10 Reputation Strategies for 2023
As travel behaviour and expectations evolve, new opportunities are emerging for hotels. Here our team of experts draws from recent trends and key review metrics to share reputation strategies for 2023.
To read real guest experience data trends, download our Guest Experience Benchmark Reports here.
1) Leverage Reputation to Increase Market Share
An economic downturn seems all but inevitable, and discretionary travel may be the first to go. In a soft market, hotels often turn to discounting to protect market share, but leveraging reputation can be a more profitable strategy. High-rated hotels enjoy higher visibility, pricing power, and conversion rates on OTAs, Tripadvisor, and Google, whereas lower-rated hotels are often filtered out. Strengthen reputation today, and your property and brand will be more recession-proof in the future.
2) Get into the Competitive Spirit
There’s nothing like friendly competition to motivate teams to go the extra mile. Using the key metrics in this report, hotels around the world can benchmark performance against industry averages by region and star segment for the first time. Use a reputation solution to also compare results with your comp set, regional cluster, and competitor brands. Find out what it takes to outperform the market and how you can leverage that advantage to drive higher rates and occupancy.
Learn more: Competitive Benchmarking for Hotels
3) Mine Your Own Business
The real insights from mining your own review and guest survey data to find reasons behind variances and opportunities for improvement. How can you prop up F&B scores? How is mobile check-in affecting guest sentiment? Semantic analysis tools will help you find patterns in review comments and understand how different categories affect overall review scores. Use the insights to prioritise training programs, investments in technology, and capital expenditures.
Learn more: Semantic Analysis for Hotels
4) Strengthen Value Perception
With skyrocketing room rates and labour shortages, it’s no surprise that hotel value ratings are lower than any other department. In a downturn, travellers will be even more price sensitive. But improving value perception isn’t about lowering rates, it’s about delivering experiences guests deem worthy of the price paid. That requires closely analysing value ratings and related comments in reviews and surveys and finding ways to ensure quality and service are commensurate with pricing.
Learn more: Categories Negatively Affecting Your GRI
5) Find Rooms for Improvement
It’s a wakeup call for hotel owners and operators that mentions of rooms in guest reviews had the biggest negative impact on overall review scores. After stripping amenities during the pandemic and delaying renovations, now it’s time for hotels to reinvest in the space where guests spend the most time. Whether it’s improving technology, workspace, bathrooms, amenities, furnishings, or bedding, the room product holds the most potential to improve guest ratings and loyalty.
Learn more: Managing Performance by Department
6) Elevate the Guest Experience
Which category had the biggest positive impact on review scores? The guest experience. More than ever, guests are talking about the overall experience in review comments. Guest experience encompasses the totality of the guest’s stay, the seamless combination of service, comfort, room quality, F&B, facilities, and ambience. Hotels would be wise to carefully monitor experience-related comments and take a holistic approach to managing the guest experience.
7) Balance Automation with Personal Service
The pandemic and labour crisis have driven an unprecedented pace of digital transformation in hotels, and there’s no turning back. From digital check-in to mobile food ordering to AI-powered chatbots, technology enhances guest service and convenience while increasing efficiency and reducing operating costs. Today, the big challenge is to leverage automation while preserving the personal touchpoints that create memorable stays and compel guests to write rave reviews.
Learn more: The Hotelier’s Guide to Hybrid Hotels
8) Improve Your Review Score on Booking.com
As the source of 43.5% of global hotel reviews, Booking.com has a tremendous impact on hotel reputation. Given that the OTA also generates lower average ratings, improving your ratings is a quick way to boost your overall review score. Find out how Booking.com’s revamped review system works and how it affects your ratings, visibility, and conversions. And strive for a more balanced review distribution strategy by building a strong review presence on multiple sites.
9) Give Google Reviews the Attention They Merit
Hotel ratings are ubiquitous on Google — in Search, Maps, and Business Profiles, reaching millions of high-intent trip planners. But while Google is the source of almost one third of hotel reviews, hoteliers respond to fewer reviews on Google than any other review source besides Booking.com. Hotels are well advised to give Google reviews the attention they merit. That means monitoring ratings, analysing comments, asking guests for reviews, and posting more management responses.
Learn more: Manage Your Google Business Reviews
10) Provide the Haven Travellers Need
Airlines are bracing for another summer of chaos, and hotels would be wise to do the same. Travel disruptions due to inclement weather and staffing issues can lead to last-minute cancellations and exhausted travellers arriving at your door. By preparing in advance, hotels can prevent bad reviews and provide the haven of calm travellers need. This may mean upgrading technology, performing preventative maintenance, revisiting overbooking procedures, or training in service recovery.
Learn more: Mastering the Art of Service Recovery