Hotel review sites are important for hotels of all sizes, but they are even more so for small accommodation providers.
Online reviews allow your small hotel to compete with big brand names
Without any locals to contact in their destination, travelers rely on other travelers to leave authentic reviews of their stay at your hotel. Think of it as a virtual word of mouth recommendation.
Small hotels need a solid online reputation backed by good reviews to give the image of legitimacy and credibility. Otherwise, you will not be able to compete with big hotel chains.
To travelers a big brand name makes them feel like they will get a consistent, high quality experience. The only problem is they are much more expensive.
If you are within their budget, you already have the upper hand. You just need to back it with online reviews.
Hotel review sites are trusted sources of information
Hotel review sites like TripAdvisor house authentic reviews because of the social aspect of it (it’s linked to your Facebook profile, you can see which friends have stayed there before, etc).
As a result TripAdvisor has evolved to become the biggest travel site, with hundreds of reviews and photos uploaded every minute.
Another popular review aggregator is Facebook.
You simply cannot compete with this wealth of information with testimonials and photos on your own website. You have to ‘jump on the bandwagon’ to be seen by today’s travelers.
Online reviews get guests excited about your hotel
Some reviewers go into a lot of detail when describing their stay. This is good marketing for you. They may include details about the personal touch a staff member displayed, for example.
When travelers see that all of your latest reviews are positive, they will feel confident that when they get to your small hotel, they will be taken care of.
Hotel review sites showcase your tact when handling difficult situations
Transparency is key. It’s the whole reason travelers refer to hotel review sites in the first place! It’s normal to have some unhappy customers post negative reviews once in a while, but it’s all about how you handle the situation.
With tact, you can turn a negative review into a positive experience.
Make sure that…
- No more than a few people at your property are responsible for responding to online reviews.
- You respond to reviews quickly and regularly.
- You are appreciative of all guest feedback, both positive and negative.
- You ask your guests for feedback and support.
- You do not offer compensation in online responses (take it offline).
Click here for the full post on our best practice guidelines when responding to online reviews.
Your commitment to the age old saying ‘the customer is always right’, and striving for improvement for future customers is what counts.
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