
Wondering how you can ensure that you respond to unsatisfied consumers in an appropriate and professional manner? Our ORM experts have a few safe-guard tips that you can implement from home:
- Personalize the response by using their name within your greeting. Some of the best hotel chains in the world, such as the luxurious Ritz Carlton, keep a database with client preferences (i.e. they’ll remember that their client’s favorite drink is a cosmopolitan, or that they like to sleep with extra blankets) in order to maintain loyalty. Hotel customers expect to be seen as an individual, not a room number.
- Show that you are sincerely upset that their experience did not live up to their expectations. Show a little humility.
- Explain how you will make the necessary changes. You must demonstrate how you take customer feedback very seriously by outlining what amendments you will make to your service and operations. Although you may be tempted to publicly compensate the unhappy guest, this is better done in private so as not to set a precedent.
- Take action through a comprehensive evaluation. Make this process regular by dedicating a few hours every month to discerning the most prevalent issues and planning out how you will fix them. This may include extra training sessions or a purchase of new equipment.
- Be truthful. If you wish to see guest satisfaction increase in the long-term, it is vital that you communicate honestly about your services so that potential clients don’t expect more than they will receive. Your goal should be to exceed expectations; therefore, you must always deliver more than you can promise.