Did you know: approximately 90% of travelers read online reviews before making a booking decision? Responding to guest reviews is crucial for hotels because 95% of travelers consider hotel responses when determining where to stay. It directly impacts a hotel’s reputation, influencing potential guests’ perception of the property, and their likelihood of booking a stay.
With hotel occupancy at an all time peak this summer season, the BCHA has prepared the below article, outlining best practices in guest review management to ensure you have systems in place to capture current and future guests on their digital booking journey.
- Embrace a Guest-Centric Mindset:
- In today’s industry, we have moved away from the notion that the “customer is always right,” but it’s essential to acknowledge that the “customer’s perspective is always valid.” Placing guests at the heart of our operations holds significant value, allowing us to enhance our services by truly listening to their viewpoints. By adopting a guest-centric mindset, hoteliers can actively seek out and appreciate guest reviews and feedback. Recognizing the importance of every guest’s opinion, we can view their feedback as a valuable opportunity for growth and improvement.
- Monitor Online Platforms:
- In today’s digital age, guests are sharing their experiences on various online platforms. It is crucial for hoteliers to actively monitor platforms such as review websites, social media channels, and travel forums. Do you have someone on your team who is responsible for this? How frequently are they checking these feedback loops? By staying updated with guest reviews and feedback, hoteliers can respond promptly, address concerns, and show genuine care for their guests’ experiences.
- Respond Promptly and Professionally:
- Promptly responding to guest reviews and feedback demonstrates a commitment to exceptional customer service. Take the time to craft personalized responses, acknowledging the guest’s experience and addressing any issues raised. Even in the case of positive reviews, expressing gratitude and showcasing genuine appreciation goes a long way in building guest loyalty.
- Implement Your Own Feedback System:
- Encourage guests to provide feedback directly to your hotel through surveys, suggestion boxes, or follow-up emails. This internal feedback system allows hoteliers to gather insights and address concerns before they reach public platforms. Actively seek feedback on specific areas such as cleanliness, staff friendliness, amenities, and overall guest experience.
- Analyze Feedback Trends:
- Regularly analyze guest reviews and feedback to identify recurring themes or issues. This analysis can help pinpoint areas for improvement and guide strategic decision-making. Look for patterns, both positive and negative, that can inform training programs, operational adjustments, and future enhancements.
- Empower Staff to Handle Feedback:
- Providing your staff with the necessary tools and training to handle guest feedback is essential. Equip them with the skills to address guest concerns effectively, resolve issues promptly, and go above and beyond to exceed guest expectations. Encourage a culture of open communication and continuous improvement within your team.
In the months ahead, your property will be a focal point in every one of you potential guests’ digital booking journey and you can be certain they will be looking at past reviews and responses from your property. Are you confident that you have the right steps in place? By embracing a guest-centric mindset, monitoring online platforms, responding promptly, implementing an internal feedback system, analyzing feedback trends, and empowering staff, hoteliers can enhance guest satisfaction and foster positive guest experiences. Together, let us strive to deliver exceptional hospitality and create lasting memories for our guests.