For hotel owners and managers, guest reviews can be the difference between sold out weekends and perpetual low occupancy. Not enough reviews and people will be discouraged (52% of travelers won’t book a hotel that has zero reviews), but on the other hand, a collection of bad reviews can turn potential guests away.
As hotel occupancy slowly increases, and as travelers feel safer staying at hotels, there is intense guest scrutiny surrounding a hotel’s cleanliness and its sanitization procedures. One misstep in the cleaning process can lead to poor reviews, affecting a hotel’s future bookings. Hotels need many good, high quality reviews to attract new guests, and to keep their current guests returning stay after stay.
Your hotel’s online reputation matters.
However, many guests will simply enjoy their stay–and that’s it. Leaving a review is usually an afterthought for most guests…if it’s even a thought at all.
Here are a few tips for following up with guests to secure positive online reviews:
Reach Out Sooner Rather Than Later
If your barista asked you to review your latte from last week, would you remember how hot it was? Or how great the latte art was? Chances are, you probably don’t remember how great or how average that latte was.
Time is of the essence. Messaging guests within 24 hours after their stay is a great way to solicit a hotel review while their stay is still fresh in their mind.
Use Contactless Hospitality to Engage your Guests
In light of COVID-19, “contactless hospitality” is buzzing in the hotel industry. What is it? Well, we made an infographic to help explain it, and how to implement it, but in short it’s a way to communicate with guests and provide service to them, while limiting face to face contact.
How can you use contactless hospitality to gain reviews? Use Guest Messaging software to communicate with guests. Text messaging and emails are great ways to contact your guests before, during and after their stay.
Thank Your Guests
Firstly, remember that your guests don’t have to stay at your hotel and there’s sure to be plenty of competition wherever you are in the world. With this in mind, thank them for their stay. This is one step of the process you don’t have to overthink.
Make sure your hotel thank you letter after the guest stay is personal. Use their name: Dear Ms. Carrington, here at Hotel Seaview, we thank you for staying with us during your trip to San Francisco.
Make a Successful Template
As a hotel manager, you simply won’t have time to compose emails or text messages continuously. Instead, you can create a basic template and ideally, automate the process of sending out thank you emails or texts to your guests after they depart.
You may want to rewrite this template several times and have it read over by a professional writer to ensure it’s written in the most effective way, rather than seeming too forceful when asking for a review.
Messages from the hotel should come from a General Manager or Hotel Owner.
PRO TIP: Offer guests the option to contact you directly if they’d like to provide specific feedback.
Asking for a Review
When asking for the review itself, ensure that you’re polite, asking that a review should only be left if it’s at the customer’s convenience. A recommended way to request a review is to ask your customers to ‘share their experience’ with online readers.
Ensure you end the email or text by thanking the customer once again, and you could even add that you hope to see them in the future. Then, include your name (again, making the email personal) and hotel contact information.
To make things even easier, you can always add a link to your hotel’s TripAdvisor page (or a link to one of many other hotel user review sites), making it even easier for guests to leave you a positive review.
With all this in mind, it’s easy to think that writing an email can be quite difficult, but don’t worry. There are many tools available online to help you achieve this email creation task to the highest quality.
Grammarly: Grammarly can help you make sure that your thank you message is easy to read, effective, and mistake-free.
Boom Essays: Sometimes, all you’ll need to brush up on your skills is a comprehensive writing guide that can help you go through and create your email step by step. That’s exactly what Boom Essays does. These services are so effective; they have even been featured on Huffington Post in the post “Write My Essays”.
Cite It In: If you want to add in references to your email, such as the customer’s name, your name, or even your hotel’s address, you can format this bit of text professionally using Cite It In.
EssayRoo: If you simply can’t the find to write a comprehensive thank you letter for your customers, don’t fret. Using EssayRoo, you can employ the role of a professional writer who can create the email on your behalf.
Why should you care about reviews?
84% of people trust an online review as much as a personal recommendation and 92% of consumers trust recommendations from their peers. If your hotel guests were happy with their stay, encourage them to leave a review for future guests to read online on social media or review sites.