Having an effective hotel online reputation management strategy is now more challenging than ever, given the unique hurdles brought about by the pandemic. As local and international travel is reopened, hoteliers are now faced with the opportunity to acquire returning and new customers to make up for lost revenue.
Recovering from a significant loss of revenue might be difficult but it’s not impossible. Hotels owners and managers can leverage the power of online reviews and customer feedback to regain their place in the market and repair any damage to the hotel’s reputation. From Yelp hotel reviews to Google hotel reviews, hotel owners must focus on what their customers are saying about their services and implement the most strategic hotel reputation management plan.
The Most Popular Hotel Review Sites
Here are some of the top hotel review sites to focus on and how to handle customer feedback for each of these platforms.
Monitoring customer feedback is also crucial post-Covid due to Google’s recent pausing of user reviews on its business listings. In March, Google temporarily put all user reviews, review replies and Q&A’s on pause. However, now that Google hotel reviews are back, there’s an influx of delayed and new reviews coming in.
Getting in touch with old customers and asking them to leave a review is a simple but effective strategy to generate more reviews that are more recent and people are more likely to read. Hiring an online reputation management agency can help you execute review generation campaigns using email or SMS, which is proven to bring you more positive Google hotel reviews that improve your reputation.
Yelp hotel reviews are probably one of the most common websites people use to choose their place of stay. According to Alexa.com, Yelp is the 44th most visited website in the U.S. Known mostly for restaurant reviews, Yelp covers multiple industries including hotels, airlines and health care.
Because of Yelp’s popularity, getting noticed on this platform is not that difficult. Thanks to Yelp’s strict anti-fraud policy, hotel reviews Yelp are guaranteed to come from real people. Most hotel reviews Yelp publishes are moderated but there are times when some questionable ones get through.
Get a Yelp business account set up if you haven’t done so already. A Yelp account gives you the ability to monitor and respond to all your hotel reviews and even report ones that appear to be fraudulent. Make sure to regularly check your Yelp hotel reviews and respond quickly and professionally. Read all the hotel reviews Yelp has posted for your hotel and check that they don’t violate Yelp’s review guidelines. Otherwise, you can report it to Yelp and they will take the necessary action.
TripAdvisor is known to be the world’s biggest travel sites. It accounts for 25 percent of hotel reviews from the top 10 hotel review sites. When using TripAdvisor to monitor your hotel reviews, learn everything about the platform and its features. Don’t forget to thoroughly read TripAdvisor’s content guidelines so you are aware of what kind of reviews you can flag.
If you want to improve your hotel reviews on TripAdvisor, you can do the following:
• Respond to negative reviews within 24-48 hours.
• Ask your customers to leave a review. Do not, however, offer discounts or incentives in exchange for the review.
• Keep your TripAdvisor page updated with the correct address and contact information.
• Use keywords to optimize your page and improve search engine visibility.
• Upload high-quality photos that show off your hotel’s best features.
Expedia owns a number of hotel and travel websites including Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Orbitz and Travelocity. Listing your business on Expedia is free and you get access to useful tools suited for implementing your hotel reputation management tasks as well as the ability to accept bookings from guests. Expedia also provides special tools to help you cope post Covid-19.
Facebook pages allow users to leave a review, making it extremely easy for customers to do. In addition, Facebook has rolled out recommendations, where people can recommend products or services to their friends. Unlike TripAdvisor and Yelp, Facebook is a social media network where friends and family can share hotel reviews, which bear more weight than those from coming from random strangers.
With Facebook’s wide audience, there is great potential for generating reviews and improving your online reputation. While Facebook might not be the first choice when looking for hotel reviews, it’s an equally powerful and effective platform because of its unique network of closely-knit communities.
How Do I Manage Hotel Reviews On Multiple Sites?
You can use a software or a reputation management service to monitor hotel reviews across different platforms. There are a variety of software options and many different systems you can utilize on your own, but it will cost you time and money. If you have the resources, investing in an online reputation management agency will guarantee you better results without sacrificing your time.
Rize Reviews offers review monitoring services and online reputation management software that tracks customer feedback on all hotel review sites and responds to every review. Rize also provides a review widget, which integrates your own website and displays your best reviews for all of your site visitors to see.
Why Do I Need To Generate More Online Reviews?
There are many benefits of having a hotel reputation management plan that helps increase your positive reviews. Here are some of the many reasons why you need to take hotel reviews and hotel review sites seriously:
• Boost customer acquisition
• Establish customer trust and loyalty
• Increase online visibility
• Gain social proof
• Offer competitive pricing
• Achieve revenue goals
If you struggle with developing a solid hotel reputation management strategy, hiring a third party agency like Rize Reviews might be your best solution. Whether you are trying to recover from negative Google reviews or Yelp reviews, we can help.
Tim Clake, a reputation manager for Rize Reviews says:
In this time of slower business, we can turn a negative into a positive by improving the review health of a struggling hotel. Lets take this down time as an opportunity to improve the overall digital presence of your hotel.”
Hotel Reputation Management: Small Hotels vs. Big Brands
When it comes to hotel reputation management, there are distinct differences between small hotels and big hotel chains. Here are some observations:
1. Small hotels can use customer feedback to discover their greatest asset. Big hotel chains offer many amenities, services and options for guests. Small hotels are not able to do this, so it makes more sense to highlight the main reason that guests love them and make it a part of their marketing strategy.
2. Small hotels can stand by their pricing with great online reputation. While big hotel brands can afford to offer huge discounts, small hotels can not. Instead of losing profit, smaller hoteliers can focus on improving their services to generate positive hotel reviews that justify their rates.
3. Small hotels have more focus while big hotels have more resources. With a meager staff, small hotels don’t have the luxury of manpower that big brands have. As a result, small hotel workers tend to be more focused on what matters while bigger hotels can have too many tasks at hand that they forget to prioritize something as crucial as hotel online reputation management.
Whether you own a 28-room hotel or 28 branches nationwide, the fact remains: you should always have an active hotel reputation management strategy in your organization. Your employees should be well-trained to provide excellent customer service and you should have a review response method that ensures all your hotel reviews are addressed within 24-48 hours.
In a time when most businesses are trying to recover from the effects of Covid-19, it’s important to remember that where there are challenges, there are also opportunities to improve your hotel online reputation management. This is the perfect time to reconnect with old customers, attract new ones and blow them aways with the best service that your hotel can give.
Beyond implementing effective hotel reputation management tactics, there should be more focus on providing guests with the information and amenities they need to feel safe from Covid-19 as they visit your hotel.
Ready to discuss your options for managing and generating more reviews for your hotel? Drop us a line and we’ll get you started on your hotel reputation management journey.