Here’s a hypothetical situation for you to ponder: You’re about to book the vacation of your dreams. Of course you first do a quick search online first. The hotel you’ve long dreamed about visiting claims to be a five star accommodation, but disparaging guest reviews paint an entirely different picture. Who do you trust in this case? More than that, based on negative reviews are you still going to book your upcoming trip at that hotel or will you choose another destination?
In an era of peer based reviews trumping even the most glowing hotel claims, chances are good that most of us will choose a destination based on a variety of factors. And while many of us trust a hotel brand’s reputation, we also pay attention to the smaller details.
Reviews on travel websites are great, but so are announcements about new hotel innovations including tech upgrades to aspiring digital hotels. State of the art technology meant to guide guests everywhere from researching, to booking, to checking in or out or arranging experiences also plays into ratings. And in a COVID-aware world, things like cleanliness, digital and physical safety in the form of visible hotel employee panic buttons and more are expected.
Reviews aren’t everything, but trusted reviews can make or break your hotel
While most people don’t book a vacation based on the amazing panic button systems in place, they do keep track of hotel amenities as closely as they do the upgraded technology. And in a post-pandemic world, people expect better than ever tech. More than that, if they’re already using the internet of things to manage their home lives, they’ll consider it a downgrade if you don’t have these things easily accessible on your property.
If as a hotelier, your destination hasn’t changed at all as travel restrictions ease up in much of the world, you’re doing something very wrong. And you can expect that guests past and present will be sure to share their opinions loudly and publicly. To avoid negative reviews and increase five star ratings, you need to lean into your guests’ preferences and expectations.
At Relay, we’re proud that our devices connect distanced workers and empower them through the use of a panic button and a completely connected cellular network. Contact us to find out how to empower your staff and clientele through connectivity with a device that alerts anyone to potential danger.
Reviews and ratings are critical to hotels
Back in 2015, Tripadvisor released a study focusing on customer satisfaction. At the time they revealed that 96% of Tripadvisor users consider reading reviews important when planning trips and booking hotels.
If garnering positive reviews was never part of your outreach or marketing plan, you’re going to miss out on future guests. The same study revealed that more than half of Tripadvisor users won’t book a stay at a property without any reviews.
Are you requesting positive reviews prematurely?
Here’s an interesting conundrum. You know that you need positive reviews to boost your hospitality business. But before you ask guests for a positive review, you need to ensure you’re providing them with the best possible experience. Once you’ve done that, you have to amplify everything you thought was once acceptable and instead try for superior experiences for every single guest. In other words, before you can collect as many five star raves as possible, you need to give your guests something to rave about.
Do you have the cleanest rooms and excellent sanitizing system? Is your restaurant known for a dish so tantalizing that people drive hundreds of miles for a taste?
And when it comes to safety, do you protect every member of your staff and equip them with associate alert devices as per the new employee safety device mandates?
More reviews vs. authentic reviews
In a fascinating article on NBC news about five star reviews and ratings, the author shared facts about how much people rely on positive reviews.
Some takeaways included that having over a hundred thousand reviews might be critical for something like an Instant Pot, but not as much for smaller companies or products. In those cases people understand that rave reviews might not be plentiful, but they have to be meaningful. More than that, negative reviews can be damning. As explained in the article, people often vote up bad reviews meaning that your clients and guests might see those first.
Better tech leads to better customer service and the five star ratings will follow
If you’re ready to make some positive changes to your property, we suggest taking a serious look at the tech you have in place. If you’re up for the challenge, now would be a good time to upgrade whatever is more than a year old. Travel is moving forward in a way not many of us expected two years ago, and what was once acceptable is probably now obsolete.
The hospitality industry has gone way beyond providing clean sheets and a comfortable room. If it isn’t state of the art, it’s outdated.
2022 will be the year of travel and people are impatient to create their experience. Your future guests expect your virtual and onsite technology to be able to aid and anticipate their needs along with every element of their experience.
- If you have on-site staff to greet guests, make sure that they don’t hover. In a post-COVID world, some guests love being welcomed, but they no longer want your staff in close proximity.
- Create a check-in kiosk that seamlessly mirrors the experience you provide on your website and app. When people are traveling the last thing they want is to have to figure out the rest of your system.
- The same goes for your in-room experiences. It’s fine to try to dazzle and delight guests. The hospitality industry has gone way beyond providing clean sheets and a comfortable room. If it isn’t state of the art, it’s outdated.
- Make safety a priority. From well-lit public areas, to signage that states hygiene and physical safety protocols, guests may anticipate a tech-based experience, but they want to know safety is your priority. Have your associate alert devices proudly and prominently worn by staffers so guests can be reassured that constant safety is a hallmark of your brand.
- Gently solicit feedback. Guests are already overwhelmed by new experiences when traveling. Allow them to soak up the experience and then write their positive reviews. Conversely, if you gift your guests a one-of-a-kind amenity or experience, consider asking them for a quick rave review. They’re more likely to share the good feelings while still basking in the afterglow.
The Relay difference:
If you’re ready to set up your own network of panic buttons, look no further than Relay. Our products are affordable and efficient. Relay is an easy to deploy, flexible panic button. Best yet, it’s also an elevated communications solution, so you’re combining two critical line items into one (with better value). With Relay, you save money, setup is nonexistent, and our products offer hotel staff a practical, easy solution.