The holy grail of marketing is finding a low cost, high impact channel with proven ability to drive new business. With the growth of social media, that holy grail is now within reach.
Your guests are your best marketers. They’re a credible and impartial resource that have direct experiences with your product. They can cite specific examples and relate to your prospective guests in a way that you never will. There are hundreds, thousands, and or perhaps even millions of them out there willing to share their story. So how do you harness the power of your guests to tell their story for you?
Here is a step-by-step approach which outlines some tried and true methods for driving revenue using your guests’ feedback and endorsement.
1. Gather feedback in a smart way – It seems really simple, but every day, legions of hotel guests check out. The first step is to stay in touch and care enough about a guest’s experience to ask them how your hotel is doing and if there is anything you can do better. Traditionally, surveys were multiple pages with lots of questions and checkboxes. Now, with modern survey solutions, you can ask for feedback differently. Forget the ten pages of questions and answers. You can pair a review-style survey with direct questions to get the feedback you need, in the voice of the customer. You can find out what is top of mind for your guests and easily analyze and understand what guests love and hate, thanks to sentiment analysis technology.
2. Share guest reviews – Its not enough for a guest to share a review only with you. You need to expand the reach of this review and get it out to prospective guests on sites that have the power to influence bookings, like TripAdvisor. In the widely cited Cornell study, “The Impact of Social Media on Lodging Performance,” improving a hotel’s TripAdvisor ranking was proven to be a key strategy for increasing bookings and driving pricing control for hoteliers. There are two ways to do this.
- Low-tech – The way that most products do it is by sending a link to a review site (e.g. TripAdvisor, HolidayCheck). This is a way to generate some more reviews for your property, but it’s impossible to track and optimize. You also get quite a bit of drop off when the guest just gets directed to a general URL and has to log in and verify his/her identity before submitting a review.
- High-tech – A better way to share guest reviews is to automatically submit them to TripAdvisor for syndication. Revinate is an Official Partner of TripAdvisor and our product, Post-Stay Surveys, allows you to do just that. Post-Stay Surveys will help you automatically email guests after they check out with a custom survey link with a TripAdvisor review form embedded into the flow. That way, as they’re giving you feedback, they’re also submitting the review to TripAdvisor. Not only will you boost your TripAdvisor review volume with more reviews, but you can track the flow and optimize performance.
3. Analyze the feedback to improve hotel operations – By accessing consolidated reporting that can help you make informed operations decisions, you can focus your efforts on the items that matter most to your guests. When you combine unsolicited reviews using Revinate’s Reputation Management product, you can access a full 360 degree view of guest feedback. Use it to make informed and impactful decisions on service delivery and capital improvements.
This isn’t an empty promise. These are tried and true methods for driving real results. With Revinate Post-Stay Surveys, hoteliers have been able to increase their review volume by 2-5X, improve overall rating by 20% and boost their TripAdvisor Popularity Ranking by 15% or more than 20 spots. Harness the power of your guest feedback to drive bookings and improve your business performance.
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