Leveraging reviews as a hospitality brand elevates the way you handle your brand’s digital standing. ReviewTrackers’ online reputation analysis report shows that the industry at-large maintains an average of 4.19 stars. In other words, most customers are happy with their experience.
However, top performers in the same industry have an average of 4.42 stars. The difference is just a few tenths of a point but in the eyes of a consumer, that’s all they need to differentiate between your brand and that of a competitor when the time comes to make a purchase.
To ensure that your company has a fighting chance online, you will need to see reviews as more than just social proof. With powerful reputation management software customer feedback can be used to attract new consumers, improve operations, build trust, and most importantly, keep consumers coming back for repeat visits. Here are three ways to make them work in your favor.
1. Implement a Comprehensive Hospitality Review Management Strategy
Most hospitality brands are content with having a collection of feedback, but the first step to elevating the use of reviews to improve brand reputation is to have a review management plan in place. ReviewTrackers’ online reputation analysis report shows the hospitality brands gain an average of 25 reviews per location per month, which is more than enough to justify the creation of an internal reputation team.
With ReviewTrackers’ powerful reputation management software, this team can easily monitor your online presence, which usually consists of multiple listings, from a single platform. This makes review collection easier as feedback left on each listing will show up on the platform as well. From there, your team can triage reviews based on various criteria such as overall rating or specific keywords and begin writing responses to all reviews.
Creating this workflow of gathering, sorting, and responding to reviews is vital to your digital brand perception. Letting consumers know that your team has plan in place for addressing any and all feedback is a strong signal. After all, the same online reputation analysis report shows that the average response rate for the industry is about 40%. By taking the time to collect and properly respond to reviews, your brand shows a willingness to engage with the consumer even after they leave your stores.
This makes your team’s customer retention efforts easier across different sentiments. For those leaving rave reviews, the right response shows that your company values them as a loyal consumer (especially when the response includes an invite to return). As for negative feedback, the response shows a willingness to improve operations and opens the door for a second chance to win back a customer.
2. Closely Analyze Hospitality Reviews
As your team gathers feedback, it’s important to note the factors in the review that led to a positive or negative score. This means closely reading each review, taking note of specific keywords, and then noting whether or not they have a positive or negative sentiment.
Traditionally, this process, in addition to review management, takes up plenty of time and human resources. Assigning a small team to comb through each review to find specific keywords and trends can also lead to errors in data, which can lead to ineffective insights and strategies down the road.
Fortunately new technologies, such as natural language processing, open the door for fast and accurate customer experience analytics data. With just a few clicks, the same team in charge of review management can gain a treasure trove of insights thanks to powerful software.
For instance, in a matter of minutes you might find that consumers like the way your staff greets them when they enter or they might have an aversion to the music playing in the lobby. Some reviews might point out your wide selection of options while some might not think your offerings are diverse enough.
In years past, these insights would be discovered days or even weeks after the review was originally posted, and by then the customer might not care about the changes you make based on their feedback. With customer experience analytics, you can get these data points right after a review gets posted, which increases the chances of you making a response that can easily convince customers to stay loyal to your brand and come back for repeat purchases.
3. Amplify Your Best Hospitality Reviews
Managing and analyzing feedback makes for a nearly complete review reputation management process. To further aid in ongoing marketing efforts, consider promoting the best reviews from customers. Customer review data shows that 92% of consumers use reviews to guide their purchasing decisions, making them more effective than a few lines of marketing slogans.
A driving factor in the power of reviews used this way is social proof. People prefer to “hear” about the experience from a customer who had an authentic experience with your brand. Words from loyal and repeat customers also have more sway in this area because it shows brand consistency towards the customer experience. This can even be the catalyst for your retention efforts on new customers.
With a tool like ReviewTrackers’ Amplify, you can easily place these rave reviews on high-traffic pages on your website such as the home page or certain product pages. If your brand has a large collection of highly-rated reviews, you can even create a whole page dedicated to customer reviews. By showing off only the highest-rated reviews, you make the path to purchase easier for consumers by showing them experiences that exceeded consumer expectations. Their words already differentiate you from the competition, and the duty is on your staff to deliver the same or even better experience for new clients.
Reviews are a powerful tool for any hospitality brand. In addition to providing social proof to new customers, they can be a tool in discovering insights about your operation, a channel for engaging with consumers after their purchase, and a way for you to heighten the customer experience that leads to better consumer retention.
By using reputation management software, you can easily achieve these goals while setting your brand apart from competitors down the street or around the world. As you begin the setup process of gathering your listings and reviews in one place, keep these steps in mind for long-term success:
- Create a review management strategy that allows you to easily gather and respond to reviews
- Take note of keyword trends and patterns when analyzing reviews
- Show off your best reviews to make it easier to make a purchase decision