Your hotel’s online reviews matter. Would you want to stay at a hotel that had bad reviews? And what if that review came with pictures?
You’re not alone. We wouldn’t want to stay at that hotel either!
Nearly 98% of travelers read online reviews from other travelers, and 78% of travelers think that reviews from other travelers are very, or extremely important in the decision making process. So if your guests are leaving bad reviews on review sites, chances are they’re deterring future guests and potential customers. In a period of low occupancy, there are hardly any hotels that can afford poor reviews.
But positive reviews? They can have the opposite effect...drawing in future guests. Use hotel operations software to improve your reviews, and prevent bad reviews before they happen.
There are more reasons hotels can receive bad reviews than we can count. Typical bad reviews might include uncomfortable mattresses, thin walls, cold breakfasts, dirty rooms, or a bad experience with staff (to name a few!). In a COVID-19 environment, hotels are still seeing the usual reviews, as well as a whole new set of bad reviews.
A July study of online hotel reviews, found that negative reviews were on the rise, and many of the negative reviews were related to a hotel’s COVID-19 response; limited services, lack of social distancing and standard COVID-19 procedures, and general cleanliness.
Use Hotel Checklists for New SOPs
COVID-19 has brought on a myriad of new SOPs for hoteliers. From new brand standards, to local or state laws and regulations, hotels have a long list of things they must do to stay compliant, and most importantly, keep staff and guests safe.
Social distancing and enhanced disinfecting procedures are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the new SOPs. Every department has new SOPs, and checklists are a great way for hoteliers to stay compliant and accountable. Checklists also help streamline operations throughout a hotel.
Checklists not only provide reminders and accountability, but they help users prevent mistakes. From complicated tasks to daily reminders, checklists free up space in a user’s brain so that they can concentrate on the larger task at hand: providing a superior guest experience, which can lead to positive reviews.
Customizable, digital hotel operations checklists are an effective tool to arm hotel staff with. With checklists, it’s harder to miss a step when cleaning a room or doing a walk-through anywhere in the hotel.
Communicate With Your Guests To Set Expectations
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Guest communication is SO important. If your breakfast buffet is temporarily closed, or has been replaced with grab and go items, let your guests know in advance so they can plan accordingly.
Good communication also helps guests set their expectations. Many hotels have temporarily closed some of their amenities (pools, spas, fitness centers, etc.) in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. While this in and of itself may not be a reason for a poor review, if guests aren’t notified at the time of booking, or with enough time that they can adjust their plans accordingly, this could be a major disappointment.
ALICE Guest Messaging enables hotels to communicate with its guests before, during and after their stays. Use these guest messaging templates to communicate with your guests and let them know what’s open, what’s closed, new check-in procedures, and anything else they need to know so they can adjust their expectations.
Ask Your Guests for Reviews in a Thank You Note
Leaving a hotel review isn’t second nature for many guests. It’s best to prompt your guests to leave reviews if you’d like to build your online reputation. There are many different ways in which you can ask guests to leave your hotel a review, but a great way is in a thank you note.
Sending your guests a thank you email or a thank you text message can leave them with a positive feeling about your hotel. We’ve written an entire blog post about asking your guests for review in a thank you note because we think it’s so impactful.
Use hotel operations software to automatically reach out to customers to leave a review after they’ve departed your property. Guest messaging tools come in handy when reaching out to guests. Automatic messages can be programmed to be sent to guests just after their departure, when their stay is fresh in their mind.
Hotel Departments That Can Make an Impact
Every department has an impact when it comes to happy customers, positive reviews, and social media. The front desk, housekeeping, concierge and maintenance staff all have to work in unison to provide a positive guest stay. While “customer service” might not be written into the job description of each department, every hotel employee plays a role.
Guest services software, which enables front desk and concierge staff to answer every question that comes their way and provide personalized expert recommendations, makes guests feel well cared for. Your hotel can also use preventative maintenance software to maintain its physical appearance and prevent negative guest reviews ahead of time.
Every employee, when given the right tools and software to excel in their job, has the power to influence a customer’s review.
Interested in learning more about how ALICE can help you improve your reviews? Schedule a demo today!