With so much property choice and information out there, today’s guests are more discerning than ever. Earning more guest reviews and managing your online reputation is essential to the health of your business. Learn how to make hotel guest reviews, positive and negative, work for your property.
Why are hotel guest reviews important?
Hotel guest reviews are a way in which former guests can leave ratings and feedback about their experiences at a property. Not only are hotel guest reviews a valuable guest relationship management tool, they are often curated and listed on websites that can act as marketing channels—where make-or-break booking decisions are made in a matter of seconds.
Why hotel guest reviews matter
When travelers are looking for somewhere to stay, it’s no secret that they shop around. Most will research on a range of different sites before they book, and hotel guest reviews play a big part in this planning phase. In fact, they can often be the deciding factor in a traveler’s final decision.
Positive guest reviews can help convince travelers to choose your property, while a negative guest review can send them clicking for another option — all in less than 30 seconds! That’s why effectively managing your online reputation is crucial to attracting new travelers and encouraging repeat visits.
A recent independent study shows that 83% of travelers “usually” or “always” refer to reviews before they decide to book. And if a property doesn’t have reviews, over 50% won’t book it. What’s more, recent research by Expedia Group has revealed that travelers are willing to pay more for hotels with higher guest ratings.
Additionally, the study found that 65% of travelers are more likely to book a property that responds to guest reviews versus the ones that don’t. Whether the guest’s feedback is good or bad, how you respond is critical. Providing a good response to a bad review not only helps repair the relationship with your guest, but also helps limit the impact it has on prospective travelers by showing you care about resolving problems.
All of this means that it’s in your hotel’s best interest to encourage your guests to leave online reviews. To help you manage your online reputation, earn more reviews, and respond to negative reviews, we’ve put together this short list of our best recommendations.
1. Encourage guests to leave reviews
You should make it as easy as you can for guests to review your property—and within meaningful timelines. The key is to give your guests several no-pressure opportunities at various points of their stay:
2. Measure guest satisfaction with reviews
You’ve made all that effort to create a great guest experience. Now you need to know if it’s paying off in terms of guest satisfaction. How happy are your guests – both with their stay in general, and with specific areas such as ease of check-in, room comfort, breakfast choice, staff interaction and hotel amenities?
You can measure customer satisfaction in several different ways. For example, you can read and log your online reviews, send out a post-stay survey that’s quick and easy to complete, run a voice survey at the end of phone calls and monitor social media. You can also track the number of return visits and referrals you get – they’re a sure indication of satisfied guests.
Feedback you receive on various areas of your service can help you improve guest service for future visitors.
Use reviews to:
3. Respond to guest reviews, good and bad
Responding to guest reviews shows that your hotel and its staff truly care about their guests—and that their opinions and suggestions for improvement matter. Responding to negative reviews is especially valuable if your reply sounds personal and genuine.
4. Try our template for responding to negative reviews
Let’s put the above into practice. Here is a template you can follow (but make it your own so you don’t sound impersonal when responding to negative reviews):
Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention, [customer name]. Please accept my sincere apology for [repeat the main issue from the review], I can understand your frustration. We pride ourselves in giving the best possible guest experience, and I’m sorry we fell short in this instance. My name is [name] and I am the [job title] at [hotel name] – please give me a call on [phone number] when you have a spare moment and I’ll try my best to make this situation right.
5. Try free guest review software
There are many types of online software that can help you collate, analyze and respond to reviews. Expedia Group’s guest review tools goes beyond that, allowing you see how your guests feel about your amenities compared with your competitors. It’s a useful way of finding out what they think of another property’s staff, pool or cleanliness.
You can also use our guest relations tools to:
With so much property choice and information out there, today’s guests are more discerning than ever. So, make them feel they’ve chosen somewhere special by giving them a stand-out guest experience. They’ll spread the word to other travelers – and they’ll want to come back soon.