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May 16, 2018

5 Ways to Encourage More Hotel Guest Reviews

Arielle
 
Rubenstein
Read
3
min
Arielle
 
Rubenstein
Read
3
min

Businesses in the digital era thrive and die by ratings and reviews.Those little stars on platforms such as Google Business, Yelp and Trip Advisor can hold more sway than tens of thousands of dollars in paid advertising.Specific to the hospitality sphere, positive reviews can help drive demand, which provides opportunity to adjust rates and add revenue to the bottom line.Mobilizing guests to post those reviews, however, can be a struggle.Providing multiple prompts for guests to review their stay is savvy, but there has to be a balance between encouragement and being an annoyance.Your goal as a clever hotelier is to encourage guests to leave an enthusiastically positive review every time to build your numbers, boost your stars, and make a strong impression on potential guests.Here are five tactics to garner more stars.

Put It in the Book

One of the longest-running traditions in hospitality is the guestroom compendium. While designs vary from property to property, the books often include important details for guests, and even in the modern digital era, many people plop down on the bed and power through the compendium upon arrival.Plant the seed early. Include an insert that references reviews and identifies key review sites. Consider a note from the general manager outlining how important reviews are and how much their opinion is valued.While guests may not be ready to review then and there, this initial touch point will increase the chance that they review down the road.

Gratitude at Checkout

One of the most effective times to encourage a review is the day a guest checks out. A little reminder on their way out the door is a great way to boost your number of reviews.Consider offering each guest a modest “thank you” gift when they depart that includes a card with a helpful link to your review locations. Expressing your appreciation for their patronage can foster a positive review and direct them toward the review site that best serves your specific property.

The Follow-Up Email

Of course, the tried and true method of attaining after-service reviews has always been the follow-up email. Most are a trigger-automated message that shoots off an hour or two after guests check out, and include a "thank you" and invitation to leave a review via the reviewing platforms most relevant to the hotel. This gives guests a nudge and easy path of navigation to where you want them to go.Keep in mind what your own inbox looks like after traveling. Regardless of whether the travel is for business, leisure or other, most of us return to an overflowing inbox. Consider emailing a second or third review request days or even weeks after checkout.

Easy-to-Find Links Online

Sometimes a customer who has recently stayed with you and is thinking about reviewing will find themselves back on your website. For this reason, it's a good practice to include a "review now" message and link on your front page.Openly welcome returning guests and invite them to leave a review on their last stay if they haven't already.

Pre-Review Rewards

While it's unethical to outright pay people for reviews, hotels can still offer little perks to guests and encourage reviews by leveraging various amenities, discounts and gift cards, provided that the posting of a review isn't required to earn the reward.The right way to do this is to pair your request with a reward that all guests are eligible for. For example, you can send a follow-up email that might look something like this;

Thanks for staying with us! We'd love to welcome you again. If you plan to return, enjoy a complimentary room service breakfast on us!

Just give the code [AWESOMEGUEST] when you order and enjoy the taste of free breakfast.

Enjoy your stay? Want to share? Rate us on TripAdvisor to let future guests know how we did. [REVIEW LINK]

Growing reviews for your property may take some enthusiasm, but with the right techniques, you're sure to see a significant increase in happy guests leaving positive ratings on the sites that matter most.

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