Guest feedback is one of the most important ways to understand how your brand is performing. In fact, studies have shown that hotel guest reviews are paramount to success. One such study conducted by Cornell University indicates that a single point increase on a 5-point scale (e.g. 3.0 to 4.0) in a hotel’s average user rating makes potential guests 13.5% more likely to book that hotel. To help brands create exceptional guest experiences, there has been an explosion of new technology designed to help deliver a positive experience.
While there are many ways to encourage guests to offer their feedback, the bottom line is that you must ask for their feedback, either in person or digitally. Gently encourage guests to leave a review during check-out, or perhaps with a message at the bottom of the guest folio. Three effective ways to encourage more guest reviews include:
1.Respond to Reviews – Reply to every review as though it’s a gift. Focus on turning negative reviews into positive experiences by treating them as an opportunity to make changes that can prevent similar negative experiences with other guests. It’s important to respond to positive reviews as well, which shows future guests that you’re actively involved with and care about guests. In fact, according to a Harvard Business Review study, replying to reviews results in better ratings overall.
2. Promote Guest-centricity – The hospitality industry is synonymous with service and this should be the real differentiator. Most people are likely to leave a good review when they have had an amazing experience. Be genuine and sincere in your guest interactions, whether digital or face-to-face. Promote a guest-centric culture within your team, from housekeeping to front desk staff. Build a team that perpetuates this philosophy.
3. Deliver as Promised – Be careful not to exaggerate or oversell the property. Also consider the benefit of under promising and over delivering. Guests like to get exactly what they pay for, but when resort staff delivers more than promised or expected, guests are more likely to leave a positive review. Guests should be pleasantly surprised by your property, amenities and service levels.
Online reviews help you reach more guests, new and old. Using the latest in integrated hospitality technology can help improve the overall experience for guests. Brands that use such technologies are likely to receive positive online reviews.