How to Protect & Strengthen Your Brand Reputation

Updated: Jun 19, 2018

Tags: #Reputation, #BrandReputation, #GuestReviews, #ReputationManagement, #HospitalityCode

Managing a hotel itself a complex and very difficult job with today’s ever-changing trends, technology and modern traveller expectations. Hoteliers also feel immense pressure on cost savings, re-structuring finance, revenue, HR, sales, and revenue functions to improve efficiencies. On top of this, you need to run the show with operations and provide exemplary service to your customers.

Like everything in life, there are things that you can change and control as well as things that you may have little or no influence. You have to work together with your owners, corporate and/or head offices, partners and influence the decisions to improve your property and results further. When it comes to content, marketing; specifically, online and on social media, you need to take responsibility and have a system to control.

Everything moves to online and mobile platforms in today’s market, most of the people make reservations online and even the ones that still use traditional methods, they still check the hotels and venues online prior to their booking decisions. Therefore, however you keep up in physical managing your property, it’s image and reputation are digital. And this forms a picture of potential customers mind by looking images, reviews and your responses to these reviews.

Online reputation has two important parts;

  • Actively improving your image by updating hotel’s images, content and services accurately

  • Managing reviews and comments openly and honestly

I will reveal keys to online reputation management for hotels, strategies to improve further and the ways to protect your hotel’s image in this article. I will share content related works in another article.

Reputation Management is the process of controlling and improving how your brand is perceived by others

Reputation management (sometimes referred to as rep management or ORM) is the practice of attempting to shape public perception of a person or organization by influencing information about that entity, primarily online. What necessitates this shaping of perceptions being the role of consumers in any organisation and the cognisance of how much if ignored these perceptions may harm a company's performance at any time of the year, a risk no manager or company executive can afford.

Specifically, reputation management involves the monitoring of the reputation of an individual or a brand on the internet, addressing content which is potentially damaging to it and using customer feedback to try to solve problems before they damage the individual's or brand's reputation. A major part of reputation management involves suppressing negative search results while highlighting positive ones. For businesses, reputation management usually involves an attempt to bridge the gap between how a company perceives itself and how others view it.

Why Online Reputation Management Is Important

  • It helps customers to make booking decision easily by making an informed decision. Customers are reviewing the hotel’s reputation at least three different platforms and 93% of people look for reviews when researching hotels

  • If you show confidence in your hotel, proactively respond to reviews for your hotel, build an impression that you seriously take guest comments and ultimately build the trust factor

  • Using reputation management as Competitive Intelligence Tool is really important. Constantly monitoring both your hotel’s and competitor’s reviews helps you to get to know your weaknesses and strengths over the competition. You can identify where you have a competitive advantage and use it to get better business.

  • By analysing guest reviews, you get to the core issues experienced by your guests and by implementing changes in your services you will Enhance Guest Experience

  • It will help you to build loyal Customer Base, happy guests can turn into your hotel’s brand ambassador and get more online visibility for you.

  • Reputation Management, an important aspect of marketing strategy. Good hotel reviews will influence travellers to book more often and it will boost hotel revenues and drive profit. According to researchers, 1-point increase your rating means; 6.5% increase in demand and 26% additional sales for rooms and 5% increase in Food & Beverage outlets.

  • Reputation Management prevents your hotel from future reputation problems and limits future complaints if you adopt a proactive approach to improve and enhance your services.

Five Easy Steps to Manage your Hotel’s Reputation Management

As we establish the importance of Reputation Management and it is time to reveal five easy steps to manage your hotel’s reputation management;

1. Monitor your brand: To manage your reputation, you need to know what people say about you. You need to choose the right tools to track anything related to your property. There are several tools available, some are free and most of them charging for these services.

  • Free Services: Google Alert / Google Analytics / SocialCount: Some may say it is outdated but remember, it is also free! You can easily sign up for it and start tracking what people say about you

  • Revinate / ReviewPRO / Reputology: With a single account, you can manage all guest comments and reply them accordingly. These services also provide key statistics with volume, segment and review site basis and you can compare it with competition and industry averages.

2. Have a detailed response plan in place: Whether good or bad, you need to respond to all comments. This helps you set the record straight and develop your reputation as a brand that responsible, responsive and open criticism. There are some paid companies who could do it for you, however, I would not recommend it. In simple terms, your customer has spent some time to put their comments, praises and complaints and it deserves your utmost respect by providing a personal and empathetic response. It is also important that instead of using generic Management Response title, you need to use your name and position. The customers are more likely to fell their views taken seriously when they get their response from an actual human being, not a robot. The key areas to look for: