How Online Reputation Can Boost A Hotel's Room Sales
What’s in it for me?
An empirical approach towards strengthening your hotel revenue through room sales by building upon your hotel’s online presence. From how your property is being perceived online to the reviews on your customer service, all stand as strong factors in determining the amount of bookings that you’ll get, including the value that you’ll be providing to each of your guests!
What Is Hotel Reputation Management?
Hotel reputation management can be regarded as the phenomenon of influencing and monitoring the extent of your property’s perception throughout the world of the web.
While a positive brand image attracts the masses to book with you and rely on your service quality (thanks to online reviews), a negative online image, on the other hand, is a dreadful prospect for hoteliers. It adversely affects the performance and revenue of the hotels.
Improving the reputation of your hotel online can be regarded as a continuous process requiring you to be proactive, reactive, and perceptive. It is important to remember that guest expectations evolve continuously. Hence, your aim, as someone associated with the hospitality industry, should be to provide quality experiences for your guests. You must also strive to acquire positive reviews to improve your online reputation.
Significance Of Improving Your Hotel’s Reputation
The modern business environment emphasizes a great deal on building and maintaining a positive online reputation across various sectors. The hospitality industry is, perhaps, the most susceptible and vulnerable to reputation both in real world and virtual domain.
Acquiring online hotel reviews forms a considerable part of the online reputation management system. It is often quite a task for some of the properties. After all, people need an opinion from their fellow travelers before booking their stay.
While getting just the positives reviews is ideal, an amalgamation of both the positive, negative, and mixed reviews is something that reasonably aligns with the very concept and idea of online reputation management. Therefore, it is critical for you as someone associated with the hospitality industry to invest a considerable amount of time in improving your online reputation.
A positive reputation has a direct correlation with long-term and medium-term revenue and occupancy levels. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the hotels to maintain a solid reputation on online platforms as it provides a host of benefits that include higher trust, better talent, less risk, and more profit.
What Do People Look For When Booking A Hotel Online?
It’s surely a matter of yay or nay!
And to be a “yay” for your customers, you need to fight tooth and nail to create an attractive brand image online. Reviews are the stepping stones! But there’s more to that!
The things that mainly prod people to book with you include:
• An updated and well-optimized website with gripping content and accurate information
• An AI-powered WebChat or a messaging solution that instantly responds to all their booking-related queries
• A seamless booking engine
• Up to date presence across all the social media platforms
• Reviews and experiences of guests who have already stayed at your property
• Brand image
Inadvertently, these are the very things that prepare the ground for your property’s online reputation.
Hacks For Improving Your Hotel's Reputation To Boost
It has been observed that while researching their traveling destination and property for staying, the majority of the travelers prefer going through a hotel’s reviews.
Also, it is important to understand the significance of the online image and reviews as they more often than not play a significant role in the occupancy of your hotel, thereby boosting your room sales. As stated earlier, consumers have increased their reliance on the opinion of travelers which forms the reputation of the hotel. Thus, it has become critical for hotels to realize the importance of online reputation and ramp up efforts towards creating a positive brand image.
The significance of social media and the management of reputation for hotels have become an integral aspect of the modern hospitality industry. The reasons for the rise in this particular domain are numerous and the host of advantages it provides has resulted in its prominence. This paves the way for the hoteliers to communicate more freely with their guests and also address any issues that may have been encountered by them during their stay at the property.
The pre-arrival stage is the first point of contact between the guest and the hotel and can be considered to be the most important stage of the entire cycle. It forms the initial impression of the hotel in the mind of the guests and stands to impact the hotel reputation in the long run.
Travelers usually spend a significant amount of time researching their ideal holiday destination that will contribute to an amplified experience. The amount of time, money, and effort invested is in expectation of a memorable and lifelong experience.
