How we've Simplified Hotel Brand Reputation Management for Hotel Brands4 min read
Whatever happened to hotel brand loyalty? Recent years have seen a substantial increase in guests critically researching offers and prices to make more informed purchasing decisions.
According to research from our partner Siteminder, 96% of guests consider reviews important when researching a hotel. Four out of five believe a hotel that responds to reviews cares more about its customers. Furthermore, 85% agree that a thoughtful response to a review will improve their impression of the hotel.
These numbers clearly demonstrate the power of Word of Mouth (WOM) when it comes to marketing your hotel brand to existing and prospective customers.
In this article, we explain what Word of Mouth (WOM) is, why it’s important for your hotel, and how you can seamlessly engage with guests to build trust and loyalty using the Guestcentric platform.
What is Word of Mouth and Why is it Important for Your Hotel?
Word-of-mouth (WOM) is the passing of information from one person to another, such as telling someone you know about a particular product or service. When people share information about a product or brand, it is usually because they have a high opinion of the product and want to encourage their peers to try it. On the flip-side, people also tend to share negative experiences they have with a company’s product or service. Whether positive or negative, WOM undoubtedly has an impact on your hotel brand’s credibility and trustworthiness.
In the digital age, it’s sometimes difficult for customers to trust what is written online. Recommendations from friends or family are now generally more trusted and listened to. For example, everyone knows that pictures can be very different from the actual situation once at the hotel.
This is why it’s so important to continuously engage with existing and prospective customers to optimize their experiences and get them recommending your brand to their peers. In fact, Neilsen states that 92% of consumers trust WOM recommendations over advertising.
WOM marketing isn’t a new concept, it’s been around forever. But with the widespread use of social media and online reviews, it’s now easier than ever for a customer to spread the word about your hotel brand!
The Impact of Guest Reviews on Your Hotel Brand’s Reputation
Let’s face it, today’s guests don’t rely on travel agents’ opinions to book travel anymore. Before the Internet, nobody would have traveled to parts unknown without their trusty Lonely Planet or Rough Guide. And a good review in one of these publications would keep your hotel’s reputation safe for years.
Now, everyone‘s reviewing, all the time. Sites like Booking.com, TripAdvisor, and Google Places have made it easy for guests to rate their latest night’s stay. And these reviews are an integral part of the purchase.
And as we mentioned at the beginning of this article, the numbers show that guest reviews, along with when and how you respond to them, can make or break your hotel brand’s reputation.
How we’ve Simplified Review Response & Reputation Management for Hotels
To quote the wise words of best-selling author Seth Godin, “Before advertising, there was word of mouth. Products and services that could solve a problem got talked about and eventually got purchased.”
But in the busy world of hospitality, how can Hoteliers effectively manage their hotel brand reputation across multiple channels at the same time? At Guestcentric, we have provided a dynamic solution.
How to use Guestcentric’s Hotel Brand Reputation Tool
The Hotel Reputation Management tool is easy to access if you are set up with a Guestcentric Central Reservation System. It is actually built into the system, which is extremely advantageous for hotel staff to streamline processing direct reservations whilst effectively managing your hotel’s brand reputation across multiple channels – including Booking.com and Google Places.
Here’s how it works:
- When you log in to the system, click on the ‘Marketing’ tab at the top of the screen. You will see the ‘Brand Reputation’ area at the very top of the left-hand menu.
- Under ‘Brand Reputation’, you will see a list of channels where you can respond to brand mentions and guest reviews. Next to each channel, you will see the number of mentions and reviews.
- Click the channel that requires responses from your hotel. Remember, even if they have just mentioned your brand name, you can respond with something that will make them remember your hotel.
In addition, you can also select great reviews from the Reputation area on the Guestcentric application, and insert them on your website homepage or testimonials page. This will strengthen the social proof on your website, which in turn leads to increased loyalty and ultimately, direct reservations.
And the best part is that you can easily do this from your central reservation system, without logging into the channel extranet. How cool is that?
Have you Tried our Hotel Brand Reputation Tool?
Tell us what you think, and if you want to know more about how this solution can benefit your hotel, please contact our Support Team.