Tag Archives: Online Reviews

Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “How to Use Reviews to Size Up the Competition”

One of my panelists (he who cannot be named) brought up an interesting tactic to help hoteliers size up the competition and see how they’re delivering on the guest experience.hotel website Have you ever thought about really digging into TripAdvisor’s “star” reviewers’ reviews? That’s a mouthful. But it’s an interesting way to look at what your hotel might be missing the mark on.

As our readers might know, Hotel News Now is deep in the throes of the beast that is the Hotel Data Conference. Leading up to the event, which kicked off last night, we pulled the data, assigned stories and called our panelists. (Shameless self-promotion: Hear me moderate the panel titled “Online, offline: Keeping your reputation intact”).

While this is only my second time moderating a panel, I have to say I’m really excited about this one. Why, you ask? Well, I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with each one of my panelists via phone about how the discussion will go. Let’s just say we’re all on the same page when it comes to giving you some concrete examples of how your hotel can better manage its reputation.

I don’t want to spoil all the fun, but I wanted to give you all a preview of what to expect during the panel, which will take place right before lunch on Thursday, 6 August. OK, enough of the self-promotion. Hopefully I’ve already wooed you.

For more: http://bit.ly/1T3M9kT

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Filed under Guest Issues, Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Social Media, Technology

Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “How Hotels Can Engage Guests Through Social Media”

As hotel guests continue to turn to social media as their primary source for information gathering and remote communication,SocialMedia hoteliers will be presented with numerous opportunities to create engagement among their guests via social media. If they succeed at connecting with guests on a social level, they can remain at the forefront of those customers’ minds when they book their next trip.

It’s no secret that social media plays a major role in the way the hospitality industry connects with customers. There are, however, more ways for hotels to use social media than to just attract guests before they book. With creativity and ingenuity, hotels can use this medium as a powerful marketing channel to build brand affinity and loyalty by engaging guests in conversations during their stays.

Below are simple but innovative ways a few major hotels are already using social media to create memorable guest experiences:

Installing Social Walls
The desire to connect with and meet new people is one that is shared by nearly all of mankind, but compelling any person to actively make connections with other guests during a hotel stay can be tricky. The Four Seasons Dallas, however, came up with a brilliant tactic to overcome this obstacle. During the Fourth of July holiday in 2013, the hotel unveiled “social walls” in its lobby. The walls consisted of screens that showed social posts of people staying at the hotel.

For more: http://bit.ly/1KcyOG4

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Hospitality Industry Management Update: “5 Ways to Improve Responses on TripAdvisor”

Leisman cited data form a Phocuswright poll of the TripAdvisor community of travelers that found 84% of U.S. users agreed that an appropriate managementonline engagement response to a bad review “improves my impression of the hotel.” Six of 10 users (62%) said seeing hotel management responses to reviews generally “makes me more likely to book it (versus a comparable hotel that didn’t respond to travelers).”

It’s funny observing the disparate number of policies hoteliers employ regarding reviews on TripAdvisor. Company A insists on responding to every comment, while Company B tells its managers to reply only to the bad. Company C takes a different tact entirely: It doesn’t respond to any.

Those are the broad buckets. Nuances and further variation exist at each stage along the spectrum. And each company that employs them insists theirs is the only and obvious approach.

Some variety might be warranted. One hotel is often not like the other, so I understand a degree of unique plans that appeal to unique bases of demand, product offerings and location types.

But clearly there are some hoteliers who, despite their best intentions, are engaging with guests on TripAdvisor in a manner that could prove potentially harmful to further review rankings and thus future bookings.

In cases such as these, I find it’s best to go straight to the source for the prescribed best practices. In this case, that would be TripAdvisor—or more specifically, Heather Leisman, business VP of industry marketing.

This topic was top of mind for her. TripAdvisor recently released a report which examined why travelers write reviews. The top reason? “To share useful information with others” and because “they find reviews helpful, so they want to give back.” (Who knew the TripAdvisor online community was so altruistic?)

For more: http://bit.ly/1cgseQT

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Filed under Employee Practices, Guest Issues, Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Social Media

Hospitality Industry Management Update: “5 Social Trends Hoteliers Can Leverage”

“Everything is being rated and talked about, he said. And much of that is being done on mobile. For example,20150504_AmericInn_Levine he said a lot of hoteliers will say they aren’t interested in Twitter—but that’s where their customers are talking about them. Thus, hoteliers need to monitor it and join in on the conversation.”

