Should your hotel respond to positive reviews posted online by your guests? The answer: By all means – Yes! Surprisingly, however, positive reviews are often overlooked and under-optimized.
Responding to favorable reviews can produce powerful outcomes, some of which are highlighted here below.
Improving the way people find you online is one of the biggest benefits. By combining keyword-rich comments with the visibility of popular review sites, you can increase your hotel’s chances of being found in searches with the same keywords and phrases. Replying to negative reviews accomplishes this, too. But favorable reviews are much more effective, because they lend themselves to natural transitions to descriptions of the amenities people like most about your property. Use many of the same words as your reviewers. That shows you’re paying attention. It also improves the chances of your responses being a match to searches by prospective guests with backgrounds similar to your promoters.
Drives New Business
Once positive comments accumulate, many businesses report favorable reviews bring in a significant number of new customers. People start to say, “If that hotel is so good, maybe I should give it a try.” In fact, nearly 90 percent of global travelers say reviews are influential to them when choosing where to book, the 2014 TripBarometer by TripAdvisor revealed. Nearly all hotels and hospitality executives (96 percent) agree reviews are influential in generating reservations.
A study by McKinsey found that “customers are loyal because they are emotionally attached.” Responding to a positive review creates a personal connection with a customer who has already shown an inclination to be a brand ambassador. Hastily written, one-size-fits-all responses simply won’t do. Personalized responses that serve as a building block in creating an emotional tie to your hotel are essential. The personal touch can go a long way toward increasing loyalty and repeat business.
Taking the time to build that connection is well worth your while. A study by Mori showed that emotionally attached customers are three times more likely to recommend and re-purchase. Plus, they’re less price-sensitive and less likely to shop around.
Puts Your Brand in the Limelight
A positive review sets the scene for responses that highlight the best qualities of your hotel and show how customer-focused you are. If a review shines a light on features not commonly known to the public, such as a just-launched package, for example, share details about it. But be careful to sound genuine, though, not like you’re giving a sales pitch. People want to connect with a real person, not a marketing machine.
Don’t limit your exposure to other people’s online searches, either. Share the good reviews on your Facebook and Twitter accounts to get more mileage.
Increases Morale, Motivation
Post positive reviews around the office, as well, and reward members of your team who are mentioned. Let everyone know this is the standard you’d like to all employees to achieve.
Sets You Apart
Thanking all guests who take the time to write positive reviews isn’t something every business does, either for lack of time or lack of interest. Showing gratitude, therefore, can only help distinguish your hotel from the competition. Responding to favorable reviews is easy. So, maximize word-of-mouth mileage to promote a healthy online image and drive more business for your hotel.