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10 Best Reputation Management Software

Quickly and easily gather feedback from your guests and actively manage your online reputation
This vendor is trending with growing share of voice.
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94
HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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COMPANY DESCRIPTION

Through automated guest surveys, review collection and consolidated reporting, we help busy hospitality professionals to listen, learn from and... read more

  • Based in
    United Kingdom
  • Founded in
  • 22 employees on Linkedin
Social media, reputation management, guest reviews, hospitality, online reviews, restaurants, hot...
This vendor is trending with growing share of voice.
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91
HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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COMPANY DESCRIPTION

Revinate helps hotels know more about their guests so they can deliver personalized experiences that create valuable relationships and lifelong... read more

  • Based in
    San Francisco (United States)
  • Founded in
  • 133 employees on Linkedin
As part of the TrustYou Guest Feedback Platform, the reputation management solution helps hotels...
Most Popular
This vendor is the most popular in the category with 112 reviews across 38 countries.
This vendor is trending with growing share of voice.
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91
HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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COMPANY DESCRIPTION

Guest feedback influences 95% of booking decisions. With TrustYou’s Reputation Management solution, hoteliers can positively impact their... read more

  • Based in
    München (Germany)
  • Founded in
  • 170 employees on Linkedin
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FREE TOOL Want to find out which Reputation / Review Management matches your hotel’s DNA? Take the Quiz
Guest Experience Management for Hotels to drive revenue and direct bookings
This vendor is trending with growing share of voice.
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75
HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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COMPANY DESCRIPTION

Repup is a platform which helps hotelliers make sense of online review data. There are countless reviews written online on a daily basis on... read more

  • Based in
    Gurgaon, Haryana
  • Founded in
  • 20 employees on Linkedin
Turning reviews into revenue by giving hotels control of their guest experience from booking thro...
This vendor is trending with growing share of voice.
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74
HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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COMPANY DESCRIPTION

Founded in 2009 in Berlin, Customer Alliance is the European leader in guest experience and online reputation management solutions for the... read more

  • Based in
    Berlin (Germany)
  • Founded in
  • 87 employees on Linkedin
Leverage Guest Intelligence to boost online reputation and revenue
73
HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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COMPANY DESCRIPTION

Leverage online feedback to increase revenue by listening to guest reviews from 175 sources in 45 languages. Improve your ranking on review... read more

  • Based in
    Barcelona
  • Founded in
  • 80 employees on Linkedin

Recent Reputation / Review Management articles

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Google Hotels joins the battle for bookings

