It’s been a foundation of good marketing that word of mouth is one of the best advertising methods. However, when it comes to small hotels today, word of mouth is potentially global. The proliferation of online reviews has often supplanted traditional review sites and other resources as one of the first places people go for research.

There’s a good reason for this, too, as people tend to view online reviews as more approachable, more in tune with their concerns, and for many, unbiased, as there’s less risk that a review has been influenced or paid for. So if you manage a small hotel, one of your best and most cost-effective ways to market yourself is get to a lot of good online reviews, but how do you do this?

Respond To Feedback

Even when you and your staff are doing your best, that doesn’t mean that things will always be perfect. Mistakes happen, and sometimes there are better ideas that you haven’t implemented at your hotel yet. Feedback, whether directly from the guest as they check out or on social media, is critical to help build good reviews.

For example, if a guest makes a suggestion online that you feel can improve your service, and is feasible to implement, thank the guest for the suggestion and emphasize that you are implementing a new policy based on user feedback. This makes the guest feel like you heard their suggestion and shows potential guests that you are flexible, adaptable, and willing to improve. Always try to respond to negative feedback constructively.

Conduct Surveys

Keep them short and simple. You can submit multiple short surveys based on the areas you are concerned with, such as cleaning, food, or services. The path to getting good reviews is knowing what you are doing well, so you can maintain what guests already like and knowing where you need to improve so that guests can find more satisfactory things about their stay as you implement changes.

Short, simple, and easily accessible surveys are one more way to get the information you need to act on. And when you do, this quickly translates into more positive reviews for your hotel. This is especially true if a guest suggests and sees action immediately.

Develop An ORM Policy

ORM stands for Online Reputation Management, a sign of the times that 21st-century marketing lives and dies by what people find online. ORM is about creating policies and protocols that make online reviews easy for guests to leave.

However, it also means that you or the staff you trust are trained in online reputation management, knowing which sites are essential for checking on, responding to online feedback, and maintaining proper, positive interactions with the public online.

We now live in a world where a careless remake on social media can be amplified and taken out of context, so good ORM needs to have rules for yourself and your staff. Personal social media is one thing, but online interactions that represent the hotel should be carefully managed and curated.

If you’d like more help building up your reputation online or in real life, contact Occupancy Solutions and let us help.