5 Ways to Use Guest Feedback as a Sales Tool
As a hotelier, your aim while using ReviewPro software may primarily be optimizing guest experience to increase GRI™ and leverage ADR, occupancy and RevPAR. But did you know that the tool offers many useful insights for your hotel sales department?
Guest Intelligence is the data collected about your guests: what do they think are the best and worst parts of your hotel and service according to online reputation? What are they saying about you online in terms of reviews? And how did they feel about the experience of staying in your hotel? Making the most of this information as a sales tool makes perfect sense, here’s how.
1) Create a Killer Sales Portfolio
By using ReviewPro to track and analyze reviews and surveys, you can identify what guests say your hotel does best – and where there is room for improvement. You can break down performance by category or concept and use sentiment analysis to identify trends and patterns.
ReviewPro’s competitive benchmarking tools will also give you a better understanding of your hotel’s unique selling propositions relative to competitors. These strengths can be used in hotel sales materials and communications with prospective clients to convince them to choose your hotel over your competitors.
Review data also provides key insights for sales staff when negotiating with current and potential clients and tour operators. For example, if reviews indicate that your German guests are extremely happy and love your breakfast, this information can be used to convince other German wholesalers to feature your hotel in their program too.
“Our sales execs are encouraged to filter survey responses by company (PMS data) to assist with negotiations and sales account management,” says Nadine Lee, group guest services manager at glh Hotels.
Alerts and reports keep your sales and operations departments informed and focused on key action items and areas where improvements are required. This will help encourage hotel sales staff to take responsibility for guest satisfaction related to the accounts they manage.
2) Use Testimonials from Happy Clients
With ReviewPro you can filter reviews according to whether they are positive, negative or neutral. You can also filter reviews by language, source and department. To extract customized metrics related to sales, you can create keywords to search reviews specific to events, weddings and conferences, drawing insight from up to three years of historical data.
You can publish content and widgets featuring guest reviews, ratings and survey comments on your hotel’s website. You can also extract positive comments from corporate clients and event attendees and use them as testimonials on your website and in sales collateral. This will help attract prospective clients and reassure them that your hotel is the right choice.
3) Reinforce Hotel Sales Negotiations & RFPs
Meeting organizers, corporate travel planners and tour operators regularly check out reviews on TripAdvisor and other review sources as part of the hotel vetting process. But they don’t have access to the wealth of review data provided by ReviewPro, which collects reviews and ratings from 175 review sources worldwide.
As a ReviewPro user, you can prepare reports that show the high level of guest satisfaction at your hotel relative to competitors and share them with clients and prospects. By explaining that the data provides a broad overview of your hotel’s performance from the perspective of travelers, you can build a case for your hotel.
You can even provide a breakdown of review data based on features that are important to the particular client such as service, cleanliness and room quality.
This information can be used as an effective negotiating tool and to reinforce your quality, consistency, and value.
4) Focus on Key Corporate Accounts
To ensure a high level of satisfaction of guests from key corporate accounts, you can import PMS data into the Guest Surveys tool and create a dedicated view for each company. You can also automate weekly and monthly reporting for specific corporate accounts.
A distinct advantage for corporate hotel sales managers is the ability to set up real-time alerts in the event that a corporate guest indicates dissatisfaction. This enables the sales manager to follow up promptly and ensure that issues are resolved before feedback reaches head office and jeopardizes the account.
5) Create Specific Surveys for Focus Areas like Wedding and Conference Bookings
Did you know that ReviewPro’s Guest Satisfaction Surveys allow you to create separate surveys with questions tailored to different clients? For example, you can create a survey for wedding planners or conference organizers.
Customized surveys allow you to ask specific questions and obtain the information you need to attract more group bookings. You can also ask for opinions on ideas, new services and concepts you are considering to trial.
“Our conference and incentive staff employ our post-stay survey (the one specific for conference guests) to review the quality of the services we provide our guests,” said Bruno Saragat, inventory supervisor at Forte Village Resort. “We put a lot of effort to tease as many clues as we can out of the comments and ratings to improve our services.”
Client Story: Hotel Sales Related to Guest Satisfaction
Recently, a ReviewPro client told us about a situation they encountered that is all too common in hotels. After the hotel submitted a bid on a group meeting, the organizer came back to the hotel sales manager to ask for a lower room rate, pointing out that the hotel’s rate was higher than the rates quoted by other hotels under consideration.
Hotel management felt that the higher rate was fair and justified given that the hotel outperformed all of the other hotels in guest satisfaction scores. To support this position, the sales manager printed a ReviewPro report that demonstrated the hotel’s high Global Review IndexTM relative to competitor hotels and forwarded it to the organizer, along with an explanation of how the GRI is calculated.
The argument was enough to convince the organizer to choose the hotel and to accept the rate as quoted. Moreover, the organizer committed to booking the hotel for the same conference the following year too.
It’s an example of how review data can be used as a powerful negotiating tool. As the sales manager remarked, “Reputation really does strengthen the rate argument.”