by
Lara Salomon

The battle for bookings is nothing new — properties have been vying for coveted direct bookings and rebelling against the commissions charged by online travel agencies (OTAs) practically since they arrived on the scene. But the battlefield is shifting thanks to the introduction of Google Hotels. What is Google Hotels? Following the success of Google Flights, the search engine giant quietly launched a brand new feature to its ever-expanding repertoire in March 2019, helping users to find the perfect property for their next trip. Picture the scene: a traveller is planning a getaway for business or leisure, and naturally their first stop is Google. They type in something simple, perhaps “Hotels in London”, and what will they see? Beyond the Google Ad for the most popular OTAs, they will find what looks much like a booking platform: a list of available properties along with their prices, ratings, reviews and features on the left, and a view of the area ala Google Maps on the right sporting pins with pricing for every available property in the area. Click on a property on the left, or a pin on the right, and you’ll see a more detailed overview - photographs, reviews, a location summary, a link to the property’s website, and pricing from a range of sources including OTAs, and the property itself if it has made its pricing available.  This is Google Hotels, the latest feature for the oracle of online information, which provides users with a quick and easily navigated breakdown of accommodation providers in the area that they are looking at, including the latest deals, filters to help travellers find precisely the features that the want and need, and even the option to book their stay directly from the platform.  “You can filter by amenities such as “kid friendly”, “pool”, “fitness center” and many more, selecting as many filters as you wish. Basically, if you only want hotels that offer free breakfast, a pool and a fitness center, which are also kid friendly – you can set that out from the very beginning to avoid wasted time.” — God Save The Points This is the perfect opportunity for travellers since, as Gilbert Ott of God Save The Points puts it, “I love searching for hotels on 15 different websites just to get an idea of the best prices and places to stay, said no one ever.” But what impact does this new feature have on the tug-o-war that is the battle for bookings? Does it give an advantage to OTAs? To properties themselves? Or is it a new contender entirely, positioning itself as a new challenge for both sides to overcome? Ding, ding — Let the battle begin Round One: Where do properties sit when it comes to Google Hotels? At first glance, it would seem that Google Hotels is a great opportunity for properties to encourage travellers to book with them directly. The overview that Google Hotels provides for each property may look much like a Google My Business page by linking to the property’s own website, displaying their photographs and highlighting their latest reviews, but it also gives accommodation providers the opportunity to list their own pricing alongside that of OTAs, and offers them more control over where and how their guests are able to book with them. Find out more about improving your hotel's Google presence As Raini Hamdi of Skift points out: “Providing users the option to “visit our website” and also to phone the hotel directly via mobile or send a message... gives more ways for users to get in touch with hotels directly, bypassing the intermediaries which are listed further below.” “Google now offers a clear index for prices, reviews and photos, making a hotel’s content stand out a lot more prominently than in the past.” — Skift Better still, properties that are already making use of Google Hotel Ads will receive a bigger bang for their buck, being displayed first within Google Hotels search results, and highlighted amongst “Deals”, encouraging guests to book direct. However, if you’re not already advertising via Google Hotel Ads, adding your property’s pricing to the platform is not as simple as making sure that your website is listed, or even as simple as setting up and keeping your Google My Business listing up to date. A glance at the documentation that Google has put together for making sure that your pricing reflects correctly (and is ready for Hotel Ads too), shows that getting your property set up on the platform is at least a four-step process, often requiring some technical expertise or assistance from one of Google’s third-party integration partners. This means that, from the get-go, getting yourself listed on the platform requires some financial outlay if you don’t already have someone with technical experience on staff, which, for smaller properties, is often the case. Greg Sterling of Search Engine Land explains that, even with (and possibly as a result of) the introduction of Google Hotels, “it’s getting much more challenging to be visible in organic results for hotel category searches... Accordingly, hospitality brands are now all but compelled to buy Hotel Ads to appear anywhere above the fold.” And it’s not just the financial aspect that stops Google Hotels from being an ideal platform for direct bookings. Trish Leighton of Vizergynotes, “after browsing a few hotels, I noticed how difficult it was to get to the hotel website directly and how much effort was placed into directing clicks to the Hotel Ads.” “It’s what happens after you narrow down your search results that is having an impact on direct bookings. Google provides a handful of ways to book that room, with the eye-catching photos, hotel information tabs, reduced rate messaging, reviews, and nearby competitor rates far more appealing than the little “Website” button that actually takes you to the hotel website.” — Vizergy Though properties are able to list their own pricing and have buttons that link to their websites, the opportunities for directing travellers to those websites are often lost amongst OTA and competitor listings, or amongst the other range of calls to action that the Google Hotels overviews offer to travellers, mitigating the direct booking benefits that it may have held for accommodation providers. Round Two: What about OTAs' relationships with Google Hotels? You would think that the opportunity to have your properties listed prominently on Google’s latest feature, and continuing to get commissions when users choose to book through your platform would be seen as an overwhelmingly positive boon for OTAs, however the addition of Google Hotels is not all sunshine, roses and pockets full of cash for OTAs either. OTAs certainly have the advantage over independent properties and smaller groups when it comes to having multiple properties listed, multiple opportunities for travellers to be booking through them on the new platform, and the benefit of their reviews being displayed prominently in overviews for each property. However, the fact that users are able to book directly from Google’s platform rather than being directed to OTA websites is expected to have a significant effect on the traffic and popularity of third-party booking sites, particularly when Google makes booking from one platform such a pleasure. “Google Hotels offers all the functionality and tools of its competitors such as Kayak, Expedia and Booking.com. It has the benefit of Google Maps and integration with Google search results (generally pretty high in results). The question thus arises: will Google Hotels create a giant black hole that sucks all the direct traffic away from online hotel booking sites?” — Search Engine Land As Chetan Patel of Onyx Hospitality Group explained to Triptease shortly after the new platform had been released, “Google seems to be taking over the role OTAs have played in the guest journey so far, and are arguably doing a better job at it.” Does this mean that the battle for bookings is over? If so, who has won? The introduction of Google Hotels has certainly disrupted the battle for bookings that has been underway for over two decades, but while it offers benefits to both properties and OTAs, it doesn’t give either side an edge over the other. Rather, the two parties that benefit the most from the new platform are travellers, and Google itself. “Within months, Google has rolled out new features in flights and hotels that, we dare say, make it a convenient one-stop shop to book travel sans encumbrances. Given its dominance in search, hotels and online travel agencies are on another planet if they are not feeling wary.” — Skift More than anything, this latest innovation on Google’s part goes to show that accommodation providers can benefit from working together with OTAs — ensuring that their property is listed with as many agencies as is feasible, and that listings are consistently kept up to date. That way, their property has more opportunities to stay top-of-mind for travellers, even if they are not inclined to book direct. Read about how to embrace the Online Travel Agent After all, as Skift's Dennis Schaal explained, when hints of Google’s intentions were floating around back in October 2018, “when it comes to Google and its hotels redesign, few things are all or nothing. TripAdvisor can worry that Google now has more traveler photos and reviews, but some of them are from TripAdvisor. Hotel websites and phone numbers get featured, but clicking on a book button brings customers to an online travel agency site. In travel, it’s never winner take all.”

