Thursday 9 May 2013

Success secrets - Hotels

Now that Dialogue has been working for clients for a meaningful period (since 2011) we have conducted a survey of those that have had the most outstanding results to ask them what, in their opinions, are the 'secrets to their success'; some of what we detail below may be obvious, some less so, but what we can say with confidence is that if you follow these guidelines you will...

  • Get a great response rate 
  • Achieve your objectives: a substantially better image on TripAdvisor, and the other OTAs and on social media - Facebook, Google+, Twitter and review sites like Yelp as well as more direct bookings
  1. Engage with your guests early on (at check-in if possible): tell them that you will be inviting a review after their stay, tell them that their review will be published
  2. Get their email address - some clients are now achieving near 100% success at this
  3. Make sure all your staff are 'on board' - that they know that the guest will be writing a review and that they should refer to this at appropriate times
  4. Ensure that all guests are invited to post reviews - this is core: cherry-picking will not deflect negatives away from public view
  5. Invite reviews as soon as possible - as close to check-out as possible. We have clients who do this on the morning of check-out and are therefore able to refer to the invitation at check-out
  6. Personalise the invitation - response rates are demonstrably higher if the invitation is signed off by a member of staff (preferably the GM) rather than simply the XYZ hotel
  7. Identify extra-happy '5* guests' during their stay and make an extra effort to ensure they will respond to the invitation - this works really well
  8. Think about rewarding guests for posting reviews through Dialogue - you must offer the reward for all reviews, not just positives
  9. Respond to all reviews - this really impresses potential guests. It also has a proven impact on the quailty and star rating of subsequent reviews. If this is a problem think seriously about using Feedback Manager to do this for you
  10. Speak to your Business Member Advisor at HelpHound (no 'live help' here!) - they have access to a massive store of expertise and experience
From the above you will gather that the key is to embed reviews into your guest experience from start to finish (is the journey ever truly finished? - we hope not!). If you do this, all your expectations will be fulfilled.

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