Learning how to get customers to leave reviews for your business is essential for any niche. This is especially helpful for hotels, as positive hotel reviews can drive more customers in. With good reviews making 68% of people more likely to use local businesses, asking for them from your customers is a good idea.
This process can seem tricky to newer businesses that do not have a lot of experience with customers. Every business owner wonders how to get customers to write reviews without sounding too pushy. Here are some of the most effective tips to gather more hotel reviews from your customers.
1. Plan a Concrete Strategy
Planning your vision and policies is one of those aspects that you should not ignore. This is crucial as your audience must have a clear outline of your objectives and rules.
Your strategy should also work as you plan your resources and think over what innovations and cooperation methods to implement. It will help you to position your business clearly without confusing people regarding what you offer and what people expect.
The purpose of your strategy is to advertise your services by staying focused on your target audience without being the jack-of-all-trades. The hotel business is quite competitive, which is why you should provide something unique and make things perfect.
Improving your copywriting skills can help you target the right audience. In this FREE ebook, you learn quick tips for writing and presenting your hotel website content: [A simple guide to quick improvements]
2. Ask for the reviews yourself
In most cases, people will be happy to assist you if you request a review the right way. This is one thing you can start working on immediately, as it is mostly based on the way you approach the matter and your attitude.
When you want to ask someone to leave a review you need to be as polite and friendly as possible. This usually happens through your website or social media platforms. The key to getting a positive review easily when asking for it directly is to give something to your customers in return. If you give everyone that puts down a review a 10% discount on their next order, more people will end up leaving positive hotel reviews.
At the same time though, you should not aim towards bribing your customers for positive reviews as this can damage your reputation. You need to give these small rewards in a way that shows appreciation instead of bribing.
The first step is to ask these people personally to “please write us a review” on your experience. Then, it will seem much more genuine if you give them a small reward for their trouble.
3. Target satisfied customers first
Something very important to keep in mind is to try to request a review from your satisfied customers. This will ensure that you will have more positive reviews instead of negative ones in the long run.
You can easily point out these people as they will be most likely to give you a compliment on the services. A great way to use this to your advantage is to prepare your staff to act in a smart way in situations like these. If someone says something positive your staff can remind the customer to put that piece of information in a review if they are able to. Being nice will always be important in such situations.
This point also greatly depends on the quality of services and goods you provide to your customers. You cannot expect someone to be satisfied with your hotel if you yourself would not feel satisfied as a customer in your own business. The factors that you should take into consideration are many and need to be examined separately.
“Negative experiences with unsatisfied customers should always be used as a means of improving your services. The more you work on making your business live up to your expectations, the more satisfied customers you will have”, advises Estelle Liotard, Sales Manager and writer at TrustMyPaper. As a result, there will be more people willing to give you a positive review and your hotel will improve in every good way.
In this episode of Hotel Cast, we chat with Adele Gutman, founder of Aspire Reputation, about hotel marketing and how to get the best of hotel reviews. Listen now:
4. Share positive reviews on social media
The majority of your visitors most likely spend a plethora of time on social media like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. This makes adding your positive testimonials online vital. It is a deciding factor to help people to make up their minds as they choose between various offers.
You can simply re-share these reviews as they are written by users or take screen captures to make them more visually appealing if you wish. The trick is to let people see that they are written by real visitors.
If there are pictures, make sure to include them as well by making sure you have their permission before you publish anything. As an additional option, you can share information about a certain campaign or new additions by adding some positive reviews sometime later!
5. Personalize the asking process
When approaching a satisfied customer for a review, you might find personalizing it a little difficult. In general, personalizing such processes is easier when done online, as you usually have more access to the information of the customer. This is not always possible for every business though, so finding a way to work around it is important.
For physical businesses, the personalization can come in the form of a simple “Thank You” card. On that card, you can have space where you can write the last name of your customer, and thank them for choosing your business. Below that, you can include some space or a piece of paper where they can write their experience in your business.
This is a quick and easy way to get positive reviews and create a bond with your customers. The fact that you took the time to think about including their last name can mean a lot to some people.
In addition to this, you can also run a loyalty program where you can save customers’ important dates and birthdays. If you send them a little message or a freebie on a special day, people will be much more likely to share their positive experiences.
Things become a lot easier when it comes to emails and social media marketing campaigns as these things can be personalized to a greater extent. Creating a basic client base can help you store information and use it to personalize this process.
Once again, your goal is not to bribe anyone but rather create a positive experience.
