While you have a bit of time at hand, it is a good exercise to take a look at current online reviews for your property. Ideally, you should be aware of every review made, and know how to respond to both positive and negative reviews.
Reviews used to exist only on platforms built specifically for it – like TripAdvisor. Now, so many new platforms also include opinions of previous guests. Guests may review you on your Facebook page, on the channel they booked through or even on Google.
A lot of people dreaming about a holiday will start their search on Google. This means that Google reviews can give your business a lot of credibility. Send your guests a link in a follow-up mail after their stay to ask for them to share their opinion on Google too.
Reviews also have a lot of added benefits:
Better online exposure.
Studies show reviews carry significant weight in increasing exposure of your property, as well as helping guests make booking decisions. More reviews boost your ranking on Google, for instance. And more visibility hopefully leads to more bookings.
Know what to fix.
Reviews can also help you know what to improve on. You might not have been aware of smaller issues in service or operations, and the guest might have not brought it up while there. You can do something about the issue when it is pointed out.
Show off your customer service.
By replying to reviews you show a potential guest that you care about your business. You are on top of your online presence, and you are there to listen and take action if needed.
Getting back to someone with an opinion on your property also builds a relationship with them. They will quite possibly be willing to return if you manage your response well.
Bad reviews might happen. And in most cases they can not be altered or deleted. But, you can put a positive spin on a negative review by responding to it in the correct way. What you say and the actions you promise to take will mean more to the reader than any damage you feel the initial review might have done.
Think about it – would an owner or manager’s transparent response and dedication to solving problems not make you feel like you will be looked after if you should visit?
Help guests make the decision.
The decision to book at a property is hugely affected by reviews:
93% of people check hotel reviews before booking a room, and 53% would not book a hotel without reviews.
It turns out other’s opinions matter a lot. It’s time to go see what is said and plan how to react to future reviews.