If you manage a hotel or hostel you will be familiar with the daily routine of checking all online reviews and responding to bad feedback. It is a cumbersome task but a necessary evil. Open and honest communication is key. In fact, many operators would argue that user-generated review platforms like TripAdvisor have benefited the industry. They certainly have made Hotels & Hostels more accountable.
Why respond on TripAdvisor & co
Millennials are set to take over from the baby-boomers as the dominant travel consumer by 2020 and they almost exclusively use user-generated feedback to choose their hotel or hostel. The younger travellers are also 3 times more likely to remain loyal to a brand than older generations, therefore if you can maintain a strong brand image on these websites it will be vital for retaining guests next time.
Problem that most managers face
The problem with the “over-sharing” generation is that despite being opinionated, we are also non-confrontational. I know it is a massive generalisation, and I do not speak for all young travellers or all cultures, but the fact remains that we live in the age of the “keyboard warriors”. Statistics show that most who leave reviews on TripAdvisor will do so around 48 hours after they leave a property. People often do not speak up if there is an issue while they are at the property and then proceed to crucify the hotel or hostel online. The reason guests do this is because speaking up when in the property would mean facing a person and explaining their issue. Sometimes we will embarrassed or scared to complain when something is wrong (getting a bit deep here, i know!). On the other hand, a guests leaves a property and still feels aggrieved by the experience – it is always the bad stuff that stands out in a guest’s mind. Often guests will be waiting at airport a few days after leaving a property and think, “You know what, I’m going to tell the world about how cold my coffee at the Hotel Cafe was.”
I’m not mocking the guest, or saying that their concerns are trivial because people pay a lot of money for accomodation and expect value for their dollar. I am pointing out however, that I think currently hotels and hostels are facing trial by TripAdvisor which does not seem entirely fair.
What does Tenderfoot do about it?
Our firm belief is that keeping your guest happy is all about communication. Nowadays, to communicate directly with your guests you must speak to them where they hang out – their mobile phones. Tenderfoot’s guest communication platform allows you to ask your guests if everything is okay and constantly keep them updated of what’s going on around your property or in the city. For example, if the hotel restaurant is to be closed for a private function then management can push out a notification to all guests giving them advance notice. It is the same reason that airlines are aiming to alert passengers of delays before they even leave for the airport – good communication alleviates frustration.
Further, immediately after check-out, Tenderfoot asks the guest to rate their experience of the property and provide any comments (see image below). This feedback is available for viewing by management. The other positive of having direct real-time feedback is that staffing and operational problems can be dealt with before the whole world knows about them. After all, reputation is key in a hyper-competitive industry.
If you’re interested about what we do and how we are helping our clients, please get in touch with at: firstname.lastname@example.org