In times of Google, Booking, TripAdvisor, HolidayCheck & Co. online hotel ratings are getting more and more important. Millions of holidaymakers are checking out online rating platforms and online travel agencies (OTAs) before booking their trip. Based on these hotel reviews, they finally choose a specific hotel. For this reason, it is even more important that hoteliers react properly to guest evaluations and get digital support.
- Importance of hotel ratings
- Tip: Reply individually to positive and negative ratings
- Stay away from fake reviews!
Hotel Ratings: important for guests and hoteliers
Nowadays other guests’ experiences have become a decisive criterion when booking a hotel. Since, the most important criteria for booking a hotel are reviews and “rating grades”, if the price matches. This shows the enormous influence of rating sites and booking portals when booking an accommodation. Holidaymakers inform themselves about the cleanliness, the location and the service of the hotel. After all, many people looking for holidays rely on authentic hotel evaluations and include them in their decision.
However, hotel ratings are helpful for both guests and hoteliers: They are an excellent tool for attracting new guests. Many positive reviews and a good overall grade lead to more bookings. For this reason, clever hoteliers actively motivate their guests to leave a feedback on one of the big online portals or to fill out their own guest questionnaires. According to a study by TrustYou, guests are 3.6 times more likely to give feedback when being asked by their hosts. Moreover, these ratings are more likely to be “very positive”. Anyone who communicates his or her hotel ratings honestly on their own website keeps the visitors on their homepage and thus achieves even more direct bookings. In addition, the data integration increases the visibility on search engines such as Google, as regular rating updates boost the ranking. The hotel is easier to find and more frequently booked.
And of course, hotel ratings also have a very strong influence on the own reputation, the online reputation! It´s not only about the evaluations themselves but also about dealing with critical online ratings. The reaction to the guest’s rating is at least as important as the rating itself.
95 % of hotel reviews are positive on average according to TrustYou. In fact, many hoteliers are wondering whether they should respond to the feedback at all. And what should they do if a negative comment appears on an online platform? It´s quite clear: Respond as quickly and personally as possible to any kind of evaluation! Of course, it is about mitigating negative effects on the one hand. At the same time, you show your guests that you value their opinions, learn from their evaluations and take care of their satisfaction. Here are a few rules of thumb that you should observe:
- Answer promptly.
- Thank them for their feedback.
- Let your guests know that you are happy about their positive evaluation.
- Interact with guests and build a lasting relationship – this way you can win regular guests and build up your own community.
- Respond personally and individually to positive and negative feedback.
- Avoid standard phrases & empty phrases.
- Don’t take criticism personally and stay calm.
- Signal that you understand their concerns and take them seriously.
- If necessary, explain the situation and apologize honestly.
- Avoid discussions in public forums and clarify anything else by phone or e-mail.
- Do not offer financial compensations in public.
- Refer to social media to keep guests informed.
- Analyze the hotel ratings and improve the points of criticism.
- Share the feedback with your team.
Finally, hotels benefit in many ways from their guests’ opinions: By analysing the ratings, hoteliers can directly address the remarks or the criticism and react specifically to their guests’ needs. This, in turn, improves the guest satisfaction and the online reputation.
Honest complaint management instead of purchased reviews
The most important trump card for any hotel, however, are employees who react to dissatisfied guests with a perfect complaint management on site. And who are not intimidated by threats of negative ratings. This topic also clarifies how much hoteliers have to struggle with fake guest ratings these days and why some of them even pay for fake, positive ratings. But beware: Purchased ratings on hotel rating platforms violate the guidelines and lawyers strongly warn against fake reviews as well! Buying valuations is not punishable by law, but their use is an unfair business act, resulting in an infringement of competition law and correspondingly often associated with legal consequences. So keep away from dubious reviews! It is better to collect proactively honest feedback from your guests and deal with them correctly!
In our next article, you will learn how to improve your hotel ratings easily thanks to digital helpers and how to keep track of countless ratings on various platforms.
Get the most out of your hotel reviews!
Have a look at our latest article about hotel ratings, too. We have asked Katharina Sickora, Marketing Director at TrustYou, the world’s largest guest feedback platform, 5 questions about guest ratings in the hotel industry.