Hotels must incorporate reputation management into their operations, as negative online reviews can have a detrimental effect on their bottom line. Luckily, there are straightforward strategies hotels can adopt to prevent negative Google or TripAdvisor reviews.
1. Personalize the guest experience from start to finish.
To truly prevent negative online reviews, hotels must first provide the best service they can while guests are present. Reputation management doesn’t begin at the end of the guest stay; it begins at the first interaction with a guest.
From the pre-stay welcome messages to the end of a guest’s stay, hotels should try to personalize the guest experience as much as possible. Pre-stay communications can ask guests about special requests so they can have a personalized experience right when they arrive. These messages can also include information about on-site activities, additional hotel amenities, and local attractions during their stay, so guests can look forward to an enjoyable trip. These communications also enable opportunities for hotels to upsell various services from the start.
2. Check in on guests during their stay.
For hotels to truly personalize guest experiences, there first needs to be clear communication about guest needs. If a hotel doesn’t know that a guest is dissatisfied with their room throughout their entire stay, then it’s very likely that the hotel will get a negative review. To ensure clear communication, hotels can regularly check in with guests via messaging.
Guest messaging is a quick way to communicate with guests, and it can drive faster service and greater guest satisfaction. And if hotels set up an automated scheduled message system, they can send bulk messages to guests to check in on them throughout their stay, without needing to actually remember to check in with each guest every time. By saving that time, hotel staff can instead focus on actually personalizing guest experiences more, which ultimately leads to better experiences overall.
3. Use in-stay surveys.
Another way to get a temperature check on guests during their stay is to send out surveys in the middle of their stay. Guest surveys can be a quick and quantifiable way to gauge how guests feel about their experiences. While it may be difficult to assess what guests need if they simply say that their stay is “fine so far”, a numerical response can give a clear indication of any potential dissatisfaction.
As an example, hotels can ask guests how they would rate their experience so far on a 1-5 scale, with 5 being “excellent”. In-stay surveys can be set up so that anyone who responds with less than a 5 can be marked for review, and their feedback can be escalated to management to address. This gives hotels the opportunity to pinpoint the exact issues and improvements they can make while the guest is still present. Addressing negative feedback allows dissatisfied guests the opportunity to change their minds about their experience before they take their complaints to online review websites.
4. Send guest surveys at the end of their stay.
Hotels can also monitor feedback from their guests at the end of their stay. By sending out guest surveys at the end of the stay, hotels can effectively ensure that negative feedback gets sent to management and properly addressed, while positive feedback gets pushed to online review websites.
Automated guest surveys can allow hotels to get analytics to continuously make improvements in their service. Hotels can collect guest survey results over time and see if the changes they make ultimately improve guest experiences and lead to better hotel reputation scores.
5. Offer solutions for dissatisfied guests
If guests are still not satisfied with their experience at the end of their stay, hotels can still repair relations and manage their reputation by offering up different solutions. If hotels cannot solve the issue directly, they can still offer other things in place of it. Whether that be complimentary services, discounted rates, or any kind of personalized gift, hotels can still take actions to keep guests happy.
At the end of the day, there will always be unhappy guests who may leave bad reviews for a hotel. What matters most is that there is a true dedication to guest satisfaction, even after they leave. Even if there are negative reviews online, hotels can still maintain a good reputation by appropriately addressing negative reviews. Even if hotels can’t solve the problem or offer other solutions, the intention and commitment of doing so can show future prospective guests that they care about their guests and are dedicated to providing excellent service, through and through.