For those in the hotel industry, online reviews are extremely important, as they help to shape your wider reputation. It is precisely for this reason that many hotel owners and marketing leaders are coming to appreciate the benefits of hotel reputation management software. In this article, you will find out more about how these solutions can help.
- What Does Reputation Mean?
- Why is Hotel Reputation Management Important?
- What is Hotel Reputation Management Software?
- What Are the Advantages of Hotel Reputation Management Software?
- Hotel Reputation Management Software: The Most Important Features
- Tips to Manage Online Hotel Reviews
- More Hotel Management Software Tips
The word ‘reputation’ refers to the opinions that are generally held about something, or the most commonly shared beliefs. With this in mind, when people talk about the reputation of a hotel, they are effectively referring to how guests feel about the property, as well as how it is viewed by the wider public.
One of the important things to understand about your reputation is that the views that shape it do not necessarily have to be true. If they are commonly held and are shared, they form part of your reputation regardless. So, for example, a hotel with a positive reputation may be widely believed to deliver excellent customer service. On the other hand, a hotel with a bad reputation may be widely seen as uncaring, or unable to deliver the services guests need.
Reputations tend to be viewed in general terms, taking the most prominent or common opinions into account. Of course, individuals may have views or opinions that wildly differ from the overall reputation of a business. In the modern world, hotel reputations are largely forged online, whether through online reviews or social media posts.
Put simply, reputation management is important because your reputation matters, and this is especially true in the hotel industry. In fact, according to a study from TripAdvisor, 81 percent of travellers always or frequently read reviews before they book a place to stay, while 52 percent would never book a hotel that did not have reviews.
This demonstrates the value that many potential customers place on other travellers’ opinions. The best hotels take proactive steps to integrate review management within their marketing strategy, not only ensure they generate more positive feedback than negative feedback, but also take the time to manage their reputation properly, responding to reviews and comments in the right way.
It is also important to understand that reputation management is an ongoing process, rather than a single task that can be completed. The same study from TripAdvisor found that 78 percent of participants focused primarily on recent reviews and feedback. This is because they want to know that the opinions expressed are still applicable.
Good reviews help you to build a positive reputation and will give potential customers a feeling of certainty that they are making the right decision. In other words, good feedback can lead to higher revenue.
What is Hotel Reputation Management Software?
Hotel reputation software allows hotels to manage online feedback from a single place, including reviews left on industry websites and comments left on social networking platforms. It is difficult to overstate how important your online reputation can be, as it can make or break the success of your entire business.
Through the use of hotel reputation management software, you can monitor feedback, respond to reviews, amplify positive comments and even set the record straight on comments that you feel are unfair or unwarranted. In a sense, reputation software allows you to take control of your own reputation, as opposed to allowing it to be dictated to you.
What Are the Advantages of Hotel Reputation Management Software?
Reputation software solutions can play a vital role in modern hotel management. Below, you will learn about some of the specific advantages that using one of these applications can provide for your hotel.
Perhaps the single biggest advantage that hotel reputation management software can deliver is increased business for your hotel. Given the high value that customers place on the opinions of other travellers, establishing a positive reputation can help people to put their faith in your hotel, encouraging them to book a room with you.
When managing your reputation, you can also potentially amplify certain positive talking points, allowing you to develop a solid reputation for specific aspects of customer service, or among specific types of travellers.
While nobody wants to receive negative feedback, the remarks that are left by customers are important and their criticism may well be valid. Hotel reputation management software can serve as a single place to access feedback from across different platforms, making it much easier to identify common criticisms and complaints.
Once you can identify the issues that are causing harm to your reputation, you can act to make changes.
It is worth stressing that your reputation does not only affect customers, but also your own employees. Many people want to know that the work they do is meaningful and respectable. This means they want to work for a business that is well-liked, ethical and perceived to be offering something positive.
4. Establish Real Trust
Finally, reputation software can be invaluable for those throughout the hospitality industry, because it can help you to appear trustworthy. For instance, if you use the software to manage your reputation effectively, customers will see positive feedback and know that they can trust your hotel to deliver what they want.
On top of this, hotel reputation management software gives you the opportunity to respond respectfully and appropriately to feedback. Openly and honestly facing up to negative feedback can also help to build trust.
Hotel Reputation Management Software: The Most Important Features
There are a number of different hotel reputation management software packages on the market and it can be difficult to know which to use. Below, you will learn more about the most important features to look out for.
Hotels can generate feedback across a wide range of different platforms, with examples including Google, TripAdvisor, online travel agents like Booking.com and Expedia, as well as channels like Airbnb. For this reason, one of the most important features your chosen hotel reputation management software can have is an option that allows you to aggregate all of your online feedback in a single place, so that you can actually learn about what people think.
When it comes to managing your online reputation, you need to know what is being said and by whom. The very best reputation management software will provide real-time notifications, letting you know when negative feedback has been left, so that you can respond to it, but also notifying you of positive remarks, which you can amplify. Delayed responses can actually damage your reputation further, so notifications make intervention more timely.
One of the major benefits associated with hotel reputation management software is the ability to actually interpret and understand the reviews that guests leave. While you can take the time to read review after review, you may find it difficult to actually take any deeper meaning from them. In many cases, this kind of understanding only comes from software analysing those reviews and picking out some of the most common words and phrases.
Understanding the feedback you have received from guests is one thing, but to protect your reputation properly, you will also need to take action. Some hotel industry reputation management packages will offer comprehensive options for responding to customer feedback. For example, options here may include offering discount codes to customers who you feel have a legitimate grievance, or leaving a response to thank guests for positive reviews.
One aspect of hospitality management that is sometimes overlooked by those seeking the right reputation management software is the ability to manage the reputations of multiple different properties at the same time. Whether you own a property portfolio, or run a hotel that is part of a larger chain, it may be necessary to manage both the reputation of individual properties and the reputation of the wider enterprise as a whole.
When customers make the decision to check out hotel reviews, they tend to read more than one. This means they are learning about your reputation within the context of how other hotels around you are viewed. It stands to reason, therefore, that you should also understand your own reputation within this same context. The best software solutions will provide options to view feedback for rivals and compare that feedback to your own reviews.
7. Performance Reports
Finally, users of hotel reputation management software may need to report to somebody else, whether that is a senior executive, or an outside business that wants to assist you with reputation management efforts. This makes it crucial that your software solution provides good performance reporting. Not only should such a feature allow you to view key performance metrics, the information should also be presented professionally too.
Tips to Manage Online Hotel Reviews
Online reviews play a significant role in helping to determine the overall reputation of your hotel. Given the importance of reputation to success within the hotel industry, it is crucial that you learn how to manage these reviews properly. This means dealing with both positive and negative feedback in the right way, at the right moment.
In the article “Tips to Manage Online Hotel Reviews”, you will learn more about some of the best practices in this area, and will also find specific tips for managing online reviews left by your guests.
It is very hard to overstate just how much the reputation of a hotel matters and, with that being the case, hotel reputation management software can be invaluable. The best software solutions here will deliver all of the key advantages you would expect, and provide all of the major features mentioned in this article.
More Hotel Management Software Tips
Would you like to learn more about hotel management software solutions which can help you to grow your hotel business? In the following articles you find more information about the most important hotel management software for hotels:
- PMS System: What Are the Most Important Features?
- 5 Hotel Management Software Solutions Every Hotel Needs
- Hotel Distribution Channel Manager: What Are the Advantages?
- Hotel App: Optimise Your Guest Communication, Experience & Revenue
- PMS Software: Which Software Integration Should a PMS Have?
- RMS System: An Overview of the Most Important Features