A hotel’s reputation now lives online.
Accompanying the rise of metasearch and the digitization of the booking journey is the growing power of review sites, rating scales and social media platforms where hotel guests rant or rave about their experiences. We’re now living in a world where digital word of mouth reigns. People trust people. Ratings influence visibility. A hotel’s reviews can determine whether travelers will choose to book there or look elsewhere.
In short, a hotel’s reputation is now built up or torn down online. More important, it’s having a significant impact on a hotel’s ability to successfully drive bookings online. With the share of online hotel bookings growing no hotel can afford the risk of a compromised online reputation.
Unfortunately, many hotels are now faced with this very risk. Worse, they may not even realize it.
What’s the cost of a compromised online reputation?
A negative online reputation is something that needs to be identified, addressed and remedied as quickly as possible. If not, the hotel jeopardizes its bookings, revenue and customer loyalty. And hoteliers be warned: every hotel has an online reputation. We have reached the stage where even the lack of an online presence – such as no ratings, reviews or online content – creates a negative online reputation.
A recent Phocuswright study showed that:
- More than half of online review site users will not book a property if it doesn’t have any reviews.
- 83% of users read reviews before deciding to book a hotel.
- 96% of users believe reading reviews to be an important part of booking hotels.
The bottom line: Online reputation impacts a hotel’s bottom-line.
The main problem, however, is not that hoteliers fail to understand the importance of maintaining an impeccable reputation. The issue is that the underlying causes of a negative online reputation are being ignored or overlooked.
Because hoteliers aren’t even aware of them.
Most hoteliers are missing crucial information about what’s behind their online reputation, and about why they’re losing business because of it. It means they’re also missing or underutilizing technology that can help them succeed in the fast-paced and competitive hospitality industry, now online and largely governed by appearances and guest opinions.
What defines a hotel’s online reputation?
Hotel reviews — the good, the bad, and the brutal — are just a small part of a much larger picture.
For the full picture, we need to dig deeper and look further:
- What aspects of a hotel’s online reputation impact its bookings and revenue?
- What lays the foundation of negative and positive reviews?
- How does a hotel’s entire online presence set the expectations that will ultimately delight or disappoint guests?
These are the questions today’s hoteliers need to be asking, and finding answers to.
What’s behind — and beyond — the reviews?
To get to the bottom of online reputation, trivago’s regional industry manager, Aly Thompson, is teaming up with presenters from tnooz for an exclusive free workshop entitled “Beyond Reviews: Defining Your Hotel’s Online Reputation.”
The workshop will examine the root causes of low ratings and damaging reviews. Debunking the myths and demystifying the considerable role metasearch plays in reputation management, hoteliers will gain insights into how they can proactively connect with travelers during the guest journey to encourage bookings and repeat business while building a positive brand image for their hotel — beyond the reviews.
A hotel’s online reputation can be its greatest asset or its most threatening liability. Hotels that are able to define their own online reputation can wield it to influence a growing segment of reputation-conscious hotel bookers and drive direct bookings.
The hoteliers who do not take control and define their own online reputation give it a life of its own, and allow it to endanger the success, if not the very existence, of their hotel business.