6. Use the right feedback management tool
Since there are numerous feedback management tools available online, it is best to choose the most flexible ones. For example, you can use HubSpot, which is one of the easiest tools to implement for your business.
That tool captures both qualitative and quantitative feedback from your visitors and can be adjusted to your special needs. Another great addition that can benefit your hotel business would be GuestRevu solutions which is officially integrated with Asksuite, by the way.
You might have seen it before at some online shops or even as you subscribed to an online magazine. These great tools will help you understand your customers’ needs in a clearer way and adjust your business strategies accordingly.
7. Explain how to leave a review
Many people can have trouble with leaving reviews online and depending on the platform you use, it can be difficult. This mainly applies to older people who might have been loyal customers for a long time but don’t do well with technology. Using simple and well-put-together sentences to explain the whole process will work in favor of your brand.
If you are requesting people to write down physical reviews in person, you will not have such a hard time achieving this. In most cases, you might need to include a small paper where you can remind them to note their name and location in their review. These details simply add more credibility to the review and make your business look more trustworthy.
When it comes to online reviews though, there are plenty of different ways you can get people to write a review. It is always important to pick the right one for your hotel’s needs and make sure it is straightforward enough for the customers. If you pick a review method that is not very self-explanatory chances are most customers will avoid leaving a review.
The easiest way for you to think about it is the following. Someone might be in the mood to type a positive review on your site. If the process is challenging or very time-consuming, they will probably lose that motivation rather quickly. If you explain to them how to do things with simple instructions they will very likely be able to do it.
There are many ways for you to explain depending on the effort you want to put into it. The easiest way to follow is to create a small list with steps the customer needs to follow. If you feel more adventurous, you can put together an infographic or even a short video. The point is not so much the means but rather the care you put into making sure this process is easy and understandable by everyone.
8. Always respond to existing reviews
Responding to existing reviews is what helps people see that you care and want to improve your reputation in case something goes wrong. It will also help people hear your explanation of some unfortunate accident or thank people for their time and generous attitude.
Writing a response also shows that your company is active and cares for its visitors. This is especially relevant if you want to be able to show your appreciation right away.
When you respond, you can also tell about your upcoming celebrations or special features that may be available. This way, it will serve as a special invitation that will keep people inspired and interested.
9. Make the review process easy
Last but not least, along with explaining the process of leaving a review you need to make sure that it is not tiresome. Simplifying the review process should be your top priority, and you should not clutter the reviewer’s mind with different questions. It should be as simple as picking up a pen and a piece of paper and writing down their thoughts.
When it comes to leaving reviews in person, you can place a book at the entrance of your hotel where customers can write in. This is a tactic commonly used by hotel owners, so they motivate customers to leave a review.
A good idea is to place treats and colorful decorations around the book so that it catches the customers’ eye. This way they will be more likely to become interested in it and write something for themselves.
Some businesses do not follow the simple system that platforms such as the one Google uses for reviews. People tend to create questionnaires that go into great detail about the services provided and the experience of the customer. While these might be beneficial for the business, they can be very tiring for the customer.
If you want to get more positive reviews quickly, you need to simplify the reviewing process. Let the customer speak their own mind and do not limit them with multiple-choice questions.
The more freedom they have, the easier it will be for them to say something positive. As a result, they will be much more likely to go into detail about their experience and share their thoughts with others.
10. Analyze your current reviews
As every business owner knows, there is always some room for improvement. Analyzing your current reviews is an important step of this process and it can help you pinpoint things you never thought of.
Start with the negative ones to write down the list of complaints by naming them as “service, prices, staff, location”. These will act as keywords that you can use to later write down the possible solutions as you discuss them with the management.
Next, read the positive reviews to see what people like the most to focus on it and make it even better. The reviews that you have are the reflection of your work and success. In a way, it is like free analytical data that you should use to improve and reach for new horizons!
Make the most out of the reviews you receive
If there is one thing you can take away is that positive hotel reviews are always born from excellent service. The main thing to always strive for is making good food, maintaining a clean hotel, and providing an excellent experience to your customers.
Along with that, the tips mentioned in the article will help simplify the reviewing process and motivate more customers to contribute. As a result, your hotel will become more successful and you will manage to reach your business goals and aspirations.
Which of these tips do you believe will be of most help with your business and why?
About the author: Nicole Garrison is a content strategist, and writer at Supreme Dissertations and a number of platforms for marketing specialists. She is a dedicated and experienced author who pays particular attention to quality research. Moreover, she runs her own blog LiveInspiredMagazine.