Hotel Industry Blog

Friday, July 22, 2011

Why You Need Reputation Management

Bookassist's Des O'Mahony outlines why your hotel needs to think very seriously about Reputation Management software and why manual trawling of the web is no longer enough.

Restaurants have lived and died by critics' reviews for years. For hotels, reviews are relatively recent. And many hotels don't like them at all. But bemoaning online reviews by customers solves nothing. Hotels need to engage with online reviews for many reasons, not least of which is the incredible opportunity it offers for free marketing and influence.



Bookassist has launched the Reputation Alert service to help hotels deal with their reviews online, to show hotels how to turn information into corrective action plans for negative reviews, and into marketing opportunities for positive reviews. It is one of the most valuable tools available to hoteliers today, and only costs the equivalent of about one room-night per month.

Here are four simple reasons why you need this product.

It's not just TripAdvisor
The largest volume of reviews for your hotel may be on TripAdvisor, Booking and Expedia. But only concentrating on them is not a good idea. In fact, the sheer "size" of those brands has led many people to ignore them and instead seek what they consider to be more "genuine" or "considered" reviews on smaller specialist sites. After all, if you are a specific type of traveller, it is far more relevant for you to read reviews from like-minded people rather than the mass herd. As a result, these smaller more specialised sites, often in languages other than English, can also have a disproportionately larger influence on your potential guests. But are you monitoring them?

Bookassist Reputation Alert monitors hundreds of sites, not just the top ones, and delivers reviews from them all directly into your hotel administration system. It even trawls Social Media sites to see if there is mention of your hotel. It analyses the wording of the reviews, in multiple languages, and tells you whether they are positive or negative and what areas of your business they refer to. It saves you hours and hours of time, but more importantly it ensures that issues get to you fast so you can take corrective action before they damage your valuable business.


Time Is Money
Being able to assess all recent reviews from hundreds of sites in one single online area is a huge labour-saver. You can focus on action plans to correct issues raised in reviews, rather than spending that time trying to find and assess reviews online. With semantic analysis of the review language built into Bookassist Reputation Alert, you don't even need to read the reviews but can get an instant assessment of whether they are positive or negative. For any hotelier that values their time and their reputation, it's a no-brainer.

But you can also collect reviews on your top 5 competitors and see where they are slipping up, allowing you to jump in and fill the gap with website text or special offers directed specifically at their weaknesses. This is very valuable strategic information available at a click.


Actions Count, Not Words
There is little point in monitoring reviews at all if they are not going to lead to action plans. With automatic analysis of ratings and reviews to assess what your customers think of your services across areas such as staff, food and beverage, wellness, lobby, room decor, internet services etc, you can quickly focus on the real priorities and issue action plans to your responsible staff.

Because Bookassist Reputation Alert tracks your average score in these different service areas over time, you can see if your scores are improving or even set targets for scores to be reached by those staff responsible for different service areas in your organization. You can generate weekly or monthly reports on where you stand for use at staff meetings. Improving service levels based on smart analysis of priorities allows you to focus your spend and efforts on the right things, therefore reducing negativity online and increasing your potential revenue. It's like having an extremely meticulous and expensive brand consultant sitting there with you each and every day - without the associated cost.

Their Opinion Matters, Not Yours
With Bookassist Reputation Alert, you can also see what kind or category of guests are using your hotel. While you may consider yourself as, for example, a business hotel, or a family hotel etc, you may be surprised to find from detailed reviews analysis that the majority of your guests actually consider you to be a city centre hotel first and foremost, or a romantic hotel, or a great hotel for sports events etc. In other words, analysing the guest perception of your hotel from feedback can help you reposition your hotel online, offering packages that suit the majority of your guests and tapping into your real potential. This kind of invaluable insight into your true customer base can only be gleaned from analysing hundreds of reviews automatically and continuously, a critical but costly job to do manually but one which Bookassist Reputation Alert excels at far more quickly and far more cheaply.

If you're doing well, you should boast about it to your potential guests, by displaying a seal of approval showing your average rating right on your website, automatically updated as reviews are collected and analyzed.

These are just some of the reasons why reputation management can improve your bottom line quickly and effectively. To read more about Reputation Alert, see http://bookassist.org/reputation

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