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Discover the financial benefits of a great reputation

by
Lara Salomon

It’s no secret that at GuestRevu we’re all about helping hospitality professionals to listen to, learn and earn from their clientele. And it’s not just loyalty, trust, and insights that you stand to gain – a better reputation can actually increase revenue and reduce overheads. To help you get to grips with the financial impact of embracing online reputation and guest feedback management tools at your business, we’ve put together an ROI Calculator to show what kind of return on investment you can expect when buying GuestRevu. What are these figures based on? Cornell University has done some excellent research into the subject of online reputation in the hospitality sector, but one research paper in particular looked at the correlation between review scores and room pricing, hotel occupancy, and RevPAR. They found that when a hotel improves its overall online review score by as little as 1%, there is often an impact on revenue and turnover across the board, resulting in, on average, an overall 1.42% increase in revenue per available room (RevPAR) for each point out of 100 by which a hotel improves its reputation. Since GuestRevu helped hospitality professionals to increase their TripAdvisor review ratings by 4% on average in 2018, and taking into account the amount of time that our award-winning online reputation management solution saves teams in monitoring and responding to reviews across platforms like TripAdvisor, Google Reviews, Booking.com and more, we’ve been able to work out just how much of a sound investment GuestRevu’s solutions can be for your company. What makes us industry leaders in guest feedback and reputation management? Don’t make us toot our own horn — our clients can speak for themselves, and it’s their feedback that saw GuestRevu topping the HotelTechAwards in 2019 in both the Guest Feedback Software and Reputation Management categories. We can talk all day about what makes GuestRevu an excellent solution — from our world-class customer service, to our two-way integrations with PMSs like Guestline and Mews, to our personalised approach to every property and business, big or small — but sometimes you just need to see the numbers, the return on investment, or the solutions in action for yourself. Click on the banner below to request a demo from a GuestRevu consultant.

