In the not-so-distant past, it might have seemed strange that one of your guests would make the decision to stay with you based solely on a recommendation they read online. But with the rise of online review sites like Google, Facebook, TripAdvisor and much more, that is now a reality. In fact, a vast majority of consumers now trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. You could use these reviews to improve your hotel customer satisfaction.
Improve hotel customer satisfaction using review feedback
The internet has revolutionized the way people search for and book rooms. One of the major factors people consider when selecting a hotel is what its overall star rating is. Reviews let potential guests know the ‘truth’ about your business according to people who have stayed with you in the past.
Peer recommendations have always been known to affect people’s decisions and nearly 50% of all travelers will not book a hotel unless reviews are shown. Surprisingly 80% of people trust online reviews written by other customers as much as they trust a recommendation from someone they know personally.
The first indicator of customer satisfaction is the star rating, but going beyond that are the actual reviews themselves. What someone reads on a review can be, and very often is, the deciding factor on whether to stay at your place or not. Actively reading these reviews is vital to your business.
Not only will they help you to know what part of a guest’s experience could be improved, but they will also help you identify possible problem areas and improve the overall guest experience. Be sure to implement any necessary changes promptly. It is important that guests know that the problem has been fixed and will not happen again or that the experience has been improved.
Use negative reviews to your advantage
While checking your reviews, you may see one written by somebody who was having a bad day. This might have nothing to do with your hotel or staff, but it will look bad to other customers and could make you feel uneasy. The good news is that you can use this to your advantage!
Rather than finding a way to just make it go away, use it to demonstrate your amazing customer service. Be sure to respond to the negative review they wrote in a timely manner and offer a solution to fix the problem. In your response, be sure to apologize. It might seem simple, but saying you’re sorry can go a long way toward mending fences.
In your response, recommend taking the conversation offline. This will show your guest and anyone that reads the review that you are doing everything in your power to rectify the situation. In many scenarios like this, we’ve seen the individual go back and edit their review, noting the positive outcome that came out of an initially bad experience.
Meet and Exceed expectations
Delivering a top-notch customer experience should be your main focus. Not everyone is going to book a room because of your reviews. Many people make decisions based on price or location, but they can be compelled to leave a review if you exceeded their expectations.
But the opposite is also true. If one of your guests made a reservation based on your hotel’s luxurious reputation, and you didn’t live up to those expectations, you will have an unhappy customer on your hands. One of the most important factors to consider is delivering a consistent experience.
When you do get organic reviews (reviews that come in without prompting), they tend to be from guests that were either very impressed and happy with their stay or just the opposite. The problem with this is that it isn’t truly representative of your business. If people only see five-star ratings, they might not trust the ratings and think it could be rigged. On the other hand, if they only see bad ratings, that’s not good either.
One way to achieve consistent reviews is by using an online review management platform to proactively collect them. This will ensure that reviews are coming in on a more regular basis and more accurately depict your customer experience than if you let them come in on their own.
Let Podium help you manage your reviews
Request a demo to see how Podium’s cloud-based solution can help your hotel use text messages to invite its happiest guests to leave a review. Podium’s efficient, mobile process can help you collect 15x more reviews than traditional platforms, which in turn will improve local SEO and ultimately boost revenues.