Can this trend continue?

Have you been wondering why the number of hotel reviews is growing? Wonder no more.

Last year, software company ReviewTrackers completed a study that verified what many hoteliers already knew to be the case – the number of customer reviews is on the rise. Why is this happening? As more potential customers or hotel guests look to reviews to make a decision about where they’ll spend their hard earned money, review sites, survey software companies and social media platforms have increased their effort to encourage reviews. Facebook, Yelp, Google and Foursquare all want to dethrone TripAdvisor to become the go-to website for reviews (TripAdvisor’s official fact sheet states the website is “the world’s largest travel site” boasting “435 million reviews”). Other review and social sites have their work cut out for them!

Reviews on Facebook, according to the same study, have increased at a much faster rate than the others. This is happening because Facebook is using notifications to suggest a review once a person has used the Facebook check-in feature. Other sites have followed suit. Marketing basics tell us the best way to get a response is to ask for something. Yes, some people will write a review regardless of whether or not it is suggested (especially an upset customer), but many will not (especially a happy customer). Asking for the review = more reviews and happier reviews.

You’ve probably already heard of the famous TripAdvisor study that linked the quality of reviews to a hotel’s revenue. Simply put, hotels with better reviews actually do make more money. Beyond that, a management response tends to help a person feel valued as a customer which increases loyalty. When another person sees a caring management response to a negative review that offers a broader perspective on the issue, it can change the mind of that potential customer, encouraging them to go ahead and make a booking or purchase despite the negative review.

If your hotel or other business places value on responding to reviews for all or any of the above reasons and feels overwhelmed by the number of reviews coming in, consider outsourcing responses. Incite Response and other marketing companies offer response services that keep management in the loop while minimizing the work involved in gathering reviews across several platforms, crafting responses and posting those responses. There is an answer!

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