Online Reputation Management For Hotels.
By Stefan Mahlzahn is CEO of Reputationobserver.com
Sunday, 17th October 2010
Reputation is something immeasurable, and yet it can make or break a business and this is especially so if one's business is in hospitality where occupancy relies considerably on guest ratings.

Many business gurus tend to equate reputation to branding, which many multinational companies have spent millions of marketing dollars in building. Reputation in the hospitality industry may not require millions of dollars in investment; however, it is significant enough to warrant some attention and needs to be protected and developed.

Why Is online reputation in hospitality so important?

A good reputation not only brings in new business, it also attracts returning businesses. A hotel that has a good reputation for its warm hospitality is more likely to have returning guests. Happy and satisfied guests are also key influencing factors in recommending their friends and families to stay in the same hotel.

Also, customers tend to practice greater discretion now; fewer customers are willing to just rely on advertisements and promotional messages and up to 70% tend to check out guest ratings of a hotel before making their reservation. So a hotel that has an archive of good and positive ratings is certainly attractive to new guests.

Good business also lead to happy investors and shareholders. As the trust in the management increases, employees get to enjoy better benefits and the overall working morale also improves. Since employees are the backbone of any hotel, they will provide better services to guests. These in turn will result in good feedback and better reputation. Therefore, a good reputation can often breed better reputation and services.

How to Track and Improve One's Reputation?

The advancement of the internet has made collating information about guests' feedback much easier. This is because feedbacks are easily available on the internet; they are posted in hundreds of travel blogs, review sites and social media sites. The question is how can one retrieve all the information that is available, study them and devise strategy to counter and protect one's reputation based on the information gathered.

The task of compiling and collating these feedbacks is enormous and cannot be achieved manually. Therefore, an effective reputation management strategy cannot be implemented without the help of software that is specially catered for the hospitality industry.

Another obstacle in monitoring the reputation of hotels lies in the international client base. Many hotels rely on international guests from around the world. Being unable to monitor and engage with clients in various countries can have devastating effect to the revenue stream of the hotel.

Review sites such as Yelp.com and popular travel sites such as Tripadvisor.com have millions of visitors in a month. They provide the forum for holiday makers to book their accommodation and to express their views and opinions about the hotels they have stayed in. Acquiring a user-friendly software to extract, compile and monitor guests' opinions about one's hotel as well as one's competitors ratings on these sites is the first step towards an effective reputation management in one's hospitality business.

Secondly, hotel reputation management software also helps to analyze guest ratings as well as opinions. Words and statement opinions can be quantified into meaningful data so that hotel management can benchmark its reputation performance on monthly basis. In order words, reputation is no longer an abstract factor; it is turned into concrete data that can be measured.

Finally, analyzing guests' ratings helps to identify strengths and weaknesses for management decisions and policies for improvement. For example, certain infrastructure in the hotel can be built to accommodate guests' popular requests or specific training for employees can be initiated.

So which online reputation software to use?

The right hotel reputation management software helps a hotel to gather and fully utilize the most important data in its business, and that is its customers' feedback around the globe. The crucial data collated every month helps a hotel maintain, protect and build its reputation in order to stay ahead of its competitors.

Stefan Mahlzahn is CEO of Reputationobserver.com  – the first multi-language online media intelligence solution with operation in Germany, US , France, Spain and Italy. The Reputationobserver Hotel Marketing suite serves hospitality clients such as boutique hotels as well as larger hospitality groups around the globe. For more information contact contact[@]reputationobserver.com.


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