The trust we put in the opinions of others makes us do or buy things that others recommend to us. This compelling and impactful process has a more specific power, and marketers refer to it as social proof or word-of-mouth communication.
According to this article, viva voce - commonly known as word-of-mouth - is the oral or written transfer of information between individuals and groups. It helps us carry on traditions, tell the world's stories, and share the things we love with friends and family. While word-of-mouth has been around since the beginning of time, the mass adoption of the internet and related technologies has greatly increased the extent to which we share and interact. Today, consumers have unprecedented access to information and each other, and brands that understand the fundamental dynamics of word-of-mouth are creating “armies of advocates” — and generating massive revenue in the process.
Consumers have different thoughts in mind when they leave a review. Most of them are doing it just to share a buying experience. It is seen as a kind gesture, and by doing this, they help others find great services and products or places to avoid. Another reason is that they want to praise a company for its performance and this is just another way of saying thank you to a business.
91% of people read online reviews on a regular or occasional basis, and 84% of those people trust them as much as a personal recommendation.
The importance of online reviews stems from a very simple idea: people trust the words of others more than the company itself. This article highlights the fact that 91% of people read online reviews on a regular or occasional basis, and 84% of those people trust them as much as a personal recommendation. Even if a potential customer gets a recommendation for your business from a friend, they are still very likely to go online and look at reviews. Today, more than ever, people research any service online before making a decision because they can easily access information through many devices and channels.
We have all used this type of communication at least a few times in our life. As you can see, word-of-mouth is not something that we are unfamiliar with. In the age of the Internet, (the act of) leaving a review is literally at the tip of our fingertips. Knowing all this, you are probably wondering why your hotel guests’ don’t always leave a review after their stay. At the end of the day, what truly makes the difference between a successful business and an average one is the willingness to learn from the past, in order to improve the future.
Here are 4 reasons why this may be happening to your business and how you can change that by following some of our easy-to-implement strategies:
You do not advertise your business/hotel enough
It is 2022 and we are all on social media, from our friends and family members to our most favorite hotels, shops, or tech companies. Whether you already have a marketing strategy implemented or not, advertising is something that you cannot ignore. Making good use of these channels along with a strong marketing campaign can increase the visibility of your business and allow you to shine. Therefore, the marketing and advertising methods you choose can determine the performance of your hotel. In order to have a success story that writes itself, we suggest identifying your target audience and reaching out to them with a catchy and influential message. Another great way to advertise your hotel is to reach out to popular travel influencers and invite them to stay at your hotel in exchange for some social media posts and mentions. To avoid sounding unnatural or controlled, it is best to allow the influencers the freedom to use their own words instead of having a script prepared for them in advance.
You are not offering any incentives
Creativity plays a crucial role in every business, so if you are not prioritizing this already, well, this is your sign to do it. Hospitality is a deeply personal industry and showing an interest in delivering the best experience is always seen as a sign of quality and respect. Paying attention to the small details could get you to sensibilize your guests and touch them on an emotional level. If your budget allows for it, you can get creative and offer exciting incentives to guests that end up submitting feedback. You do not have to go out of your way to implement this. Think of a perk that will not break the bank, something like a free dinner, cocktail, or a one-day SPA pass. It is a nice and fun way to remind them how important feedback is to your business.
You do not keep your promises
Stephen Covey said, “Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” It takes time to gain the trust of others, especially when it comes to gaining the trust of your guests. Imagine this: someone is making a complaint that the sheets are not clean and they need to be changed immediately. Somehow, this request gets to your staff, they say they will change them as soon as possible, but they forget about it. This is the perfect recipe if you want to see your guests angry and confused because you are not aware of the reason behind their attitude without some further investigation. As mentioned before, emotion is something that can not be neglected. It is the strongest driver of customer retention. An easy way to help you in the journey of keeping your promises is to implement the latest technologies for the hospitality industry. With a Live Experience solution, you can respond to your guests' needs in real-time and solve the issues on the spot which enables you to make guest satisfaction a priority.
You do not ask for reviews
We saved the best for last because we believe it is the most important. You want to receive reviews from your guests, but they do not know that you would like to receive some feedback about their stay. When it comes to feedback, there is no better time than the present. With a Live Survey you can encourage your guests to share their feedback by distributing the URL and QR code on printed material or once the guests connect to your WiFi. Whether you place the promotion in the lobby, restaurant, or guest room, it is a great way to encourage live communication with your guests. Another great way to ask for guest feedback is to send them a Post-Stay Survey. Your guests receive many emails every day, so it is better if you tell guests why they are receiving a survey. This way, they are more likely to provide feedback. For example, you could let them know to expect your message and tell them this: “After your stay, we will email you a short survey so that you can give us feedback about your visit. It should not take more than five minutes to fill out”.
In a nutshell, to get more feedback from your guests - use advertising to your advantage, pay attention to the small details, incentivize your guests, implement the latest technologies for the hospitality industry and encourage your guests to share their impressions and feedback. Keeping the lines of communication open throughout the guest journey lets your guests know that their feedback matters, they can reach out at any time and have their issues solved on the spot. After all, listening to your guests' needs is one of the smartest decisions you could make for your business.
By Alexandra Pop