Online reputation has never been so important. Now, more than ever, consumers rely on the reassurance they get from reading positive online reviews before they are willing to commit to a service or product. And this is particularly important in the hotel industry. Guests want to know that a hotel really does offer the value it promises, and that they will have a positive experience at every point of their stay. In fact, your online reputation is so powerful that it has the power to make or break you.
Let’s take a look at what this means for your hotel, and how you can best manage your online reputation and build a successful and profitable business.
What is your online reputation?
Your online reputation is a direct reflection of the positioning of your hotel’s brand. It’s based on the opinions of all the guests that have stayed at your hotel in the past, and these opinions have a huge impact on whether or not new guests decide to make a reservation with you or opt for one of your competitors instead. Essentially, these opinions depend on whether or not you have met the expectations of your customers and offered them the level of quality that you promised in your marketing strategies. In other words, if you have offered them a positive experience and provided them with good value for their money.
Consumers reach for a number or sources when it comes to determining what your online reputation is before making a booking. This includes testimonials and comments on social media, Yelp reviews, Google search results, and your ratings on booking agent sites. All this information moulds the subjective opinions that the general public forms about the value that you have to offer. And if the reviews that consumers find are negative, then they are very unlikely to confirm a reservation with your hotel. Opinions matter, and a positive online reputation can be one of the most powerful marketing assets in your toolbelt.
Why is your online reputation so important?
So, why is your online reputation so important?
To put it simply, a good reputation helps you build trust and loyalty. It attracts consumers to your hotel, and it keeps guests coming back. Your online reputation is a form of social proof that reassures customers that you are able to hold up your end of the bargain and offer them a positive and valuable experience in return for their money. Building a solid supply of positive online reviews is also a great way to help your business rank higher on search engines, so more potential guests are able to find you online when they search for a hotel in your area. And all this helps you increase your ADR and, ultimately, boost your revenue.
How can you improve your online reputation?
Many businesses make the mistake of believing that their online reputation is something that is out of their control. That it is something intangible that they have no influence over, as it is solely dependent on subjective opinions. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, the experience you offer at every touchpoint of the guest experience, from the point of booking, right through to when a guest checks out of your hotel (and even beyond this point to an extent), has a direct impact on the opinions that they form. You, as a hotel owner or revenue manager, have the power to create a solid reputation that helps you build a successful brand. It’s all about implementing measures to make sure you measure, monitor, and improve your reputation on a regular basis.
The best place to start with this is by creating a solid online reputation strategy.
Make sure you include these steps in your strategy:
- Evaluate your current online reputation. Do you currently have many reviews? On which platforms? Are reviews mostly positive or negative?
- Respond to feedback. Whether a review is positive or negative, always make sure you respond to comments and implement measures to address any issues raised in negative reviews.
- Monitor the reputation of your competitors. What do guests have to say about them? Do they have more positive or negative comments? How do they respond to reviews? Is there anything you can learn from them?
- Create content that helps you develop a positive online reputation. This might be through your website, blog, or social media channels.
- Develop your brand and make sure you are transparent and authentic about who you are as a business.
How can online reputation management software help?
The best way to keep your finger on the pulse of your online reputation is by using reputation management software. Reputation management software enables you to regularly collect feedback on what people are saying about you online, including ratings and reviews, to help you build a fuller picture of what your guest experience is like. And that way, you can quickly respond to any issues and make the necessary adjustments in order to build a strong and positive reputation.
It’s also important to take into account the Objective Quality that you offer guests who come to stay at your hotel. Objective quality takes into account the facilities that you offer, the services that you provide, the types of rooms that you sell, and the photos and descriptions that you use to promote your hotel.
At BEONx we have developed a unique Hotel Quality Index™ (HQI™) that enables you to assess your hotel’s reputation and position in real-time. The system uses an advanced algorithm to analyse external market data, including online reviews and ratings, in order to calculate an overall quality score for your hotel. This can help you understand your online reputation in the context of the larger market so that you can make the necessary adjustments to improve your REVPAR and create a solid online reputation that helps you build your business.