How to Inspire Great Online Reviews
Impressing and surprising your hotel guests with exceptional customer service is what every hotel owner and manager should strive for for many reasons.
One of those reasons is to get positive online reviews.
In today’s ultra-digital world where people’s opinions are always on and always available, it’s never been more important to inspire great online reviews.
Your potential customers are judging you every day by looking at your online reviews on Google, Facebook, TripAdvisor, Yelp, and others.
What’s more, according to one study, nearly 95% of respondents said they stayed away from a business after they read a negative review.
Because online reviews are integral to the success of your lodging property, let’s look at how you can inspire the best ones.
Create a Top-Notch Experience
There’s nothing better for inspiring online reviews than building a strong relationship with your hotel guests. (tweet this)
You want your customers to leave your hotel happy, relaxed, and satisfied. This in turn inspires them to leave you a good review.
Train your staff to always go the extra mile. Make sure your team communicates with your guests in a friendly manner.
You also want to deal with any unhappy customers quickly. Diffuse the situation as best as you can so they don’t head right to their phones to leave you a bad review.
Customer satisfaction is your goal. Reach it with every guest, and you’ll inspire great online reviews.
Train Your Team
To provide the best in customer service which leads to great online reviews, you must train your staff.
Consider customer service training as part of your employee onboarding. Then, on a regular basis, give your team a refresher course on customer service.
You can even do some role playing. Make a list of common issues that may arise with your hotel guests. Then, have your team get together and have several of them role play each scenario.
Doing extra customer service training like role playing throughout the year really drives home its importance to your team members.
Treat Your Team Members Well
Happy employees create happy customers.
When hotel management treats the staff with kindness and respect, pays them a fair wage, and maintains open communication, they see employee morale rise.
With a high employee morale, comes a staff that is confident and satisfied in their work. These team members are more likely to return the same excellent customer service to your hotel guests.
Create a Contest
You can also start a contest for your team members. This will help them buy in to your customer service strategy.
For example, have a contest to see who can get the highest number of good online reviews. Then reward this team member with a free dinner, gift card, or even a free night’s stay.
Once customer service and online reviews become important to them, you’ll see your positive online reviews go up.
Monitor Your Reviews
All businesses get a negative online review at one time or another.
To get positive reviews, it pays to know what the negative reviewers are saying.
Assign a team member or a manager to monitor your online reviews. While this may take some time, it’s important to know what people are saying about you online.
Have your staff compile a list of negative reviews. Look for a common thread. For example, do all the negative reviewers think your linens are dirty? Or do the reviewers think your staff isn’t responsive?
You can identify common complaints by monitoring your online reviews. In addition, you can reply to the negative reviews and try to remedy the situation.
Always respond to the negative reviews with empathy and kindness. If you succeed in reversing their unhappiness, they may just amend their review or even take it down.
Ask for the Review
You can always send your guests a text or an email message on the day of their departure asking them for a review.
Better yet though, you can also ask them in person for a review. If your team has succeeded in building a strong relationship, it’s easy to ask for the review.
In addition, every time a customer tells one of your team members how happy they are, they should ask for the online review. Conversely, if the guest is unhappy, this is not the time to ask for the review.
Share Your Reviews on Your Website
Another way to inspire reviews is to be open and transparent right on your website.
Include your reviews on your booking pages to make it easier for your guests to trust you. You’ll find that when they see your great reviews, they’re more likely to finish booking a room.
Use third party plugins to host the reviews on your website so you can instantly showcase your superb customer service.
Share Your Reviews on Social Media
Another great avenue for inspiring reviews is to showcase your positive ones right on social media.
For example, share a Google review on your Facebook page and in the text include a link for others to share a review.
Your potential guests are on social media many hours per day, so you want to share your best reviews right on your popular platforms.
If you have a customer who shares a photo with their review, be sure and post that, too, because it gives validity to the review.
Finally, with your happiest customers, consider asking them if they’ll do a short 15-30 second video testimonial that you can share on social media. This will supercharge people’s trust in your hotel brand.
Final Thoughts on Online Reviews
Online reviews of your hotel shape how potential customers see your hotel. If you have 200 positive reviews and one negative review, they’re most likely going to overlook it.
Yet, if you have 50 positive reviews and 60 negative reviews, they may think twice about booking a room.
Your online reviews are how people who know nothing about your hotel judge you. Future hotel guests rely on these online reviews, so you can see why working to get great online reviews is so important to your business.
With the tips here to inspire great online reviews, you are well on your way to inspiring reviews. Don’t forget, these online reviews can also help propel you past the competition.
Today’s hotel guests want to feel comfortable in their choice of lodging, and if your reviews can help them do that, you’ll increase your overall revenue. (tweet this)
We are your hotel’s digital advertising specialists. Whether it’s a new website, search engine marketing, social media marketing or website design, we are here to help. Contact us today to start a conversation about your hotel’s digital advertising needs.
Images: Tetiana SHYSHKINA and Arkady Lukashov on Unsplash
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