Win Direct Bookings with Post-Stay Feedback
In our ongoing blog series, we have already discussed how hotels can drive direct bookings during the search and booking and onsite experience phases of the guest journey. To help complete the cycle, we will continue with strategies that impact post-stay feedback.
Did you know that nearly half of a hotel’s published online reviews are solicited from the hotel itself? While this may be a lot of work for the hotel, the end result is well worth the effort. Solicited guest reviews are positive 81% of the time and result in 8% higher scores for the hotel. Therefore, hotels should make use of any opportunity to encourage their guests to review their stay. More reviews equals better scores, higher rankings, and more bookings!
Here are some “tried and true” methods of collecting feedback and utilizing it to counter OTAs.
1. Collect Post-Stay Feedback
Although the most common way to collect online surveys is to send post-stay surveys, there are many benefits to collecting customer opinions while they are on the property, too. The first relates to the time-sensitivity of reviews. During the experience portion of the guest travel-cycle, there exists a small window of opportunity for the hotel to make a huge impact on a traveler’s experience. Additionally, this is a source of much more reliable and actionable feedback since the experience is still fresh in a guest’s mind.
Guests appreciate an outlet to express their feedback through meaningful channels, which creates trust between hoteliers and travelers. Collecting surveys is only a piece of the guest feedback platform puzzle. Publishing post-stay feedback online is where the value is replicated on scale.
2. Leverage Guest Insights
Once post-stay feedback is collected, there are a number of ways hotels can utilize that feedback to get their most out of their investment. With online reputation management tools like TrustYou Analytics, you can leverage guest feedback to analyze, manage, and react to all reviews written about your hotel quickly and easily. In fact, the technology almost does the work for you!
Advanced semantics analysis will extract actionable guest insights from full-text reviews. For example, if the guest comments “our room was not clean”, this will negatively impact the hotel’s Hotel Rooms score. This dissection of insight provides hotels with the information they need to fix issues and resolve them moving forward. It takes away the guesswork and instead provides proof of common guest experiences.
3. Drive More Bookings
The guest journey cycle completes its rotation when post-stay feedback is published as a guest review for future travelers to find during the booking process. Reviews influence travelers’ booking decisions. In fact, 95% of travelers read, on average, 5 to 7 reviews before their booking. Therefore, having a good online reputation is important, as these reviews are shown on OTA result pages.
But to help thwart OTA bookings and increase your hotel’s own direct bookings, these reviews should also be published to your hotel website. Your overall hotel score, along with review summaries, will provide travelers with the information they need to book direct.
There are many solutions and strategies hotels can implement to counter OTAs and increase their own direct bookings. Learn more in our upcoming webinar on Oct. 26, 2016 hosted by Travel Tripper, StayNTouch, and TrustYou. Reserve your seat today!