A picture of a pet cat with a slice of bread on its head. A person standing in front of a waterfall and capturing a photo that makes it seem as if he or she is vomiting said waterfall.

The above two examples “broke the Internet,” according to Daniel Levine, director of The Avant-Guide Institute, a global trends consultancy for travel and consumer marketing, based in New York City. But they were short-lived fads and certainly not things to build a business plan around.

But building a plan around social trends? That might be the golden ticket.

“Trends are not specific to any one industry. Trends are what people are thinking and feeling, and they’re looking for these same trends to be answered in every part of their lives,” Levine said while speaking during the recent opening general session of the AmericInn 2015 Convention & Tradeshow held at Bally’s Las Vegas.

In other words: Hoteliers can adjust their operations to sell the answers to these trends, he said.

“The beauty of trends is that they resonate with people for reasons they may not even be aware of. They’ll go and beat a path at your door if you’re answering these trends in creative ways,” Levine said.

Here are five social trends hoteliers can capitalize on.

For more: http://bit.ly/1F91w8D

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Hospitality Industry Management Update: “Survey Finds Social Media Boosts Hotel Occupancy by 2x”

“The hospitality industry has experienced the impact social media can have on their business, both positive and negative,online engagement but these findings allow properties to quantify the impact of taking action on reviews—and make it easier to justify additional investments in social media engagement,” said Aurelia Setton, Medallia’s general manager for hospitality.

Hotel properties that actively engage with social media reviews grow occupancy at double the rate of properties that don’t, according to a study released by Medallia. The study examines customer and business data from more than 4,400 hotel properties worldwide to understand and quantify the impact of social media engagement on a company’s revenue growth, customer satisfaction, and social reputation.

Results Overview
The study found a direct relationship between responsiveness to social media reviews and occupancy rate. Properties that responded to more than 50 percent of social reviews grew occupancy rates by 6.4 percentage points, more than twice the rate of properties that largely ignored social media reviews. These socially engaged properties also outperformed the hospitality industry as a whole, which achieved a 4.3 percent occupancy growth rate during the same period.

For more: http://bit.ly/1cphmkq

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Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “Use Mobile Apps to Get Out in Front of the Social Media Curve”

For several years, about half of all local search have been conducted using mobile technology. In the first quarter of 2014, searches on mobile devices surpassed desktop internet searches. mobile-apps-hotelThis suggests that mobile apps are not just a convenience anymore, they are necessary for hotels to remain in business. Customers now expect to find the information for which they search whenever they have to urge to access it

In order for hotels to grow their brand recognition and costumer preference, they need social media to establish a partnership with consumers. This is an ideal opportunity for the hotel industry to increase contact with customers, which aids in brand development based on decisions made according to demand and feedback. While almost all hotels now have websites and at least one social media channel, many have yet to adopt mobile technology. This puts them at risk for being left behind as customers seek lodging sites they can access while on the go. Ensuring that hotel businesses are not only optimized for search engines but also have mobile apps for android and non-android devices is important for brands to remain competitive.

For more: http://bit.ly/1BhklVO

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Hospitality Industry Management Update: “Increase Hotel Profits by Keeping Your Employees Happy”

Customers often base their spending behaviors solely on their perception of the service. This is particularly true in the travel industry. Happy hotel maid at work in hotel roomQuick and efficient check-ins, a welcoming and accommodating staff, honesty and brand reliability are essential. When combined, these ingredients create the ultimate recipe for profitability.

The hospitality industry is thriving, but with that success comes responsibility. Hotel and restaurant owners need good management practices in order to remain relevant and realize sustained profits. Effective management includes overseeing employee satisfaction. Research has shown that there is a direct connection between employee contentment and customer loyalty. This is why it is important to take an interest in each staff member’s happiness.

In an accommodation industry, the key to customer satisfaction is high-quality service. However, employees who are unhappy often lack the motivation to provide such service, which results in disgruntled customers. This trickle-down effect can adversely affect a company’s revenue. Studies have proven that the attitude of an employee is directly related to a customer’s spending. Essentially, happy employees create happy customers.

For more: http://bit.ly/1xKit6j

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