Why monitor your online reputation?
Over the past two decades, the travel and Hospitality Industry has undergone tremendous evolution, led by technology development and innovations. The customer experience looks much different than it was a few years ago as it becomes more digital-based. Businesses saw the opportunity to interact faster and to know better their customers, while guests got more empowered during their customer journeys. The digital device allowed hotels to communicate with their customers at different stages of their experience and through different platforms, whether before, during, or after their stay. Businesses are not the only ones to benefit from this new business model, as customers started to get a hand on it as soon as they decided to share their opinions and feedback directly online. As a result, businesses had to learn how to manage the good as well as the bad online feedbacks.
According to a study released by Barclays in 2016, 200 new reviews are added every minute on TripAdvisor, and 450,000 reviewed are posted every month on Open Table (Barclays, 2016). Similarly, 87% of customers read online reviews for local businesses in 2020 (Bright Local, 2020), and 81% of travellers frequently or always read reviews before booking a hotel (Siteminder, 2021). The accommodation sub-sector is the most impacted by online reviews (99%), following by the restoration (69%) and the pubs/bars (68%). Online channels became crucial tools for measuring guest satisfaction and manage hotel business reputation. According to Barclays, a sector that better tackles the increasing use of online reviews and growing demand could boost the economy by £3.2bn over the next decade.
Online reviews: disruption or opportunity?
While some may argue that the hospitality sector has been disrupted by the emergence of new technologies, others may point out the numerous opportunities that they brought. Online reviews can be double-edged and need to be carefully considered to support the business. Here are the pros and cons of online reviews:
- Impact business reputation: with 88% of people trusting online reviews as much as personal recommendations (Anderson, Myles, 2014), negative online reviews can easily convince customers to avoid a business.
- Decrease bookings: one negative review can drive away 22% of customers and if those reviews go on Google searches a business can lose around 70% of their future customers (Bright Local, 2017).
- Snowball effect: while receiving negative reviews can be harmful to a business, a lack of them can alarm customers on the reliability of those reviews. According to Reevoo, 68% of people trust reviews and the business more when they see both good and bad scores (Reevoo, 2021).
- Time & money consuming: monitoring online customers feedbacks on a daily basis requires time and employee expertise.
- Free advertising tool: customers can play the role of real ambassadors of the property, as 70% of businesses agreed that published customer feedback attracts more customers to their business than it puts off.
- Increase booking volume: 67% of businesses with online reviews see an increase in new customers in the past 18 months (Barclays, 2016).
- Search Engine Optimization: receiving online reviews gives Google even more words and keywords to crawl, and therefore more probability for your business to pop up on the internet. Reviews create online content about the business and 105% of visitors are more likely to make a purchase on your site if you have reviews (Reviews.io, 2019).
- Increase customer spent: a study by the Harvard Business School shows that receiving one star on the restaurant review website Yelp.com can increase the business revenue by 5 to 9% (Harvard Business School, 2016), and consumers are likely to spend 31% more for a product or service of businesses with excellent reviews (Bright Local, 2017).
- Use as a CRM tool: Online reviews are a real source of information to better understand the needs and wants of your customers and therefore to avoid service failure and improve the customer experience. 40% of the interviewed businesses by Barclays sat that online feedbacks had exposed weak points in their business. (Barclays, 2016)
- Create trust: accepting both positive as negative reviews can improve customers trust and credibility.
What is a Reputation Management Software?
As its name implies, reputation management software is managing the online reputation of a hotel, and most precisely how the business is perceived publicly. It is complicated to quantify to what extent business reputation is important, but it is a non-brainer that reputation correlates with success.
Reputation Management Software can become a real ally for hoteliers. Indeed, it does not only perform one task, but instead it supports hoteliers in their online review management on an ongoing basis. Today, customers have a large range of possible platform to share their feedbacks such as on Google, TripAdvisor, social networks or even OTAs. The challenge is therefore to implement an action plan which identify, evaluate, control, and measure those reviews in real-time.
TrustYou has been ranked 2021’s number 1 Reputation Management and Guest Feedback & Surveys categories by Hotel Tech Report. With more than 100,000 customers in more than 100 countries, the software succeeded to make up its name within the hospitality industry across the US, Europe and Asia. TrustYou motto is simple: make listening powerful and actable. The company’s expertise can help hoteliers to improve guest satisfaction by collecting instantly valuable insight about customers, increase bookings by showcasing customer reviews and turn a negative experience into a positive one.
TrustYou strategy includes the following:
- Prevent negative reviews: TrustYou offers Live Experience communication tools to avoid post-stay feedbacks thanks to live surveys displayed through QR Code, SMS message, or even Wi-Fi login page, as well as Live Messaging or Team Chat to promote service failure recovery.
- Improve Guest Satisfaction: thanks to artificial intelligence, TrustYou can create an online post-stay survey to collect customer feedbacks, and then identify guests’ sentiment or trends. Afterward, the software provides KPIs reports for hotels to be able to measure and track their performances.
- Win More Bookings: TrustYou helps hoteliers to promote their positive reviews directly on their website and their survey reports on Google to increase online researches conversion into bookings.
- Impact travellers’ decisions: by personalizing hotel online platform with customizable review content and leverage guest review data.
Identified by the Wired Magazine among the European hottest companies, ReviewPro gathers more than 60,000 customers across 150 countries. The software helps hoteliers to increase their rankings on OTA and review sites, as well as to increase revenue. ReviewPro advantage remains its facility of usage for hoteliers, as all information can be gathered on the same tool.
ReviewPro strategy includes:
- Set up a listening system: ReviewPro provides social media monitoring tools to track what is said about the hotel in real-time. According to the size and needs of the business, the platform offers notification-only alert systems and mobile app services to interact with guests instantly.
- Respond to negative reviews: the software delivers a ticketing system to ensure that real-time operational service complaints get communicated and recovered on time.
- Improve SEO: to appear in the results on Google search, ReviewPro optimizes the hotel’s website by sharing trusted reviews.
- Measure performance: runs reports and benchmarks a hotel reputation score with the industry standard GRI (Global Review Index) integrated with STR, as well as with review source, language, and sentiment analysis. ReviewPro provides recommendations accordingly.
TrustYou vs ReviewPro: Pros and Cons
To conclude, today’s environment pushes hoteliers to be polyvalent and agile while pursuing business success. Hoteliers should not fear online reviews, but consider them as opportunities to better communicate with their customers and improve customer experience quality. Choosing a Reputation Management Software can better a hotelier’s expertise in managing online reputation and optimize business. Choosing between those Reputation Management Softwares should depend on the hotel management board, but as well on its market’s scale and staff expertise. Today, TrustYou supports international big hotel groups such as Accor or Wyndham Worldwide while ReviewPro works closely with Radisson Hotel Group, Melia Hotel International or The Ascot Limited lodging owner-operator.
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