While digital marketing has undoubtedly given businesses a host of new tools to analyse and target their customers, it has also placed a significant amount of power into the customer’s hands via third party review sites. Reputation management has become vital, especially in the hospitality industry where reviewing sites like Trip Advisor has almost become a default part of the process for booking a hotel.
With that in mind, it is more important than ever that you monitor what people are saying about you online, both positive and negative, and take appropriate action. But rather than viewing them as a burden, hospitality managers should be asking their marketing teams, “are we getting the most from our online reviews?”
Online Reputation Management Considerations
Reputation management can be a difficult subject to master, and there are several things that you should take into account:
- Use them as a source of customer research – Customers will speak candidly and openly about their hospitality experiences and there are dedicated sites focusing on restaurant reviews and hotel stays. You can use this as an ocean of valuable insight, both to your customers and your competitors.
- Share positive reviews – Social proof is an excellent tool to help promote your restaurant or hotel. By embedding reviews in your own site, or sharing testimonials on social media you make it far easier for potential new customers to make a decision. You already have the content, in the form of the reviews, your reputation management strategy means that you can deliver these powerful pieces of marketing straight to the customer.
- Respond promptly and appropriately – It is important to respond to reviews, to engage with customers and remain part of the conversation. Simply thanking customers for a positive review can go a long way. When dealing with negative reviews, you have an opportunity to make things right for that customer, and show potential customers that you care. Take all feedback on board and resist the temptation to get overly defensive.
One final consideration is to make sure you thoroughly think through the ramifications of how you choose to respond to customers. This is especially true for dealing with negative feedback. Just this week Easy Jet was caught in controversy after asking a customer to remove an image they tweeted showing a row of backless seats. This seems to have caused much more of a storm than if they had simply explained the image straight away!
Reputation Management, AsOne Style
At AsOne we help a number of clients in the hospitality industry with their reputation management. This includes things like managing their social media accounts, monitoring inbound links from third party sites, and sharing positive reviews on their sites.
For more information on reputation management and how to make online reviews work for you, don’t hesitate to get in touch and speak to one of our expert team.
If you’re based in the North East, you may be able to benefit from up to 40% off your order as part of the NEBSF funding program, which we are proud to be part of.