Building a Strong Reputation in the Hotel and Hospitality Industry: The Power of Customer Service and Experience
Hotels and hospitality businesses face more potential threats to their brands and reputations than ever. With easy, widespread access to search results and online review platforms, anyone can find or post disparaging information about your business in seconds.
Not only that, but negative Google reviews, social media backlash, and incidents of poor customer service or uncleanliness can easily influence consumers, damaging trust and perception. This information can quickly spread across the web and damage your hotel’s reputation, resulting in lost bookings and revenue.
To build a stronger reputation among customers, particularly on the web, hotel and hospitality entrepreneurs should emphasize the following:
Exceptional customer service
Training staff to deliver exceptional customer service is essential for hotels and hospitality businesses to provide a high-quality guest experience. Here are some ways your hospitality brand can train staff to improve and refine the customer service experience:
Clearly defining your customer service standards and expectations at the outset ensures simplified, shared objectives everyone can reference. Providing examples of excellent customer service and encouraging staff to strive for higher standards.
Offering training on customer service skills, including communication, active listening, problem-solving, and conflict resolution, helps provide a solid framework for improved customer service delivery. Training opportunities may include online courses, workshops, and in-person training sessions.
High Standards of Cleanliness
Maintaining high standards of cleanliness is undoubtedly essential to providing a safe, comfortable, and positive environment for guests. A few ways hotels and hospitality businesses can maintain high standards of cleanliness include:
Develop a cleaning plan
Developing a cleaning plan that outlines a regular cleaning schedule, tasks, and products ensures everyone is prepped and ready to pursue a sparkling, hospitable environment. Such programs are often based on the property size, number of guests, and areas that merit attention.
Train staff on proper cleaning techniques and protocols. Provide training on how to use cleaning products safely and effectively, clean different surfaces and areas, and maintain high standards of cleanliness.
Monitor and audit
Monitor and audit the cleaning process regularly to ensure standards are met. This can be done through regular inspections, guest feedback, and audits by regulatory agencies.
Engaging with customers on social media
Engaging with customers on social media is now essential to a hotel or hospitality business’s digital marketing strategy. Here are some ways that hotels and hospitality businesses can engage with customers on social media:
Create and share engaging content
Create and share engaging content that is relevant and interesting to the target audience. This can include information about the hotel or hospitality business, local events, travel tips, and much more.
Share user-generated content
Share photos and posts from guests who have shared their experiences at the hotel or hospitality business. This shows the hospitality brand values its customers and provides social proof of the quality of the experience.
Collaborate with influencers
Collaborating with influencers who make their bones in the travel and hospitality space can be a powerful way to increase brand awareness and reach new audiences. This can include hosting influencers at your hotel or site, partnering on content creation, and even offering discounts and promotions for their followers.
Offer special deals and promotions
Offering special deals and promotions to social media followers helps incentivize brand engagement and drive bookings. This can include exclusive discounts, package deals, loyalty programs, and other creative promos that reward those connecting with your brand.
Encouraging and responding to online reviews
Encouraging and responding to online reviews is essential for hotels and hospitality businesses to build and maintain a positive reputation online. Here are some ways that hotels and hospitality businesses can encourage and respond to online reviews:
Encourage guests to leave a review by sending follow-up emails or providing feedback forms and comment cards after their stay. Including links to popular review sites like TripAdvisor or Google Reviews can make it easier for guests to leave feedback, particularly in the moment.
Monitoring review sites regularly allows you to stay informed and ahead of customer feedback. Use tools like Google Alerts to receive notifications whenever someone mentions your business online.
Respond to negative reviews promptly, preferably within 24-48 hours. Responding quickly demonstrates that the business values constructive criticism and is committed to addressing any issues.
Thank all reviewers
Start by thanking all reviewers for taking the time to share their feedback. Thanking online reviewers shows your business values customer comments and appreciates the time customers took to share their experience.
Implementing a reputation management strategy
Implementing a reputation management strategy is essential for hotels and hospitality businesses to monitor and respond to customer comments, build a positive online reputation, and mitigate any negative impacts.
Here are some steps that hotels and hospitality businesses can take to implement a reputation management strategy:
Identify the business’s goals for reputation management, such as improving customer satisfaction, increasing online visibility, or responding to negative comments.
Address negative comments
Address negative comments promptly and professionally. Apologize for any inconvenience and, whenever possible, offer a solution to the customer’s concerns. This shows that you value customer comments and are committed to exceptional customer service.
Promote positive comments
Promote positive comments by sharing reviews on the business’s website, social media channels, and marketing materials. Promoting positive feedback helps build a positive online reputation while attracting new guests.
Use customer feedback to identify any areas for improvement and implement changes as necessary. Continuously monitoring feedback and making improvements demonstrates the business’s commitment to providing a better guest experience.
Overall, building a more positive reputation among customers requires a commitment to delivering exceptional customer service, maintaining high standards of cleanliness, and actively engaging with customers on social media and online review websites.
By implementing these strategies, hotels and hospitality brands can take steps toward building a more positive online reputation that attracts new customers and encourages repeat business.
Need Help with Hotel Reputation Management?
My team specializes in ORM, digital PR, and review management solutions tailored to your hospitality business. and long-term goals. Whether it’s removing negative content, improving online ratings or dominating local search results, we can help you build the 5-star digital presence you need to outshine the competition.
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