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The 10 Best Places to Work in Hotel Tech 2019

by
Hotel Tech Report

Creating a great work environment is the single biggest determinant of success for any business.  Companies that foster great work environments attract the best people and the best people build the best products. A 2017 study that analyzed 326,000 employee reviews at publicly traded companies found that firms with high employee satisfaction outperformed the overall stock market each year by 135bp (1.35%).  A similar study of 400,000 employee ratings found evidence of a statistical relationship between employee perception and a firm’s future earnings. Sophisticated enterprise software buyers know that when they partner with a technology company, they are buying into not just its products but its vision, mission and team.  These buyers perform due diligence to understand the viability of any business that they plan to partner with and a deep analysis of employee satisfaction and vendor culture is part of that process.  Hotel Tech Report hosts this award not just to help the community find great jobs, but also to help fast track diligence for hotel tech buyers who want to learn about the best vendors to work with. Understanding organizational culture is important for software buyers because companies that create great work environments retain employees longer, service customers better and innovate faster. Perks like ping pong tables,  office snacks and vacation days are nice,  but our 10 Best Places to Work in Hotel Tech list is determined by the glue that holds companies together. Each year we ask thousands of employees at hotel tech companies how they feel about their employers and anonymize the results.  The 2019 scoring is based on 7 key data points: Work-life balance: Please rate how well your employer promotes work/life balance. Personal development: How much importance does your employer place on your own personal development? Gender equality: How would you rate the opportunities available to women in your firm? Employee confidence: How much confidence do you have in the future of your company? Values alignment: How well do your values align with the culture of your organization? Employee engagement: How passionate are employees about the company? Growth prospects: How many open roles are there for your employees to grow into?   Without further adieu we give you 2019's 10 Best Places to Work in Hotel Tech:       10. Triptease Our research on Triptease validates that the Company truly lives and breathes the ethos of its name.  Employees consistently cited off-sites and team trips as the highlights of their year. According to LinkedIn data, Triptease has grown its employee count 72% in the last 2 years.  Sometimes when companies grow that quickly, it’s hard to maintain a great team culture. With the team spread all around the world, Triptease brings new employees for training and team building to the LondonHQ.  New employees rave about the experience for the learning and friendships that come from it. Other notable events include Triptease’s renowned Direct Booking Summits (America, Europe, Asia) and a company wide Christmas party in Madrid (let us know if you need HTR on the scene to cover next year’s party - this one sounded like a rager!).  Triptease employees are constantly blown away by how much management cares. One employee cited an unexpected bonus for a month of killer performance and another described to us how open management is to employee travel focused on career development. Ultimately, Triptease is one a big happy family and employees around the world are constantly connecting through a multitude team building activities and trips.  Employees love the fast paced nature of consistently launching new innovative products. Check out open positions at Triptease     9. GuestRevu GuestRevu had a year in which critical company milestones rallied the team together.  Not only did GuestRevu acquire a large regional competitor but the team also launched a major version update that required all hands on deck.  Despite all the craziness of rapid growth, a new version launch and a major acquisition - one employee raved to Hotel Tech Report about how supportive the entire team was during the loss of a loved one.  Another told us that she often needs to bring her 9-year old to work where he is always made to feel welcome and at home. The firm is so committed to its team that it sent out a company wide survey asking what employees wanted to learn and then purchased everyone access to Udemy classes to help them develop those new skills. The marketing team took classes on video editing and is already leveraging those skills to develop a series of video case studies for GuestRevu. Check out open positions at GuestRevu     8. Beekeeper For a company building software to help teammates communicate better - Beekeeper takes employee engagement and experience very seriously internally.  As one employee told us, “Beekeeper does an excellent job of capturing feedback and always checking in to understand where you want to go and providing actionable feedback and support to get you there.” The Company promotes a healthy lifestyle through lunchtime sports and CrossFit.  Taking it one step further, Beekeeper offers unlimited PTO and flexible work schedules to accommodate the expectations of the modern workforce. Beekeeper’s culture exudes transparency and humility. One employee told us that the team was initially put off by management’s decision to require employees to clean dishes at an off site before they realized that this was all part of the team building.  