More than 80% of the customers of hotels take their decisions driven by shared reviews and opinions on the Internet. Your online reputation depends entirely on what is being shared about you by customers or even competitors.
Here is where Online Reputation Management (ORM) comes into play, which essentially means developing strategies that form or influence the public perception of your business. With so much information exposed on the Internet, it is important to take control to influence your online reputation, otherwise third-party sources will be doing that for you.
How to manage your hotel’s reputation
1. Prioritize review sites
As mentioned above, review sites are your main concern, especially those that also let the customers book their vacation at hotels. The hard truth is that customers trust reviews more than they trust your website. And sure, some people get disgruntled and leave overly harsh feedback. However the sheer volume of reviews about some hotels makes them easier to believe — one review could be biased, but 100?
As such, it is recommended that you first deal with the negative reviews as they can greatly impair your business. When it comes to responding to negative reviews, it is important to be authentic, honest and empathic towards your guests. Admit mistakes calmly but also explain what has already happened or will happen in the future so that they are not repeated. This way you will gain credibility and, customers will feel that they are being taken seriously and your response will be met with a positive reaction.
Responding to positive reviews is just as important as the negative ones. Keeping your customers happy is what ensures repeated stays at your hotel and good recommendations on their behalf.
2. Monitor social media
Information in social networks can strengthen or damage the reputation of a brand. It’s very clear that in our digital era, your online presence in social media heavily contributes to your online reputation. You can make use of social listening tools in order to track all mentions and tags of your hotel, so that you can readily react to them. Don’t miss the opportunity to connect with customers, share their images, and solve their problems.
3. Diversify your reach
When rating your online reputation, guests not only use Google, but they also make use of various rating portals, your websites, press releases, wiki pages, blog posts or social profiles. Every platform has different opportunities as well as they may target certain audiences, so by expanding your reach, you can gain new audiences.
Companies need to diversify their online reputation management strategies to accommodate all these channels, and most importantly, stay active and engaging on all your social media accounts.
4. Improve visual content
Online reputation management is connected with any kind of content marketing — websites, blogs, videos, infographics and product reviews. People are drawn to visually pleasing content, which is also easy to digest and navigate. In addition to that, make sure that the images of your hotel are of high quality and that your services and facilities are presented in the best possible light. Just the fact that you have good photos increases your chances of receiving booking requests.
5. Collect data
You can achieve this by creating a simple survey of customer satisfaction that can help you better assess the situation and concerns of guests, and which will tell you the likelihood that the customer will recommend your hotel.