With the high influence of negative online reviews from current or former hotel guests on travelers, many hotels are struggling to keep up the reputation of their establishment. However, by following these tips, you will be able to better manage your hotel’s reputation and keep it intact.
1. If you don’t have the time or resources to manage profiles on social sites, then don’t create them in the first place.
2. Spend time around your guests. General managers can gain very valuable feedback by talking to guests in the lobby or breakfast room. Find out which social media sites for reviews are most important to your guests – this way you can focus on the most popular ones and prioritize the comments you’re responding to accordingly.
3. Be transparent. If you have something to hide, then social media isn’t the place for you.
4. Tailor the reputation-management program to your hotel. Find a way to provide up-to-the-minute information for your guests so that they constantly feel in-the-know.
5. Embrace social media as an opportunity to learn. Of course negatives comments are never pleasant, but you can use those comments to correct any issues and show your guests that you do value their input.
6. Follow up your original responses to negative reviews to announce recent accomplishments. For example, if a guest complained about your outdated lobby, you can revisit the comment at a later date to reveal your recent renovations to the lobby.
7. Before hitting the send button on your response, take a few minutes to make sure the comment won’t be misconstrued or upsetting to the guest. However, don’t take too long – you should still respond in a timely manner.
8. Determine the social media platforms that are delivering revenue to your property. What channels are travelers using to book a stay? Once you’ve figured this out, you can focus your attention on your reputation on those sites.
9. Encourage your guests to provide reviews—good or bad. You can do this through in-room collateral material or a simple reminder at checkout.
10. Avoid social media-speak in your responses. Lingo such as “U R” or “LOL” isn’t business appropriate. Be professional and treat everyone in a respectful manner. Communicate with them as if they’re guests in your lobby.
11. Keep in mind that once you respond on a social media platform, it will always be there. Always.
12. Avoid the use of templates for responses. Personalize your responses—especially to those who appear to be angry, highly complementary, or those who have a lot influence on their platforms. You should always be sincere.
13. Apologize to a guest who had a bad experience and write a response that reiterates the problem so that he or she knows your response is genuine.
14. Offer specific solutions in an offline environment, whether it is by email or on the phone. Invite them to call you at the hotel and promise you’re going to make it right.
15. A public promise to make the situation right is completely fine. However, never offer compensation online, but rather in a secure, private setting.
16. If you are tight on time and/or resources, take a team approach to social media management. But be sure to always have a leader who can make decisions and set guidelines.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an exclusive, luxurious hotel – if your online reputation doesn’t meet the high expectation of travelers, you will most likely see a decline in bookings. The Best Western MarketPlace wants your business to succeed, so we provide you with the right tools and advice to keep your hotel thriving. Click here to learn more about how the Best Western MarketPlace can benefit you.