Managing the Impact of Online Customer Reviews on Hotels in 2021 — Source: Milestone Inc.

Our Milestone team helps hundreds of customers achieve their internet marketing goals each year. The main contester is the hotel industry. Yet, many are so far unaware of the sheer impact simple aspects, such as online reviews can have on their search engine optimization (SEO), rates of traffic, brand recognition, lead convergence, and more.

Hint: 97% of all online consumers report reading reviews prior to purchase.

For example: when using third-party review sites such as Yelp to house reviews, just a one-star increase can drive your hotel's revenue by 5 to 9%. Being a B2C company, it's vital to prioritize positive customer experiences for 5-star reviews; only 48% of customers said they'd book a room at a hotel with fewer than a 4-star online rating.

So, with positive online reviews driving higher lead convergence, we've gathered five key objectives and executions for developing a hotelier's registration of positive reviews:

Deliver engaging and personal customer service

Managing a destination hotel with endless views of a breathtaking horizon might allow guests to relax in heaven, but with outstanding customer service and care, they'll be able to relax and enjoy even more.

Going above and beyond for your guest is what will encourage them to go above and beyond for you by leaving a positive online review.

For one: you can enlist protocol systems to troubleshoot customer issues; guests hate being passed around between managers when they have a problem, so empower front-line service workers to define and deliver resolutions for customers.

Another example could be to adjust standards in a way to ensure you always exceed expectations. For instance: if you promise to return a query to a potential guest within 24-hours, deliver in 12.

Build a strong omnichannel social media presence

Your guests will have their own preference of on line living; So, guarantee your hotel is firmly planted in all of them and you'll increase both lead convergence and your chances of receiving an online review across a multi-platform presence.

Some of the best platforms for a hotel to build an online review collective include:

  • Yelp
  • TripAdvisor
  • Facebook
  • Google

Encourage user-generated content (UGC)

Stars are the initial impression given to potential guests, especially when searching online in the realms of bountiful UGC.

With this, you should be proactive in encouraging customers leave a mark on online review sites, on social media, on your website, and in private messages.

Ensure all hotel staff are on the lookout for customers sharing positive experiences and tolet these guests know that feedback and reviews are well-appreciated. Encouraging this UGC doesn't need to be an awkward face-to-face interaction; it can be through leaflets under the door, emails, business cards, website pop-ups, pinned comments on social media, and more.

Photo contests can help increase the number of user-generated photos.

Remember not to incentivize reviews with rewards as that violates the terms of most platforms.

Engage with negative review customers

It's important to engage with all customers whether they're past guests or potential leads. You should be looking at complaints, inquiring about satisfaction, requesting for improvement suggestions, providing kind service, delivering on promises, exceeding expectations, and providing regular content.

Yet, engaging with negative reviews can be the most important of all: they'll provide space to deliver a resolution, justify the online review to readers, and demonstrate a willingness to improve.

Customers understand that mistakes can happen and sometimes a hotel and guest just aren't made for each other. So, there will always be a level of willingness to overlook occasional bad online reviews, yet they will be on standby to see how you'll respond.

Monitor your online reputation and keep driving fresh reviews

In a 2021 consumer society, it should be second nature to monitor online reputation and lead convergence levels while conducting competitor research and considering the current key metrics. Having the means to monitor online reputation essential to being able to rectify issues, target specific demographics, enable sales tactics, find marketing holes, and get hotel rooms booked far in advance.

To do this, you need a system that can signal when your brand is being mentioned across the online world and where. This will ultimately aid in the processes of addressing reviews, answering questions, engaging with customers, and understanding the demands of target audiences.

84% of customers tend to look at a recent online review within the past three months for a relevant window into your hotel. Therefore, neglecting a continued effort for fresh online reviews will result in lowered rates of lead conversion. It's not just acknowledging the impact of online customer reviews; it's understanding the context relative to the impact.

The reputation of each hotel through online review shapes the perception held by potential guests and whether they'll book a room or not. If you want to make the most of your online presence, consider how you can use these five steps to help your hotel stand out and convert more.

Milestone can help with all aspects of local and reviews. Contact us at [email protected] or 408-220-2211.

Erik Newton
VP of Marketing
+1 408-200-2211