Part 4 of the Hotel Mobile Technology Series: Harnessing Post-Stay Feedback and Reviews from Mobile Users
Mobile devices make instant gratification possible. Travelers can immediately snap a photo on their cell phone during a trip and email it to family or upload it to Facebook. In fact, over half of U.S. travelers who use mobile internet during their trip are making trip-related updates on social media. But how can hotels encourage this type of on-site and post-stay feedback through the traveler journey?
We’ve already shared how to harness social media as a marketing tool before a customer’s trip and to improve their experience during their visit. The final stage in the traveler journey is sharing the experience to future travelers. For many mobile users, this piece no longer occurs once they return home. Instead, it’s posted immediately throughout the trip, using mobile devices as the catalyst.
Build Your Content Stream
For years, travelers have turned to online reviews as a source of information. Despite 92% of travelers trusting earned media more than advertising, only a fraction of guests write reviews after their stay. Collective ratings provide credibility, so adapt your strategy to encourage feedback on mobile devices. You’ll tap into additional ratings and potentially reach demographics who otherwise tend not to leave reviews.
Smartphone users are more likely to have limited time since they are pulling their phone out in brief intervals. Surveys should be quick and to the point and focus on ratings and scores which are easy to provide on mobile interfaces.
Leverage Crowd-Sourced Influence
Guests voice their opinions on their favorite apps rather than downloading a new one. Because of this, reviews will be scattered on a variety of social media platforms. Confirm your listings on Yelp, Google, Facebook, and Foursquare to ensure you're getting information from what your guest considers convenient. Features within the TrustYou Analytics platform can help compile these ratings and comments from social sites and help you leverage this content in the right place at the right time.
Being present and usable is just the first step to encouraging reviews. In today’s trend of live updates, not as many travelers need to share their stories, photos, and experiences after the trip. Use the immediacy of social media as a launching point for reviews post-trip. Check-in incentives on apps like Yelp will automatically prompt them to leave a review after their departure.
Collect Informal Post-Stay Feedback
TripAdvisor remains a giant in hotel reviews, but it’s no longer the only source of information. Hotels are one of the top 3 travel-related topics shared on social media. Make it easy for guests to find business usernames and hashtags to make sure that you can find the information they share.
Since guests no longer need to return home to call or write corporate, hotels have the ability to see direct comments immediately. Ensure someone is looking through these reactions and work toward instant corrections if needed. Many times, a hotel can remedy a situation simply because they are aware of an issue and work toward securing a positive rating after their stay. Comments and photos tagged with your brand name also identify the amenities and services that travelers value most.
Many mobile users turn to social media as a chance to be in the spotlight. Respond and interact to visitors on social media and ask if you can re-share their posts on your accounts or website. This provides social proof to your own audience and gives the original poster an extra chance to inspire their followers, thus starting the cycle of mobile bookings all over again for a new potential guest.
This post was contributed by Rebecca Pokora, a regular contribute to the TrustYou blog, freelance writer, and travel consultant.