22Aug2016

Our approach to reviews

There are those who read them regularly and respond constructively, those who ignore them and those who respond inadequately, often resorting to unfortunate grammatical forms (many, in fact).

During training I find a personal collection of reviews really useful: their analysis is an irreplaceable technical exercise in profiling a hotel.

But whether true or false, whether they gratify or offend us, reviews are part of the world of web content and, therefore, whether we like it or not, we should keep them: they reflect the sentiment of our hotel.

However, it is indisputable that most of our customers read the reviews before booking and that one of the most frequently used search filters when choosing a property is the review score.

 

Often it is mainly the hotels that open up to the online world that are negatively impacted by the reviews that start arriving mercilessly and the reactions I register from the owners are always initially negative.

But, dear colleagues, I want to share my conviction with you and say that every review, especially if negative, is an invaluable contribution to the growth of customer satisfaction in our business.

This is precisely why we must learn to stimulate complaints.

Yes, it is true: as in every numerically important phenomenon, there is a (believe me - minimal) percentage of reviews that are useless and not to be taken into consideration. On the other hand, no review portal checks the degree of normality of the writer before publishing something

However, it is also true that - statistically speaking - if a high percentage of customers are less than enthusiastic about the behaviour of our staff, then we should have some doubts.

Reviews must be our guiding light. Not listening to them will bring nothing good. That' s guaranteed.

There are many ways to measure the Customer Satisfaction of our guests: from the simplest and always valid way to check out if everything went well, to sophisticated software with Net Promoter Score (the classic question "how much would you recommend our company to someone") and sophisticated search functions in the network of any word you say about our structure. But these little gems also do more.

They can promptly inform us of a bad review published a few hours earlier, show us the sentiment of our structure and the trend of the various parameters over time. They can also send personalised surveys to our customers, which, as well as helping us to improve by identifying the weak points in our structure, can be transformed into a strong marketing weapon.

Needless to say, the collection and analysis of reviews is only the first (but very important) stop on the long road to improvement.

The results will be our guide to identifying the real priorities - also in terms of investments - to be addressed.

And here comes the pleasant surprise: many things to improve our Sentiment will not require big investments; of course, if one of our recurring problems is the lack of hot water, without investing in a new system we will never get out of it.

But sometimes, surprisingly, the part that needs fixing is what I like to call software: human resources.

It is often the staff that has a low score. In this case I don't see any alibi. The location is not doing so well? Well, we can't move the facility. The comfort is not top? We need to invest gradually in our facility. Does the cleanliness have problems? Once again, we have no alibi. 

And remember: a negative review is forever!

Are you interested in discussing these issues?

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