CUSTOMER REVIEWS – how to increase direct booking

CUSTOMER REVIEWS – how to increase direct booking

18 July 2017Izabela Jaśkowiak

The holiday season and the time of increasing travelling has begun. For hotels it is a time of intensive work related to guest service, but at the same time it is a possibility to gather numerous opinions from the guests and also to attract new ones.

Being proactive is the key to success. Encouraging customers to express their opinions online, posting them on their own websites and on social media will help hotel develop a positive image in the eyes of potential guests.

According to the portal HotelOGIX before making the reservation guests check the reviews on:

  • 69% on travel review website ( metasearch)
  • 57% on online travel agencies
  • 56% on travel operator sites
  • 43% with family & friends 
  • 30% in magazines and brochures
  • 24% on Social Media
  • 18% in Store-front travel agency

Metasearch ranking is mostly based on guest reviews. The reviews have a direct impact on the visibility of the property against the competitors. On the other hand, from the guests perspective reviews has a decisive influence on the final decision of booking process.

A recent TripAdvisor survey shows that:

  • 65% of respondents are more likely to book a hotel that won an award from TripAdvisor
  • More than half of respondents (53%) will not book a hotel that does not have reviews
  • 1 in 5 (20%) travelers read over 11 reviews before making a travelling decision

According to the statistics, social networking sites like Facebook also affect the customer’s purchasing decision. For example:

  • 52% Facebook users said their friend’s photos inspired their vacation choice
  • 55% changed their travel plans after researching their trip in social media
  • 83% use social networking, video or photo sites for inspiration
  • 46% post hotel reviews after vacationing
  • 76% travellers post vacation photos to a social network during their holidays.

These data show the power of a positive image of a property on the internet. The potential guests’ choices no longer depend on location and rates, but also on the experience of our guests.

What is worth knowing, before encouraging guests to express their opinion after their stay?

  • 81% of travellers leave a positive review
  • only 32% of hotels respond to reviews ( negative or positive)
  • 87% of potential guests trust the hotel that replies to the negative reviews. In the eyes of a potential guest, this increases the credibility and commitment of the property. 
  • 62% of guests that will receive a response to their opinion will book their stay again at the same hotel.
  • 68% of guests will book a hotel that replies to the reviews of the guests. 
  • The hotels that respond to guests’ complaints can expect to increase their reviews on their website even by 147%

So how to effectively handle the property’s reputation?

Collect and analyze the opinions of your guests:

  • Encourage guests to leave an opinion by logging into the hotel wifi. This way the hotel has the opportunity to react to unflattering reviews right away.
  • Send questionnaires to the guests after their stay. It will allow you to find out what services should be improved.
  • The guests appreciate the fact that their opinions are answered in their native language.
  • Monitor which portals generate the most reviews about the property. By responding regularly to the guests’ feedback, the hotel will show that it is important and acknowledged.
  • Analyze what kind of words are often used in the reviews (positive or negative). Are most of the opinions positive without much objection? It is worthwhile to examine the most frequently emphasized allegations and if possible, resolve the inconvenience. Reacting to guests’ feedback by resolving repetitive negative situations shows that opinions of the guests are not underestimated.

Sharing reviews

Sharing the opinions across the web using social media and opinion-making portals shows potential visitors that the hotel cares about the relationship with guests. At the same time, the guests are aware that their opinions will also be noticed.

Integrate feedback

Make sure that visitors at the hotel’s website can find the reviews from each source that the hotel monitors. Depending on the technical conditions of the website, it is possible to add features to collect and display feedback on the site.

We encourage you to keep an eye on the information shared by guests on the internet. Active work on gaining more reviews will have a positive effect on the image of the property and consequently on the increase in conversions.

Izabela Jaśkowiak, Revenue Specialist