Make better business decisions.
By using proper tools, you can manage your online reputation, analyze the reviews and identify your hostel’s strong points from the customer point of view. And to find out where is the room for the improvement.
I have promised to you that during February, I will share posts that will focus on improving your time management and productivity.
Until now, you could learn about Channel Managers and Property Management Systems that, no doubt, save you time and help you manage better your hostel, in the long run.
If you have followed me until now, you know what tools can upgrade your social media management.
This week, you and I, we’re going to dive into your guest’s reviews, how you can handle them and squeeze from them what’s best – your hostel’s improvement.
Online reputation is one of the indicators if your potential guest will book with you or not.
WHY ARE MONITORING AND RESPONDING OF REVIEWS ESSENTIAL?
I feel your pain – I know that reviews are not always fair. I wish sometimes I could give my points to the annoying guests, who have no idea about hostels and about travelling in general. And who are in search of anything that is not working well, so you can give them a freebie (hands up in the air if you had that type of a guest).
But they are there, and as hostellers, we need to accept it and take out what’s best from it.
So why to reply to the reviews?
✔️ This is the time when you can thank for the valuable feedback or defend your hostel
✔️ Show the world that you care
✔️ Responding to the reviews improves your SEO
✔️ Guest’s views help you to grow your business. Thanks to the guests’ feedbacks, you can detect what areas need improvements, and which ones work well so you can put more emphasis on them.
✔️ Your potential guests, read the reviews, so if there is a negative one, they will check if you replied to it or not. Maybe with a simple response, you can explain the misunderstanding, so your future guests will know there is nothing to worry about
TIPS TO THE REVIEWS RESPONDING
There are some points you should have in mind when you start to respond to your guest’s reviews.
- Stay calm if you read a nasty feedback, breath in and breath out first. I always say that it’s better to answer without emotions – if the opinion touches you genuinely maybe someone else should reply it? With a cold head, you can create a professional and polite response.
- Always say thank you. Your previous guests took some time from their life to leave their opinion about your hostel. Don’t forget about that and be grateful. Start with ‘Thank you for your valuable opinion’. No matter if that was positive or negative feedback.
- Whenever it is possible to highlight your services or facilities (that could, for example, solve the problem of the guest while he/she was there), do it.
- Keep it up to date. Reviews replying should be a daily practice.
Let’s be honest: I believe that if you keep track of in-house complaints, you can predict more or less, what kind of negative feedback you can expect.
A great idea to follow up on any in-house negative feedback or complaint, you can ask your staff to report them in the emails, together with the solution offered to the guest.
If you are not an email fan, you can create a simple excel file, which your receptionists could fill in whenever there is a complaint. And you can check it whenever you need to make the analyses in search for the improvement. You can download an example of such file below (and give me feedback on how it works for you).
ONLINE REPUTATION MANAGERS
Now, all these review-answering and analyzing is quite time-consuming. I’ve got your back here too!
Have you ever heard about the review managers (or software)?
These are the tools that help you manage all the reviews in one place and monitor your online reputation.
✔️ All the reviews in one place
✔️ Allow you to create, send to the guest and analyze the Guest Satisfaction Surveys
✔️ Remind you of the un-replied reviews
✔️ Creates comparison charts
Now, if it got your interest, below you can find examples of the Reputation Managers:
With these three, I came across while working in different hostels. If you know any other Reputation manager, write to me via email or on Instagram (this is where I tend to spend a lot of time).