Just conduct a simple Google search for “Detroit hotels.” What do you notice first? It’s most likely the bright orange stars that indicate each company’s rating. In fact, the top seven links are for travel sites that sort their results by reviews.
The point is, each customer’s first point of contact with your business will often include reviews. This is great news if you only have five-star reviews. But everyone knows that’s not realistic. Even the most mature businesses get hit with negative comments sometimes.
That’s why it’s crucial for you to manage your online reputation.
Here’s what you need to know to get started.
Take stock of major review sites
Google isn’t the only place where your company will be reviewed. Popular sites like TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Expedia all host ratings and reviews for hospitality businesses around the world. It’s important to understand that your business may have a presence on these sites, and your consumers may be in control of the conversation.
You’ll also need to keep an eye on social media platform. As Adweek reported, 48 percent of Instagram users choose vacation destinations on the app, and 35 percent discover new places. Many also take to Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat to share their experiences.
Thanks to these networks, people across the globe can post their opinions to millions of people in a matter of seconds. Depending on how you manage your online reputation, this can either be a boon or a burden for your business.
Set guidelines for handling negative feedback
It’s easy to respond to positive reviews. You can do this with a simple, “Thank you for your feedback. We’re thrilled to hear that you had a great experience!” It’s tougher, however, to handle comments from dissatisfied customers.
That’s why it’s important to establish standards for responding to negative reviews. Will you direct these customers to a support line? Will you solve their problem directly on the website? Will you create scripts for how to address certain issues?
By answering these questions now, you can avoid a good deal of headache later, and you can be prepared to get your customers the help they need.