It’s likely no news to you that reviews are critical to the success of your property. The quality and quantity of your reviews has a direct impact on your ability to book guests and maintain the image of your brand. In our latest webinar, Everything Innkeepers Need to Know About Reviews, we break down all aspects of the review process, from asking guests to write a review, to responding to the reviews that are a little less than glowing. We offer up all our best tools, tricks, and insider secrets to insure that you walk away with a deeper understanding of the wild world of reviews. This is one you don’t want to miss.
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Reviews are Essential to Success
We can’t emphasize the importance of reviews enough. Just take a look at this infographic.
Online reviews are quickly becoming just as valuable as in-person recommendations, perhaps even more so. 88% of people trust reviews just as much as reviews from acquaintances or friends. Furthermore, 76% of customers are willing to pay more for hotel with higher view scores. Increase your review score by just one point and you’ll be able to charge up to 11% more while still maintaining your occupancy. If those numbers don’t convince you, then nothing will.
Furthermore, reviews on Google have a tremendous impact on both rankings and visibility. In fact, we think the #1 SEO activity you should be focusing on right now is getting Google Reviews. For more information on the importance of Google Reviews, check out our blog post Should I Ask For Reviews on Google or TripAdvisor?
Terrible Reviews Happen to Great Places
One of the most common reasons our customers don’t ask for online reviews is because they are scared of getting a bad one. While that fear is understandable, the reality is that negative reviews are inevitable. By now, you probably know that certain guests can be impossible. Some people arrive at your property with unreasonable demands and unrealistic expectations. Well, unfortunately those are exactly the type of people who will log onto Google or TripAdvisor and write a negative review of your property after check-out. It’s just part of the game.
Basically, what we’re trying to say is that you shouldn’t fear bad reviews. Bad reviews are bound to happen sooner or later. Though you can’t change the fact that negative reviews happen, you can change how you respond to them.
Respond to All Reviews, Both Good and Bad
Having a 5-star reputation requires responding to all reviews, both good and bad. You can greatly influence your ratings by simply responding to as many reviews as possible wherever you get them. Ideally, you should be responding to all reviews. Your response is especially important when it comes to negative reviews. Responses give you a chance to own up to the situation, offer an explanation, and let potential guests know that you are doing what you can to solve the problem.
How to Respond to Negative Reviews
A great response has the power to completely make up for a terrible review. When it comes to responding to negative reviews, we like to follow the Five A’s:
- Acknowledge: Acknowledge the grievance that the guest has expressed in their review
- Apologize: Tell the guest that you are sorry their experience fell short of their recommendations.
- Appreciate: Thank the guest for their feedback and explain how you plan on doing better in the future.
- Avoid: Avoid being impolite, mentioning too many specific details, lodging personal attacks against the reviewer, writing too lengthy of a response, or using the response as a chance to reveal your moral superiority. Keep your response formal, friendly, and focused on how you will improve.
- Alternative Communication: Take the conversation offline. Contact the reviewer directly and mention this in your reply; and/or provide the reviewer with your contact information in the post
Take it from Josiah Dean from the Balch Hotel in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge: .
No one likes getting a negative review, but it can actually be a chance to show potential guests that you care are actively invested in improving guest experiences.
Just Ask for Reviews!
70% of guests will leave a review if asked. The best way to solicit reviews is by providing a link to TripAdvisor or Google in your post-stay email. To do this,
- Go to your TripAdvisor or Google page
- Scroll and click “Write a Review”
- Copy and paste that link into your post-stay email
More information – see: https://www.odysys.com/blog/5-easy-ways-to-improve-your-google-local-map-rankings/
A Few Do’s and Don’ts
- Do ask your guests to review you on both TripAdvisor and Google
- Do encourage your guests to contact you directly with any specific questions, concerns, or comments
- Don’t solicit reviews in bulk
- Don’t review yourself using a fake profile
- Don’t ask for reviews on Yelp – this violates their terms of service
- Don’t use a third party tool to filter out bad reviews
This post barely scratches the surface of everything we cover in the Webinar. In the webinar, we delve even deeper into the importance of reviews, the process for responding to bad reviews, and the right way to ask your guests to write review your property online. Reviews are essential to the success of your property so do yourself a favor and give the Webinar a watch. You’ll walk away with the knowledge and skills to navigate the world of reviews like a true professional.