|Time for hotels to engage and act, Revinate sets up APAC base.|
Thursday, 23rd January 2014
Source : Web in Travel
While it's all very good to know what their customers are saying about them on review sites, and most hotels now have tools that enable them to do that, the critical elements to act on this year are engagement and action.
Revinate's vice president for global business development Josh Steinitz (right) said that while ratings will always be important because they driveconsumer booking decisions, engagement and action are just as critical to success.
“Unless hoteliers are using online reviews and social feedback to engage with guests in real time and improve the guest experience, they are missing out on the power of the channel,” said Steinitz, whose company is setting up an Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore this year.
And if 2013’s buzzwords in online reputation management and social media monitoring were engagement and awareness, Steinitz’ choice of two words for 2014 are “transparency” and “recovery”.
“Transparency – hotels need to be completely transparent in how they market themselves to guests since if there is any discrepancy, guests will be sure to mention it in their post-stay reviews.
“Recovery - by proactively reaching out to guests who are communicating about poor experiences, hotels can actively participate in building and maintaining their customer bases – it’s the most basic form of customer relationship management.”
Asked which two companies travel suppliers should watch in 2014, Steinitz picked Google and TripAdvisor.
“Google’stravel offering is changing the fastest and has the biggest potential to be the most disruptive, as can been seen from the changes to Search/Hotel Finder over 2013.
“For hoteliers, however, my answer is TripAdvisor. Ask any GM for his ranking in his market and he will tell you without having to look. Hotels are very focused on where they rank on TripAdvisor’s Popularity Index and recognize that they must focus on quality of reviews and frequency of reviews in order to improve.
“I also believe that TripAdvisor’s move into direct meta-search and the extension of that effort to include smaller brands and properties via TripConnect will only reinforce the importance of this channel for hoteliers.”
Revinate is starting 2014 with an aggressive expansion plan, starting with Singapore as its new APAC headquarters. It also added a sales office in Abu Dhabi last year. “We recognize the significant opportunity in Asia Pacific and the Middle East and are staffing up in both regions.” Younes Hammoumi, formerly from Trust International, has joined the Singapore team as head of business development.