The hospitality industry has changed immensely in the past decade or so, and while there was once a time when managing a hotel’s reputation meant simply ensuring that guests were kept happy throughout their stay, the task has evolved to keeping them happy even long after they have checked out. Due to the rapid rise of social media and review platforms like TripAdvisor and Yelp, hoteliers are now also required to manage their hotel’s online reputation.
Hotel management school graduates know that engaging with past, current and potential guests through online platforms (and responding to their needs) can work wonders in generating publicity and perhaps even securing future bookings.
If you plan to pursue a hotel management diploma, you might find yourself seeking advice for managing your own hotel’s online reputation, once you break into the field. Here are some great tips that are sure to lead you in the right direction:
Don’t Ignore Reviews
Individuals who have taken hospitality management courses understand the importance of responding to all reviews—whether they are negative or positive—in a timely fashion. Positive reviews should be acknowledged and thanked, while negative reviews should be addressed politely by perhaps offering a discount on a future stay.
The Importance of Privacy
While it’s important to immediately address negative reviews, an industry expert might avoid offering compensation or discounts publicly online—he or she may instead send a private message to the unhappy guest offering the compensation, or perhaps even arrange a meet with him or her, where they can discuss and resolve the issue in person. Hoteliers know that it’s essential to avoid getting into online debates with guests, as this shows a lack of professionalism and can hurt the brand’s reputation.
Always Check Spelling and Grammar!
When hospitality experts respond to online reviews about their services and properties they will always use proper grammar and ensure that each and every word is spelled out correctly. This is crucial, because the use of misspelled words, acronyms or even slang can reflect poorly on a hotel’s professionalism.
Remember: Always read and review before clicking send!
Happy Guests Are Your Best Advertisers
These days, it’s always safe to assume that if a service industry customer leaves a property unhappy, he or she will take to Twitter, Facebook, TripAdvisor and any other social media platform they know of to express their disappointment in that particular business or brand. Experts know that the best way to avoid this potential business-breaker is to deal with any problems as soon as they occur—this is called damage control. When a guest is checking out of a hotel, industry professionals know that it’s important to ask how their stay was. A certified hotel manager might offer some sort of compensation to unhappy guests, while encouraging pleased guests to rate their experience, as well as the hotel’s services via online reviews.
Do you know any other reputation management tips?