This employee told us that the people they ended up washing dishes with ended up being their closest new friends and that the experience gave them an opportunity to bond in a way that most rarely do in the modern workplace. Another employee told us about a rewarding experience they had volunteering together at a homeless shelter. The team’s humility shined through further when a new employee (2 weeks in) alerted management about tensions between two departments.  Much to their surprise both teams were thrilled to hear their new colleague’s insight and showed their appreciation. Management even went one step further offering this individual to run a huge cross-departmental retrospective 5 weeks into their job. It’s not often that companies are so open to self-reflection and change coming from a new junior hire and we really admire the culture that Beekeeper has nurtured. Check out open positions at Beekeeper       7. Hotel Effectiveness Hotel Effectiveness is an incredibly successful company that largely flies under the radar of hotel tech buzz.  The Company provides revolutionary labor management software that we’ve covered here.  If there’s one word that sums up the Hotel Effectiveness team culture - it’s ‘performance’.  Employees are unilaterally motivated by consistently hitting lofty sales goals time and again.  As a testament to this performance driven culture - one employee told us that one time their boss had to tell them to go home early and make some time for family when they were overworking themselves.  This performance culture isn’t mandated from the top and is completely grassroots in that it’s driven by internal employee motivation and ambition. While you can expect to work alongside incredibly driven and ambitious colleagues at Hotel Effectiveness - they definitely know how to have a good time host a hilarious annual white elephant Christmas party. Check out open positions at Hotel Effectiveness     6. Revinate Revinate’s culture is characterized by constant iteration and testing.  The Company is always trying new things and that affords a ton of learning opportunities to team members.  This year while the technical team executed a full shift from hosted data center to cloud based AWS infrastructure the sales and marketing teams were tasked to rapidly grow the install base of the Revinate Marketing product.  Both teams executed with near perfection and everyone celebrated with an impromptu party where key team members reflected on the incredible achievements of such a relatively short time period. Revinate embodies the startup spirit with enterprise scale.  Revinate CEO Marc Heyneker is deeply involved in the day to day operations of the business and employees across the organization rave about his ability to inspire and teach. One employee told us a story about a serious head injury that left this person working remotely for several months.  His team made sure to make him feel included as part of the office through the entire time away but that was only the beginning. The employee recalled being shocked that over a year after his injury Heyneker pulled him aside to check in on his health and to ask what he could do personally to help. Check out open positions at Revinate     5. Cloudbeds Cloudbeds management recently surprised its team with a beautiful new San Diego headquarters equipped with a 14 ft indoor willow tree, a massive outdoor workspace, game areas, stand up workstations and more.  The environment is fun, welcoming and echoes the company theme - all things travel. Cloudbeds has an extensive wellness program because management knows that healthy employees are productive ones. This productivity paid off in 2018 where Cloudbeds achieved #75 on Inc Magazine’s fastest growing companies list.  How are they growing so fast you ask? Well it’s probably because CEO Adam Harris told the team he’d dance to any song of their choosing. We will keep you posted once we get our hands on the video from Harris’ co-founder Richard Castle. The Company maintains several internal chat threads exclusively for team sharing of funny photos, videos and memes - so we expect the video to surface there as well.  All jokes aside, Cloudbeds takes both employee and team growth very seriously. Each employee has weekly 1-1 meetings to review competencies and revisit their path to promotion. The Company is growing rapidly and there are constant opportunities for employees who prove themselves. Cloudbeds is also a 100% flexible organization where remote employees and those stationed at the headquarters all enjoy the ability to work from anywhere anytime.  Cloudbeds has fostered a culture where its team members truly enjoy hanging outside of work and building friendships important for their personal and professional lives. Several Ukrainian teammates trained for a marathon together and one customer success rep has leveraged her friendship with the UX designers to pursue her passion for design. After taking several courses independently the UX team has given her several opportunities to practice her skills on live projects. Check out open positions at Cloudbeds       4. Clock Software Clock Software is another company on our list that is growing insanely fast but doesn’t take itself too seriously.  One Clock employee told us that on their birthday coworkers wrapped his entire workstation and even put a bow on it.  The only complaint we heard from Clock Software team members was that they are growing too fast and needed more staff to manage the growth.  This is the best kind of problem to have. Clock is the oldest company on our list and celebrated their 22nd anniversary this year - a testament to the longevity of the business.  