A whopping 96 percent of TripAdvisor users will be swayed by online reviews. What are you doing to get more of these for your property?
Half of your potential customers don’t even book unless they’ve read a review about a property. With such a strong hold over consumer decisions, it is not just wise, but foolish to ignore online reviews. If you want to see your sales figures increasing, get cracking on garnering online reviews. Here are some tips to get you underway.
Make your property and service “remarkable”
What is special about your guest experience? Are your service standards high? Do you go out of the way to help your guests? Are you proactive in your communication with them? Are you creative with the amenities and features you offer? Is there something that sets you apart from your nearest competitor?
Consider all these questions before you ask for a review. Give your guests enough reasons to leave a review.
Make it easy for guests to leave reviews
Want more reviews? Just ask for it. Your guests won’t mind. Only make it easy for them to leave reviews – be present on multiple review sites (Google, Facebook, Yelp, TripAdvisor…). Use guest surveys, comment forms and follow-up emails with easy links to websites where they can post their comments.
Understand your guests’ demographics
Who is your audience? Young professionals, families or baby boomers? Is your property welcoming more domestic travellers or international visitors? What nationality are they? If your property receives many Chinese visitors, you should focus on getting reviews on CTrip. Likewise if you’re attracting American tourists, you may want to have a prominent presence on Yelp.
Listen to guests and improve where necessary
One of the best ways to get more reviews is by listening to your guests and improving where required. Invest in applications like STAAH’s ReviewMinder that aggregate reviews from multiple online sources and helps you by providing actionable insights to improve. The pilot phase complete, the STAAH application is set for launch shortly. Talk to your STAAH account manager if you’re keen to take action on your online reviews.
With unlimited online platforms where guests can leave comments, a tool such as ReviewMinder is an essential if you’re serious about reputation management.
Turn reviewers into brand ambassadors
If you have happy and loyal customers, get them to write about your property and services on review sites. Then flaunt these comments through your social channels, blog and website to amplify the positive reviews. You could even consider rewarding these guests for their reviews – remember, there’s a thin line between incentivising guests for reviews and buying them. Stay away from the latter!
On the flip side, if you get a negative comment or have an unhappy guest, don’t ignore them. An Ostrich approach to problem solving never helped anyone. Understand the cause of the grievance and address it in a calm and professional manners.