Online reviews have a significant impact on consumers’ decision making process for using a business. Studies have shown that 76% of people trust strangers’ online reviews as much as they would trust personal recommendations. Interestingly enough, 66% of Americans trust strangers’ online reviews more than recommendations from an ex-partner. In a world where the internet is a vast and accessible resource, people don’t need to know someone who has tried that specific restaurant or stayed in a particular hotel and ask them what they think. It can take a long time to actually find someone in your social circles who’s had experience with a certain business. Instead of that process, all people need to do is a quick search for what past customers have to say about the business to get the social proof they need.
Of course, the actual rating matters. If a business were to receive a 1 star rating, people researching that business would likely be wary of going there or using that business. Unless a business makes a huge turnaround in their service and communicates that, people could anticipate similarly bad experiences as others in the past. In fact, 57% of people will not consider a business if it has less than 4 stars. Even though reviews are inevitably subjective, ratings give a feeling of an objective numerical variable to use for comparisons. Expectations are high, and businesses need to adapt to those expectations.
For a hotel, low ratings could lead to less bookings and a loss in profits. Prospective guests can be turned away by complaints from past guests and look for other hotels to book with. On the other hand, positive reviews can lead to more bookings. Stories of positive experiences from past guests can help prospective guests feel at ease about making a reservation. Hotels can also utilize their higher ratings to increase their revenue. It’s estimated that a 1-star increase in ratings can give hotels the opportunity to charge 11.2% more for reservations, without much change in occupancy. Over time, that additional revenue can increase.
Reputation management is an increasingly important part of marketing strategies. Having a lot of positive ratings can help your hotel get more attention and be more competitive. Learn more here about where to prioritize getting more positive reviews.
While TripAdvisor is a well-known review website for hotels, there are also other platforms to consider. Platforms like Google My Business, Facebook, Trustpilot, and Yelp host reviews for a variety of different businesses. Others like Hotels.com, Expedia, and Booking.com are more focused in the hotel industry. Managing your hotel reputation on the most popular review websites can be a worthwhile investment of your time.
In an ideal world, everyone would give you a 5-star rating on every platform, but the harsh reality is that doesn’t happen . At some point, people will have issues with your hotel. How many times have you read a negative review for a hotel that could have easily been prevented, had the hotel known about the issue? How would you know how to fix the issue if there’s not an accessible channel for guests to communicate through?
Don’t get blindsided by a bad review after a guest leaves your hotel. You can create opportunities to address guest complaints during their stay, so they can have a better perception of your hotel by the time they leave. In-stay surveys can help you improve the guest’s experience during their stay, and it can also be a preventative way to stop the same issues from arising for future guests. With automated post-stay surveys, you will only receive positive reviews from happy guests. Take charge of your hotel reputation, and let those positive reviews reflect the excellent service you have to offer.