Hotels have never been so aware that 5-star customer reviews (particularly online) are just as important as their own star ratings.
Hoteliers who ignore online reviews, be they on review sites or social media, are ignoring their customers at their peril. This is especially true if those reviews are less than favourable.
The facts speak for themselves: 81% of travellers frequently or always read a review before booking and a staggering 96% believe that reviews form an important part of their research journey when choosing a hotel.
Here’s how you can turn things around for yourself.
Keep it Simple – Keep it Clean
So what is it that guests are looking for in a hotel and what can you do to ensure you’re awarded that much-coveted 5-star review crown?
The answer is simpler than you think. Customers may expect great value for money and great service, but their main concern is cleanliness.
Let’s not be too surprised by this. It’s a basic but essential requirement of great hospitality. No guest wants to sleep in a dirty hotel room or shower in an icky bathroom.
The New Normal
We can’t ignore the facts.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, consumer confidence in hotel cleanliness is not high.
In fact, one newspaper reports that more than half of British travellers say they don’t trust hotel cleanliness.
However, since COVID-19, the UK hospitality industry has taken positive steps to address concerns. For example, the UK Housekeepers’ Association in May, announced new industry-wide cleaning standards.
Similarly, Marriott International launched its Global Cleanliness Council to promote higher standards of cleanliness in this new age of enhanced hygiene.
Not to be outdone, the AA drew up a COVID Confident Programme.
At the same time, Visit Britain developed industry guidelines on how hoteliers can change the way they work to ensure higher levels of cleanliness throughout their establishment.
So we can all agree that while it’s all very well meeting your guest’s high expectations in other areas such as the fastest WiFi, great toiletries and a flatscreen TV, if they can’t rely on clean, fresh-scented bedding and towels, your efforts will go unappreciated.
Customers have high expectations when parting with their hard-earned money to stay at your hotel, and rightly so.
In fact, a study by booking site Trivago found that more than 71% expect “above average” cleanliness reviews when they’re choosing where they stay.
The Full Package
Having said all that, it’s still important to remember that great customer service, and a positive check-in and check-out experience goes a long way.
That, and actively encouraging guests to leave a review after their stay, and then responding to any positive or negative comments quickly and professionally.
Before We Check-Out
Keeping customers happy is hard work, but if your efforts are rewarded with glowing reviews, it’s worth the trouble.
By concentrating your energies on things that hotel guests value, for example, cleanliness and hygiene, you’ll build a robust foundation for those great online reviews.
To learn more, get in touch with us today.