In addition to Social Media, reviews are truly one of the largest ways to improve the “heads in beds” ratio for your resort. By monitoring your reviews you can reach out to people, see what needs to be improved, and see the areas of your resort that people have fallen in love with. Reviews can also give your guests a voice and make them feel more comfortable with you.
A recent trip we took to Disney inspired us to create this post as we solely based our reservations on reviews we found online and it proved VERY SUCCESSFUL! We had a great time, great stay, left a great review and will be returning there soon!
Online reviews are a large reason for the amount of people staying in your resort. "Word of Mouth" isn’t necessarily the same today as you are visible to anyone on the internet. Over 148 million travel bookings are made online each year,
#1 Increase Heads In Beds
We know that increasing heads in beds increases revenue. Now let's think about how people work. People, in general, want to stay or do things other people are doing and enjoying. If a guest leaves a great review, everyone sees it and this generates a level of trust and interest in your establishment. This increase in trust and independent review gives a traveler that initiative to make a reservation, visit you and leave another great review. This cycle, once started, keeps evolving and growing. We have experienced this with "The Breakers of Fort Walton Beach" already. Currently, solely because of reviews, they are now #1 condo in the Fort Walton Beach, FL area as indicated by Trip Advisor.
#2 Better Your Resort
While we know people are going to leave good reviews, you're not going to make everyone happy. So some bad are going to come as well. Don't look at this as all bad. It's impossible to make everyone happy. A big question we get, is "How do I remove bad reviews?". The best answer, you don't. You can't. BUT, you can strategically respond to those reviews showing your potential guests that you have spectacular hospitality skills and are working to correct the issues. Let's also think about one more thing here. Bad reviews are expected. People are cautious when they see all 5 star reviews. Most people know that everyone can't be pleased or happy. The result, authenticity!! A side note here, if the reviews are unfounded, repetitive, or not justified, you can petition the review site for removal.
#3 Hear Your Guests and Promote Loyalty
When a guest leaves a review, hear them out and respond. They will feel special and it will seem that they are helping you better your company. This creates loyalty amongst your guests and makes them want to continue returning. This will also lead to more guests considering they will see the great reviews and the talking back and forth between the resort and the prior guest. When the resort shows they care about their guests it will then become more intriguing to stay there.
#4 Allow Prior and Future Guests to Converse
Resort review pages become a place for not only you to speak to your guests but for other people to converse as well. When they speak amongst each other they can ask specific questions and see what they liked and what they didn’t vs. a business’s stand point.
#5 Reviews Generate Reviews
When your guests are looking for a place to stay when visiting their favorite vacation spot they are going to look at 6-12 different reviews before booking their room. The more resort reviews you have the better! When someone even sees that you have a large amount of reviews they are going to be more likely to leave their own as well. Also when guests are looking for a place to stay 72% say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. This reverts back to word of mouth isn’t necessarily just by speaking anymore but from the opposite side of the computer. 58% of people tend to trust a business more based on a positive customer review.
A great company we have worked with to manage reviews is Grade Us. We have found their expertise in this field exceptional. Their system is a perfect management system for inbound reviews, from soliciting to managing to nurturing and promoting. We highly recommend you take a look at what they offer.