Clock founder Krasimir Trapchev has focused on growing the client base without scaling the team too quickly. Trapchev is all about execution and he’s prioritized building a long term sustainable business over rapid scaling which is extremely unique in an environment where funding is so plentiful that CryptoKitties, a company that enables users to breed and trade digital cats can raise $15M.  Clock is now starting to scale the team so it can take on more enterprise clients and its employees are fired up.  If you want to learn how to build a real business without massive amounts of venture capital - check out open jobs at Clock because Trapchev is the Mr. Miyagi of entrepreneurship and you’d be wise to make yourself his Karate Kid. Check out open positions at Clock     3. Screen Pilot Screen Pilot takes team building very seriously with activities like bubble soccer, a British Bakeoff (it’s ok we Googled it, too), volunteering at an animal shelter, an escape room and even a city wide scavenger hunt around its hometown in Denver.  The scavenger hunt and Screen Pilot’s quarterly volunteer days are a testament to Screen Pilot’s commitment to the surrounding community. While Screen Pilot is a top rated digital marketing agency, it’s a technology innovator as much as a marketing service provider.  The Company has created what it calls SP Labs where employees brainstorm ways to better leverage technology to help its clients win more direct bookings. Think of SP Labs like an ongoing internal hackathon with dedicated teams set on solving acute problems for clients. It’s this kind of innovative mindset that lead Screen Pilot to a 2018 Adrian Award for social content creation. Check out open positions at Screenpilot     2. Mews Systems If you caught the Mews Systems booth at WTM you might think that it was a rocket science company with all the lab coats and futuristic decor that earned it the Best Stand Award.  While Mews isn’t quite a rocket science company it is taking off like a rocketship having doubled its client base in the second half of 2018 alone. To support that kind of insane customer growth Mews had to 4x its team size in the last year - the fastest growth of any company in our list.  So how can a company even hire that fast? Mews attracts 40% of new hires via referrals. If that doesn’t say something about the company culture we don’t know what does. With that kind of insane growth supported by an $8M Series A in June you’d think it’s all business but Mews employees say it’s very much a “work hard, play hard” culture.  One employee told us that one of his favorite things about working at Mews is “daily banter with the boizz” - this kind of hilariousness is exactly what’s helped the Company take the industry by storm. Hoteliers everywhere are sick of generic jargon and boring brand marketing from hotel tech firms and Mews is the antidote. Employees frequently cite founder Richard Valtr and CEO Matt Welle as saying “At Mews we are family and we will take care of any family member in need."  Mews also boasts an extremely inclusive culture illustrated by the firm’s attendance at the Prague Pride celebration wearing special edition Mews gear to the event. The Company also has a shared value culture at its core and participated in UK Byte Night last year.  Byte Night prevents youth homelessness by having corporate teams sleep in the streets to raise awareness and funds for the cause.  Richard and team participated which is really cool and a statement to the quality of people that you’ll work with when you join the Mews team. Check out open positions at Mews     1. ALICE ALICE employees widely agreed that quarterly town hall meetings are the foundation of ALICE’s connected team culture.  ALICE staff loves the opportunity to connect with colleagues from around the world, align around the company vision and get transparency into how the business is performing at a macro level. More than doubling its size in 2018, ALICE unsurprisingly had to upgrade its HQ office to add more space and acquire obligatory startup amenities like a cold brew keg, stand up desks and lockers.  ALICE goes so much deeper for its team and invests heavily in career development. Employees participate in a company wide book club, receive access to free Udemy courses and are nurtured along a very clear path to promotion.  ALICE employees talk about the clarity of path to promotion more than any other company’s employees on our list. Setting a clear path to promotion is important for making employees feel like they’re constantly progressing and puts them at ease knowing that there’s always room to grow internally.  Major consulting firms like BCG and McKinsey have perfected this art but rarely do we see startups who are able to provide such transparency to their staff - kudos ALICE management.One employee told us that she was promoted 4 times in the last 3 years - a testament to ALICE’s ability to reward top employees.  Even a remote worker was able to win ALICE’s Culture and Values Award twice in 6 months. This individual told us that they felt like they were on an island while working previous remote jobs - but felt very connected to the inclusive ALICE team. ALICE acquired GoConcierge this year and is making serious strides with major enterprise clients after its $30M Series B funding - a testament to the strong prospects for the firm and probably why employee confidence in the firm is best in class.  “When you receive a high five from the CEO, that says a lot about the culture of the company,” says one team member. High fives all around! Check out open positions at ALICE

