5 Tips For Using Guest Feedback in Revenue Management
Although price is still the determining factor when choosing a hotel, online reputation doesn’t come far behind.
When managing consumer reviews, it’s necessary for hotels to follow certain measures, especially since online reviews directly impact hotel revenue. For example, it’s important for hotels to understand what guests value to offer better services so that hotels can improve ranking and visibility, drive bookings, and thus increase profits.
Additionally, it’s important to consider the study published by the Center for Hospitality Research (CHR). This study links the industry-standard Global Quality Index (an online reputation score) with factors such as RevPAR, occupation and ADR. Recently, Matt Carrier shared a study compartió una investigación conducted by Cornell University professor Cathy Enz on the relationship between online reputation scores and net RevPAR, and stated the following:
“Happier customers not only translate into higher revenues but their revenue generation flows into conversion consuming a lower cost of acquisition.”
It’s important to align factors such as guest satisfaction and hotel profitability to efficiently manage online reviews. It’s also advisable to take these factors into account when designing product policies or when creating revenue management tactics. This is because demand generation is a key principle when planning your commercial strategy.
In today’s competitive market and uncertain economy, it’s best to focus on improving your hotel’s long term reputation to consolidate strategies for the future. Here’s a series of actions that can help you improve the way you use guest reviews and help strengthen your hotel’s revenue management strategy:
1. Evaluate your hotel’s online reputation in different online review portals.
Prior to starting any project, hotels must first conduct research to find out what’s happening in online review portals. These are the steps to follow:
Get an overall assessment in all OTAS or social networks for travelers.
Conduct an analysis to determine how these classifications have evolved over time.
Determine your competitors’ market positions using consumer reviews.
When you analyze your hotel’s ratings, you have a better picture about the things that matter most to your guests. Your ratings on certain consumer portals can directly impact hotel bookings and revenue. Hence, why it’s important to keep an eye on what guests have to say and take immediate action when required to improve guest perception of your hotel.
2. Analyze your hotel’s online reputation on certain market segments.
Customer segmentation is fundamental to your revenue management strategy. An analysis of online guest reviews provides your hotel with valuable information about certain segments associated with the product, such as type of travel and country of origin, among other factors. This insight helps you understand travelers better and gives you a clearer idea about the factors that are more likely to convert prospective guests. For instance, French and Saudi families may rate hotels higher compared to millennials, since their approach to hotel selection is completely different. It is also highly beneficial to review guest feedback in regards to competitive benchmarking as reviews tend to be great indicators of growth opportunities.
3. Establish and improve your hotel’s responsiveness.
According to a study done by TripAdvisor, 68% of travelers prefer to choose a hotel with management that responds to online reviews from guests. It has always been a best practice for hotels to address guest reviews. The only difference now is that guest feedback is incorporated into online consumer-opinion portals. Hoteliers know how much damage bad reviews from guests in main distribution channels can cause. Often, reputation takes a hit and hotels experience a decline in reservations and revenue.
If a guest writes a bad review, quality management and marketing departments need to respond quickly, identify what the problem is, and assure travelers that the problem will be taken care of by offering a solution or explaining the hotel’s action plan to solve the problem.
4. Encourage guest feedback on online booking portals.
Often one of the factors affecting your hotel’s ranking and visibility on online portals is the number of reviews you are able to get. Promoting opinions through channels, such as e-mail, is key to improving your hotel’s visibility. There are other options such as integrating guest reviews from TripAdvisor or Google to your hotel’s website that can help enhance your hotel’s reputation on these portals or the geolocation associated to the listing on Google MyBusiness.
5. Review opinions to improve conversion rates.
When choosing a hotel, travelers rely on other traveler´s opinions more than any other source of information. Verified reviews increase conversion rates. You can play a greater role in guiding travelers along the sales process by providing travelers with all the information they need to book directly on your website. This is simple to implement and you also prevent prospects from exiting the sales process. Thus, you can analyze, improve, and increase the visibility of your hotel’s online reviews, while building a competitive advantage that will help, as Cornell University says, “meet financial goals.”