As a hotelier, if you have not paid heed to online reviews about your hotel on review websites, it’s time to shift your focus. Because online reviews matter.
Every holiday planner considers online reviews as an indispensable source of information while booking accommodation. Customers place more trust on them rather than any marketing effort from your side. Potential guests are turning to Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) and review sites like never before. This is evident from the fact that 97.7% consumers read online reviews from other travelers.
On a different note, consider the scenario where a potential guest searches for a hotel in your area. If you have a website for your hotel business that is supported by sound SEO techniques, chances are you will pop up in the top results on Google. But if that is not the case, online reviews may make or break your case.
Google gives a very high priority to the content on review and travel sites such as TripAdvisor or Expedia. So, in the absence of a strong website for your business, the top result for your hotel brand will most likely be a guest review from one of these sites. You are lucky if that review is a positive one.
However, a negative review can instantly tarnish the customer’s first impression of your brand. In such a scenario, it is natural that the customer will turn to your competitor, especially to the one with a five star review. This is the kind of impact that online reviews can have on your hotel.
Review websites are not the only forums that matter. Social media channels are equally influential when it comes to booking decisions. They go a long way in helping hoteliers interact with customers, reply to their comments and feedback, understand their problems, and build brand awareness.
The infographic below will elaborate further how online reviews and social media affect the hospitality industry. It also highlights why and how should hoteliers respond to such reviews.