In the competitive hospitality market, online hotel reviews have become a VERY important component of a traveler’s decision-making process when deciding where to stay.
Marketers are adroit at presenting a property in its best light. The actual worth of a travel experience cannot always be determined by the expectations set by beautiful photos and clever marketing campaigns. Guest Reviews provide a greater insight into the guest’s actual experience and add credibility and proof to the promises advertised.
In fact, reviews have become such an important insight into guest experience, that a recent ‘Trust You’ study found that a whopping 9 out of 10 potential guests read travel reviews prior to booking and in addition approximately 70% rated reviews and consumer opinions as extremely important in their booking decision when choosing a hotel.
In light of this, it is vital that responding to reviews is a priority of property managers. Nothing screams a management that isn’t responsive to guest needs quite as loudly as unanswered online reviews.
In the online space, responding to as many reviews as possible regardless of whether they are positive, negative, or neutral, differentiates a property that is truly focussed on its guests from an average one.
There are some very clear benefits to being vigilant in your online hotel reviews responses.
When answering a positive review, you get the opportunity to demonstrate gratitude and rapport with your guests to potential lookers. The impact of negative online hotel reviews can be minimised when management takes the time to show responsiveness, offer solutions, apologise if necessary and counter malicious reviews if required.
Hotels that actively respond to reviews receive 12% more reviews and their average ratings generally increase.
Your business’ local SEO is improved by responding to reviews and showing engagement with your guests, which in turn gives your property greater visibility in searches.
Your engagement and responsiveness with your guests online demonstrates that their experience matters to you. Relationship building in this manner means your guests are more likely to return in future.
Replying promptly to your guest reviews sets you apart in a sphere that many ignore. On average less than half of the reviews posted online receive a response.
If you’re looking for best practice tips on how to respond to you reviews, check out our blog: How To Respond To Google Reviews or this recent TRUSTYOU article. When it comes to assistance with answering your Google Reviews, did you know that HiRUM can provide this service for you? This is just one of the Marketing Services we can provide for our clients.
Naturally, the best online hotel reviews are tailored, have a personal approach, respond effectively to concerns, offer or detail the remedy and open the door for further communication.
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