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Why you need guest reviews (and how to get more of them)

Guest reviews don’t cost a thing – but not having any can certainly impact your property. So, how can you generate guest reviews to build your online reputation, drive bookings and ultimately increase revenue

They say that ‘reputation is everything’, and in the travel industry that certainly rings true. One of the most important contributors to your reputation is your guests’ reviews, for their ability to set expectations of future guests and provide you with invaluable feedback on how to enhance the guest experience.

According to a Booking.com survey, 35% of global travellers consider reviews from other guests important when finding and booking an accommodation. And the more reviews you get, the higher your online ranking and visibility on search results. This is why it’s fundamental for your business to have plenty of reviews – and that includes critical perspectives, too.

It’s a common misconception that negative reviews are a bad thing - the steps you take to manage these comments can be just as impactful. For example, writing a thoughtful response gives your brand legitimacy and builds trust, which can lead to more bookings. A healthy mix of both is a good middle-ground; according to review software provider Reevoo, 68% of consumers trust reviews more when there’s both criticism and praise.

With this in mind, it’s more important to stimulate guest reviews in high volumes. But between trying to engage your guests at the right moment to juggling this priority among all the other aspects of running your property, it’s not always that simple. So, what are some easy steps you can take to generate more guest reviews?

The first – and perhaps most obvious – solution is to make sure there are places for your guests to leave reviews. Be sure to add your property on the likes of Google, Facebook and TripAdvisor so guests can share their thoughts on their preferred platform - in addition to their review on Booking.com.

The second strategy for driving more guests to write reviews is also quite simple – just ask. There are two ways you can do this. When a guest is checking out, ask them how their stay was and encourage them to leave a review. You can also send a thank-you email post-stay and ask for their feedback. Be sure to include links to your preferred review site as you want to make it as easy as possible. This is also where review software comes in.

By using simple review software, you can streamline submission on your own property website, and even embed the most recent reviews on your page. This means that when potential guests land on your website, they’ll immediately be able to read others’ reviews. You can also take advantage of direct messaging and respond to guest’s reviews personally, which is a potential strategy for increasing your conversion rate.

The third tip for generating reviews is to incentivise your guests. Consider offering up a coupon or hosting a raffle for all the customers who leave a review – the reward could be a small discount on their room when they book again, or a complimentary treat upon arrival. A further step is to reward guests for sharing reviews on their own social channels and this way their network is sure to see it too.

 

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Takeaway
  • Guests reviews help set expectations of future guests and provide you with invaluable feedback on how to enhance the guest experience
  • 68% of consumers trust reviews more when there’s both criticism and praise
  • A strong presence on platforms like Google and Facebook can help generate reviews, and it always helps to simply ask your guests to share one or even incentivise them
  • Review management software helps streamline the submission and facilitate any response you may wish to give