5 Easy Steps to Build A Strong Online Reputation
Ever wish you could remove embarrassing reviews posted by an annoyed customer on TripAdvisor or Booking.com? Do you worry that potential customers will read the negative reviews about your business? Do you wonder why most of your satisfied customers do not provide a feedback on the internet? How can you overcome these situations and build a strong reputation that will stay for a long time to come? As a business owner, you want to do so because stronger reputation on the internet means more online business for your organization.
Strong Online Reputation
Your online reputation is determined by all the positive and negative reviews posted by your past customers on various online bookings sites like Booking.com, Priceline, MakeMyTrip, etc.; on various reviews sites like TripAdvisor.com & Yelp; on social media sites such as google+, facebook; and on your own website (if you happen to collect reviews). Travelers check the reputation of several different hotels before finalizing on one. To ensure a growing sales trend and to compete effectively, Sales or Reservation Managers, General Managers and Owners are focusing on building a strong online reputation for their hotels, motels and restaurants.
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5 Steps to A Strong Online Reputation
Here are 5 easy steps to build a strong online reputation. Following these simple steps helps hotels around the globe to attract more customers and get more online bookings.
More, Better & Frequent Reviews
Yes, that's true. More number of reviews, more positive reviews and more frequent reviews are the key to a strong online reputation. As a business owner or manager, it is your responsibility to solicit online reviews or feedback from your most satisfied customers. Hotels, for example, complain that most of their satisfied customers do not bother to post reviews. If you own a hotel, you know that is an absolutely true statement. But as a service provider, it is your responsibility to request and remind your customers to provide reviews. This includes both asking for reviews verbally when the customer is at the property as well as sending an email reminder immediately after. And remember, how you ask is also important. There are several software programs available in the market that enables hotels to send professional quality emails and maintains an history of all such review requests. Why are reviews important? Check out 10 reasons why hotels can't afford to ignore online reviews.
Get Reviews on As Many Websites As Possible
Every website that shows reviews and customer feedbacks is a free advertisement opportunity for your business. Making sure your business is listed and has a positive presence in virtually every website your potential customers might visit is another key factor towards a solid online reputation. Failing to do so guarantees that you will miss out on opportunities to get more bookings and more customers. Most successful hotels are listed on every online bookings sites, reviews sites, destination sites as well as social media sites. A good software can automatically help you identify all such sites and help you build your reviews on those sites.
Reply to Your Guest Reviews
Replying to your past guest feedback on sites like TripAdvisor.com shows that the hotel's management listens to the customers voice. Research has shown that when potential customers read management replies to customer feedback, they feel that the management cares about guest concerns and is responsive. This definitely makes your business look good to future customers and hence creates a better image for your hotel. Many hotels use smart software that alerts management when new reviews are posted so they can reply to negative reviews sooner than later. Some of the best hotels need their management to respond to all new reviews within 24 hours of receiving them. See how a hotel managed to improve its rank on TripAdvisor by replying back to reviews.
Understand & Improve Service
Experts believe that listening to customers is one of the best ways to identify issues with your service. Only then can businesses take action to fix gaps and improve guest satisfaction. Listening and taking action are key to getting more positive reviews on the internet. Hotels & restaurants can use software that help them identify issues in specific areas of service, such as breakfast, wi-fi, room, cleanliness, value-for-money, etc. so that managers and employees can make necessary changes and improve satisfaction.
Make It A Habit - Repeat Step 1-4
This is the most important of all the steps. Often, business start initiatives to improve service and get more and better reviews but fail to make it a habit. It takes time, hard work and persistence to build a solid online reputation. Making sure you do all the above 4 steps regularly is the key to success. A system / software that can track these steps and report on a weekly and monthly basis is a sure shot help. Hotels use tools to help them stay on top with the above 4 steps. Online reputation management software helps hotels stay organized and focused to build a culture to grow and build a strong reputation on the internet. Making review management (i.e. monitoring reviews, growing your positive reviews, listening to your customers and communicating with them by replying back their reviews) a part of your daily business operations is key to successfully building a strong online reputation.
Many industry studies have shown that within the next few years, hotels will start getting as much as 70% of their bookings from the internet. Your hotel could also get as many online bookings, provided you are ready for it. Managing your online reputation is not difficult. You just need to get started.
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