When it comes to booking a hotel, more and more guests are basing their decisions on online reviews. According to a 2014 study by TripAdvisor and PhoCusWright, 77 percent of travelers reference reviews before choosing a hotel. It’s important that hoteliers respond to all reviews the correct way.
Following are tips on how hotels should respond to positive and negative reviews:
Do what’s right and what’s necessary. For positive reviews, simply thank the guest by name. There is no need to go beyond that with a gift certificate, discount, etc.
For negative reviews, show empathy, apologize if required and share ways the hotel will implement improvements moving forward. Also, ask the reviewer to contact you if restitution or a discount is required. Finally, above all else, do not get into an online battle with the guest.
Here’s an example addressing unclean rooms:
Thanks for taking the time to give your feedback. I am terribly sorry to hear the rooms weren’t up to the standard you’ve come to expect from our hotel. I have addressed this issue with our housekeeping staff to ensure this will not happen in the future. If you’d like to talk in detail, please contact me at email@example.com.
Be timely with responses. We recommend responding to reviews within 24 hours. This shows guests that the hotel takes feedback seriously and avoids the broken window theory. Set up notifications on TripAdvisor, Facebook, Yelp and Hotels.com to help improve your response time. Both hotel management and the front desk staff should receive these notifications, as they are two main points of contacts between guests.
Have the management do the responding. Managers and assistant managers responding to reviews gives travelers confidence that they are booking at a hotel that will take care of their needs. We know you’re busy running a hotel, but allott 30 min. each day (e.g. 15 min. in the morning, 15 min. at the end of your shift) to respond to reviews, as staying abreast will help keep your hotel from damaging its online reputation.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Revelation PR, Advertising & Social Media offers hotels, B&Bs and resorts services related to media relations, community relations, branding, group sales, SEO/SEM and social media management. Please contact Brian Lee, brian [at] experiencerevelation.com or 608-622-7767.
InBusiness Magazine interviewed me recently about “Producing Your Own Videos.” Here are the important points about getting started with video marketing.
1. Do you need video? For any tactic, make sure you have a need before you try video as a solution. In other words, don’t jump into radio ads, Twitter, email marketing or video unless you have an actual reason to. Reasons may include humanizing your brand, establishing expertise or educating your audiences.
2. Write a script. This will help you ensure key messages are used and that you keep the video to an allotted time (e.g. 30 seconds). You can always spot unscripted videos because they either take too long to get to the point, have extraneous scenes and/or have some arbitrary length (e.g. 34 seconds). The columns should be Scene #, Audio, Video, Notes and Length of Scene. You also should “script” a live video to establish a flow.
3. Pick the right platform. For example, Snapchat is good for timely, not timeless, videos. If you only have the capacity for one platform, YouTube is the logical choice. It’s the No. 2 search engine after Google, it has live video capabilities and you can easily embed and share your YouTube videos across the web.
4. Audio is important, too. Good audio is almost as important as good video. Use a wireless or lavaliere mic; neither are that expensive. If you are buying a digital video camera, make sure it has an audio input jack, as most cameras do not.
5. Free video editing software can get the job done. Professional software like Avid have more features than a non-video production company would likely ever need. Windows provides Movie Maker, and Apple provides iMovie, and both are serviceable in terms of editing features.
6. Don’t just dip your toe in the water. In most circumstances, one video is not enough. Your audiences are always hungry for more and more content, so have a consistent schedule of videos.
7. Measure your efforts. Metrics such as views, length of views and shares can mean you’re heading toward your objectives, but otherwise they are only vanity stats. What’s going to matter to your business at the end of the day will be the actions (e.g. downloads, purchases, etc.) that your target audiences take.
Today’s the first day for Carley Hanko’s internship. She’s a senior majoring in communications at Edgewood College, where she also played varsity soccer. The Waunakee, Wis., native previously served as a special events and marketing intern at the Wisconsin Lottery.