Nowadays, guests prefer a personalized service and quick response to their queries. Guest Messaging can help you in creating a great first impression on your guests by instantly responding to their queries. These queries may range from a wide variety of issues from something as obvious as the room availability, shuttle service, and the type of breakfast to the weather details, exact location, value-added services, etc. all of which provide a unique opportunity to solidify the online reputation with proper handling of the entire guest cycle journey even before a visitor even books with you.
• Website Optimization For Hotels
It is considered to be such an important aspect of the hospitality industry as it improves the visibility of your website along with other factors such as improving the quality of the content, improving the user experience by making it easier for users to navigate and explore,etc.
It also increases the responsiveness of the web design and increases the overall speed of the website which is another key factor as the longer a user spends on your website, the amount of time for consuming content also increases. It has been proven that sites that load in five seconds (compared to those that load in 19) see 70% longer average sessions. Thus, website optimization is an important tool for improving a property’s online reputation.
• Emphasizing The Power Of Perception
Increase Sales With Reputation Management Online
Hoteliers can no longer afford to neglect the role of online reviews in the process of attracting a wide customer base and creating a positive brand image, thereby impacting the hotel revenue and increasing sales.
Manual monitoring of online reviews can be easily done by visiting websites such as Yelp, Google My Business among others, or through bookmarking. However, various tools for automating the process are also available to celebrate positive feedback and address the negative ones.
To avoid loss of revenue due to poor online reputation, it is important to have a proper review management strategy in place that helps you improve the hotel’s reputation and secure financial solidity by increasing the hotel occupancy rate in the long run.
Some of the steps that can be undertaken to utilize the reputation management aspect to boost sales and increase the revenue of the hotel are as follows:
→You can attempt to level the playing field by addressing all the negative reviews on time
→Regular posting of updated news about the property by posting images and videos along with sharing customer experiences across all online channels
→Engaging your target audience with quality content can help you create a massive following
How Does Hotel Reputation Impact Revenue
As discussed already, online reviews impact various aspects of business such as brand loyalty, trust, conversions, ROI. In other words, higher rating scores provide increased/higher confidence to the travelers, which, in turn, lead to a higher amount of bookings. People usually trust the reviews of other travelers and every feedback stands to impact the ranking on every booking and reviewing platform.
Hence, it is pertinent for hotels to focus on the aspect of Online Reputation Management and assess the impact that it stands to have on its financial performance and revenue collection. The financial performance of a hotel can be assessed by the usage of RevPAR, which can also be regarded as revenue per available room. It is usually considered as a key performance metric or indicator for achieving full occupancy as it provides a clear idea of the present performance of a hotel, and in turn, helps them to charge accordingly.
Reputation management and revenue management go hand in hand as customer reviews are directly correlated with supply and demand along with pricing which is considered to be the holy grail of revenue management. That is why, it is important to continuously work towards improving your online image, online ratings, and online reviews which can be done by improving guest satisfaction through enhancing operational efficiency
It is the responsibility of the hotels to ensure that the amount of time and effort invested in the online hotel reputation management improves their ADR, RevPAR, and direct bookings. Research depicts that hotel reputation is one of the most powerful drivers of the hotel’s revenue and growth.
A study reveals that an increase of 1 point in the hotel’s review scores leads to an increase of 0.89% in price (ADR), a 0.54 % increase in occupancy, and a 1.42% increase in Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR).
Hotel reputation is controlled by a large number of factors and each of them need to be worked upon in its own, unique way to produce collective positive results. Tools such as automated guest messaging, website optimization are critical for boosting the online reputation of a hotel and have become an integral part of the hospitality business. Therefore, it requires an investment of both time and money to improve financial performance and generate more revenue.
⇒ Our hotel website 3.0 is launched to increase the rate of conversion and enhance direct engagement with your visitors
⇒ Collect mid-stay feedback through surveys to make last-minute amendments to possible service flaws
⇒ Design gripping surveys that can encourage guests to leave reviews, thereby putting your normal surveys to shame