This week, Igniyte explores the importance of hotel review management when it comes to online reputation for the hotel industry.
The Power of Tripadvisor
More and more, potential customers are taking to review sites such as Tripadvisor to ascertain whether your hotel is the one they want to stay in for the length of their vacation. Because Tripadvisor is such a popular site, it has strong authority on Google, which means that if your hotel receives a negative review, it is likely to rank for your search term.
Naturally, this is becoming a major online reputation issue for independently owned hotels and B&B’s, because they don’t have a strong presence online. This means that a negative review, backed up by the power of Tripadvisor, has nothing to stop it ranking for their search term. Yet the issues fostered by negative reviews pose a threat to the online reputations of even the biggest hotel chains. Look at the Stil Victoria Playa in Menorca.
Customers Take to Trip Advisor to Air Grievances over Stil Victoria Playa
Recently, the Daily Mail reported that that 20 people fell ill at the resort due to a vomiting bug. Customers took to Tripadvisor to air their grievances.
These reviews were scathing. They talked of ineptitude, unsanitary conditions etc. The authority of Tripadvisor meant that even for a hotel the size of the Stil Victoria Playa, these reviews ranked, and caught the attention of major online news outlets such as the Mail Online, inflicting maximum damage on the resorts online reputation.
How to Deal with Online Customer Reviews
Yet it is entirely possible to mitigate the effects of such reviews, with a hotel review management strategy. In a recent article, How to deal with online customer reviews, Igniyte director Caroline Skipsey provided several tips that hotels can use for dealing with high-ranking review sites.
1) Refrain from responding to negative reviews – doing so ensures the thread remains active on high-ranking review sites, which bolsters their ranking on search engines such as Google.
2) Don’t create positive reviews; most readers will know when such a trick is being employed, especially when people set up an account but only take the time to post a single review.
3) Get proactive and approach satisfied customers, incentivising them to post positive reviews to counteract the negative ones.
4) If the reviews contains swear words or defamatory content, check it against the review site’s terms to see if you have grounds to contact the site to have it removed.
5) Promote and optimise the digital assets you already have, i.e. social media accounts, to give them more power online.
6) Develop relationships with existing press and bloggers, to facilitate a stream of positive news; which you can share across your social media accounts and online PR services.
Any Resort can Fall Victim to a Bad Review
Essentially, when it comes to hotel reputation management, reviews matter. With sites such as Tripadvisor, that rank highly on Google, available to any customer with a grievance, even the largest of resorts can fall victim to a bad review. That is why you have to have a hotel review management system in place, to ensure these reviews inflict minimal damage on your brand.