Are You Using These Reputation Management Strategies?
Reputation can make or break a business, and in an increasingly digital world, opinions are formed and influenced through an ever more fragmented series of channels. Reputation management is a vital aspect of every business, and it becomes ever more important for the hospitality industry. At Digital Hotelier, we offer a variety of reputation management services, and know how to help your hotel reach its potential. Keep reading to find out some of the top reputation management strategies for growing your business.
Cultivate (Positive) Reviews
It is important never to underestimate the importance of reviews to the hotel industry. Customers increasingly both check reviews prior to making a booking, and expect to be able to review your hotel after staying with you. Whilst you can’t actively prevent people from posting negative reviews, you can limit their impact by ensuring any such reviews are surrounded by a healthy ratio of positive reviews, generated with proactive reputation management services. Websites such as Trip Advisor are the go-to sources of hotel reviews. Encouraging satisfied customers to review you will help to give your online reputation a lift.
Respond to Negative Reviews
If you receive a negative review, the worst thing you can do, in most cases, is ignore it. Ensuring a proactive response by publicly reaching out to customers who leave negative reviews will not only help you to deal with any potential problems which need addressing within your business, but will help to alleviate some of the potential damage to your reputation they could cause. Offer to discuss the problem further, give an e-mail address or preferably a phone number the complainant can use to contact you, and demonstrate your willingness to handle the issue for continual improvement.
Rely on your instincts – in the case of some reviews, it really could be better to simply ignore it. Potential customers will likely be able to tell the difference between a legitimate complaint and hackneyed attempts at defamation – and engaging in dialogue in the case of comments such as these could simply prolong the problem. If you call in professional reputation management services, ask for a training session to be completed with you and customer service staff so you’re better equipped to distinguish between these two different types of negative review.
Provide Avenues of Formal Complaint
If your customers know there are established routes for conflict resolution, they may feel less inclined to voice their complaints on public forums in the heat of the moment. Many issues can be dealt with satisfactorily once people feel as though they are being ‘heard’, and so ensuring your complaints procedure is effective and easily available is paramount. Provide formal avenues for diffusing the situation. This could be everything from a phone hotline to a dedicated e-mail (with swift response times) or an employee trained to handle complaints as well as enquiries via your social media channels.
Use Formal Monitoring Tools
Setting up alerts for your business or brand name via Google or Bing could help you to handle your reputation swiftly and accurately, giving you regular snapshots of how you are being perceived in the online domain. This approach might not be the most comprehensive, so taking advantage of tools like Social Mention to find out how you are being discussed on social media can add a more formal edge to your reputation management efforts.