Indeed, a bad review can mean an empty hotel, especially if you’re a small family-run property. Though nobody will deny the importance of positive reviews, it should be the goal of all hotels to earn such good marks naturally and not try to force good reviews out of otherwise unimpressed customers – the result may be just the opposite.
Getting positive reviews is not rocket science, here are a few tips to help you gather good reviews:
Focus on 100% quality. Make sure every detail is perfect. When you strive for perfection, you may end up with a few little mistakes, but the customer will notice your effort and will be more likely to give you a positive grade.
Communicate. Tell your customers about your web site, mention the possibility of leaving a review. (See below about linking to reviews sites directly.). Make sure the customer knows that your hotel is listed on review sites such as TripAdvisor.com. If you’ve done a good job, the customer will most likely not mind being asked for you to grade them.
A bad experience will immediately trigger the customer’s desire to find an online review site. A good experience, on the other hand, will feel natural and will most likely not trigger a review automatically. Therefore, bad reviews are easier to get than good ones. Strive for perfection, earn those reviews by providing perfect service, then, and only then, remind the customer to grade your hotel.
Delight your customers. Don’t just provide average service. Give them a souvenir with a link to your site: a cap, a t-shirt or a custom pen are good examples.
Remember the the Murphy Law of online reviews: Bad reviews come naturally. Good reviews require an investment.
Link to your TripAdvisor(or similar) page from within your hotel site. TripAdvisor URLs are long and not keyboard-friendly. A direct link will make it easy for customers to find your review page.
Turn bad experiences in your favor. A broken bathtub or a defective air conditioner can be an opportunity to delight your customer with a free upgrade to a better room.
Delight your customers with some unexpected extra during arrival(flowers or champagne for honeymoons, M&M’s for kids), breakfasts and meals. Don’t advertise this feature.
In summary, 4 quick tips to help you earn positive reviews naturally:
Delight your customers.
Link to reviews sites directly from your hotel site.
Turn bad experiences in your favor. Remember item 1.
Communicate. Mention the possibility of leaving reviews directly through your site(item 2).