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5 mistakes the hotel industry makes with online reputation

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February 6, 2014

5 mistakes the hotel industry makes with online reputation

Hospitality News: OnlineConsumers rely on what they read online when making a hotel reservation, especially when traveling somewhere for the first time. Here now are five mistakes the hotel industry makes with their online reputation, and how to correct them.

Engagement: Hotels are missing a golden opportunity to capitalize on the proliferation of social media. Never has it been easier to reward and socialize loyalty, and yet few do. Offer discounts and contests for guests and frequent visitors. Create loyalty programs that center around social engagement, such as a future discount in exchange for a like on Facebook or a check-in on Yelp. This would go a long way towards improving public interaction with the hotel.

Make the experience more fun for your guests with an intra-hotel social network. No matter the reason behind the trip, many guests look forward to the social interactions and the potential of meeting new people. Cater to this subset of travelers ? mainly young, single professionals ? by offering a technological portal, either free or paid, at each location where guests can choose whether or not to connect in a safe, secure, and fun way. Airlines are on the cutting edge here, allowing flyers to play games with one another and chat while aboard their flights, all from the comfort of their own seat. Hotel guests could decide to interact later at the hotel?s bar and restaurant, bringing in more revenue, or to meet up at the hotel?s gym for a workout. When done with safety and security in mind, the hotel would garner the reputation of being modern and technologically exciting, setting it apart from the competition.

Demonstrating genuine care for the guest experience: Too often hotel management is unaware of dissatisfaction until it reaches an extreme. Why not offer a proactive forum for guest feedback during the guest?s visit, when it is easiest to resolve issues and give gratitude for positive feedback?? Offering free Wi-Fi service in exchange for guests completing an online survey when they access hotel Wi-Fi incentivizes this invaluable communication.? Dissatisfaction alerts sent automatically to hotel management would enable prompt action and resolution, and highly positive feedback could yield a request to publish and share a review.? In addition, amidst the common practice of charging for Wi-Fi, this added value would attract more guests, much like Southwest Airlines has captured a greater share of travelers with ?Bags Fly Free.?

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Source Hotels Mag, http://www.hotelsmag.com/Industry/News/Details/47903

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