Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Improving Hotel Guest Star Ratings 1

Hotel guest ratings, on TripAdvisor and other sites, have become the yardstick against which the traveling public measures up hotels while making their travel decisions. Hotels use these ratings to determine the areas in which they need to improve their guest’s experience. Furthermore, the ratings posted by past guests can inform hoteliers of everything a hotel is doing correctly.


Of course, hotel owners and management can dream of having their hotel ranked number one in their location, but that isn’t nearly as important as being ranked in or near the the top ten. Whether a hotel is in a remote location, without much competition, or situated in a large metropolitan area has a tremendous impact. Any hotel located in a major city and ranked number seven for example, is doing an outstanding job. Whereas a small market hotel, with only a handful of competitors, may not be as overly concerned about rankings. For the hotel which genuinely desires to improve the star ratings received by their guests there are a few specific facets to focus on; hotel service, social media engagement, and rating/review responses from the hotel.



Improving Hotel Ratings With Service


A hotel looking for a boost in their guest ratings should start by creating a culture of service throughout the company. From the top on down, providing outstanding service must be the priority to everyone. This can be initiated by giving each and every guest the impression of their importance to the hotel. Simple things, such as a welcoming smile and greeting or remembering a past guest by name can go far to instill a sense of service excellence in a hotel’s guest. Personnel with a true heart of service and passion for helping others is what should be sought out by the hotel’s human resources. Once hired, staff should be extensively trained to perform excellent service standards by senior personnel.  Service levels can be maintained with creative programs and employee recognition.


People will naturally feel more obliged to write about and rate a truly memorable experience, whether positive or negative. This explains the large numbers of five and one star ratings seen on review sites. People tend to remember and tell others about the extremes in their daily experiences, rather than their normal, maybe mundane, everyday lives. It is the task of the hotelier to provide guests with a level of service that exceeds their expectations. Service that is so remarkable that they will look back and remember their hotel stay fondly. So fondly that they will be driven to tell others, and maybe even write a glowing review of the hotel and give it a five star rating.


In part 2 of this series, we will examine how social media can become much more than a branding and marketing tool and be utilized by hoteliers as an extension of outstanding hotel service.



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