By Pranjal Prashar, Founder & CEO RepUp.co
Online hotel reviews have become far important than hoteliers might assume. If you have not yet paid attention to managing and responding to online reviews, it’s high time that you wake up to the fact that online reviews are affecting your hotel’s overall reputation.
With dozens of review sites like TripAdvisor and Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) such as Expedia, vacationers are placing their trust in hotel reviews while booking accommodation. They are relying on them rather than advertising and marketing efforts from your side. The fact that a staggering 97.7% consumers read online reviews from other travellers brings attention to the surge of OTAs and review sites.
If you are an established hotel, there’s a good chance you have a well-maintained website supported by sound SEO techniques. In that case, if a potential guest searches for your hotel brand on Google, your website will appear in the top results. But in the absence of a proper website, online reviews become the defining factor.
Google assigns a high priority to online reviews and the content on OTAs when it comes to search results. So, the top search results for your hotel brand will most likely be a guest review, whether a pleasant or a negative one.
Your reputation is safe if the review is a positive one. On the other hand, if the first review that pops up is from an unhappy customer, it will instantly tarnish your impression in the eyes of a potential guest. Naturally, he/she will choose your competitors over you, especially if they have a five star rating. This is how online reviews can impact your business.
Social media channels are the other platforms that matter. Hoteliers can directly stay in touch with their customers, reply to their comments, and handle complaints if any. If you want to know more about how online reviews impact the hospitality industry, the infographic below will be of immense help.