The travel industry reputation lies with online reviews. Once the price point has been achieved, the hotel’s reputation is determined by what has been said online. The reviews left behind by customers often determine what type of experience one is to expect.
A restaurant or hotel’s reputation can be damaged or built by online customer reviews. The impact these reviews have on the business grows each year. It is a fact that most people before traveling will consult their friends or family who has been there to determine whether it is worth the trip. Most people look at online reviews to know about the professional services that are offered at a hotel before they book and what other issues are there.
What is online reputation management (ORM)?
ORM is the art of crafting strategies that will influence the public perception of an organization on the internet. It is a new function in the travel industry that has grown due to growth in social networking and traveler reviews influence buyers decisions.
ORM is mainly about analyzing, monitoring, and reacting to online review and opinions about your restaurant and being present in social media to shape the perception of your brand.
It is still new in the hotel industry as people try to find ways to fit it in between competing demands and the increasing complexities that are in the travel industry. Reputation management and social media are regarded as a traditional marketing function, although they touch so many aspects of a hotel including professional services, and sales.
Online reputation has to be managed; otherwise, you are going to lose the customers you have and not attract as many as you had initially expected.
Below are 5 reasons as to why as part of the travel industry, you should focus more on online reputation management.
Drive incremental revenue
You can make your hotel presence known on social media, and this can help increase your revenue. With people knowing who you are and how fast you respond to their comments, they are going to spread the word about your hotel and this will convert others to join them. This can help you to increase your customer base and convert more customers to increase revenue and increase your hotel’s popularity.
A better understanding of weaknesses and strengths
When you focus on what people are saying online about your hotel, you will know what your strong and weak points are. Engage with the reviewer and understand their experience at your hotel and what changes they would like to see. Taking the good with the bad will help you make the necessary changes and improve your rates on online platforms, and this might increase the number of customers you get in the next few weeks or months.
How you compare to competitors
Websites for online reviews can be a great way to see how your competitors are doing. Reputation management will help you know what they are doing differently from you, and how you can use their methods or tricks to improve your business.
Shape perception of the brand
Using reputation management, you can shape the perception consumers have of your brand. You can find out what your guests think about your hotel using questionnaires or online pools, and use that knowledge to identify the changes they would like to see and enforce them. There can be the common denominator, and you should look further into that and make sure you announce that is has been dealt with. Use social media to change how people see your hotel. Once you have that knowledge of consumer’s needs, and you address them, you can then be in control of how guests and future customers perceive your hotel.
Build loyalty and advocacy among guests
When you use social media to broadcast about your hotel, you are going to reach out to your loyal customers who are going to act as your advocate for your hotel. A loyal customer will advocate for you as long as you appeal to them and listen to what they have to say, this is where reputation management comes into play.
Make your guest feel welcomed and appreciated, so that they can talk about their stay at your hotel to other people and this will then work as a free marketing strategy.
In conclusion, despite having old-school marketing strategies, you need to make sure that your hotel or restaurant is involved in online reputation management. Additionally, you have to stay on track with what people say about your business and tackle any issues that are mentioned in the comments. Once tackled, you will notice the rates changing and people commenting about how their issues are being addressed, and this will appeal to many clients who are going through the reviews.
Author Bio: Adrian Rubin is an avid traveler and freelance writer.