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The importance of a meritocracy like TripAdvisor in hospitality

by
Lara Salomon

Some properties think of TripAdvisor as their best friend, others their worst enemy. But when it comes to online reviews, it is the one place that every hospitality professional turns to. There can be no denying the impact that the review giant has had on the hospitality industry, and Sally Davey knows this all too well. From competing with TripAdvisor with her own start-up, Tripbod.com, to becoming a valued member of the review giant’s international team, Sally has seen the industry shift over the years, and has seen the role that TripAdvisor, and guest reviews, have played in this evolution. She speaks to us about the importance of online reviews in levelling the hospitality marketing playing field, the value of management responses, and so much more.   Tell us a bit about who you are, and what your position is. I head up Industry Relations at TripAdvisor and am responsible for the company’s non-commercial relationship with industry. My team focuses on listening to feedback from the industry and identifying opportunities to improve operations and partnerships, as well as ideas for thought leadership projects. This often leverages TripAdvisor’s unique data asset to help provide the industry with leading indicators of forthcoming market changes.   What was your first job, and how did you come to work for the largest travel review platform? My first job was in a local pub in the Lake District, UK as a kitchen helper and then waitress. I continued working in hospitality throughout university before starting my own travel company. This grew into a business called Tripbod.com which TripAdvisor acquired in 2014.   How did you first come across TripAdvisor — was it as a potential employee, as a competitor, or as a reviewer — and what were your first thoughts about the company? Being an entrepreneur in the space I couldn’t not be aware of TripAdvisor. Lots of my local partners, when I was building Tripbod, were great fans of TripAdvisor, but as a start-up I wanted to disrupt it! At the time I felt TripAdvisor was doing a great job being the world’s largest platform for reviews and opinions, but that smaller businesses like mine could do a better job of personalising the experience. The challenge, of course, was getting to market. When I was introduced to the Head of Product at TripAdvisor at the time, I was keen to see if there was a business development opportunity. What I didn’t expect was to be so deeply impressed by the people I met that day and the company culture that came across. It turned out they were investing heavily in personalising the user experience and making some great strides, so it was an awesome opportunity to have impact from within — which I think they now call ‘intrapreneurship’!   Do you think that the founders of TripAdvisor ever imagined how far the company would grow? I think you always go into business with ambition and dreams, and Steve (TripAdvisor’s co-founder, and still our CEO) certainly does not lack vision! But there is also an element of organic growth to success, and having your users define your direction. As a company, we listen to our users – both industry and consumers – all the time so we can ensure their input is central to our decision making. I think some things have changed significantly since TripAdvisor’s inception, and others not at all. The company still has the same ambition as it did on day one — to help real travellers share their real insights into real destinations, which goes far beyond the sales pitch of a glossy marketing brochure. How we do that, and indeed how the industry engages in that with their own opinions, has evolved enormously. And thankfully our user experience has changed dramatically. Nowadays we don’t bombard you with pop-up windows like everyone did in the ‘good old days’!   Has the role of feedback changed since it has become freely viewable (and freely voiced) online through platforms like TripAdvisor? I think the role is still the same – to share feedback with a service provider that either gives well-deserved praise or gives suggestions for improvement. The difference now is that more opinions are shared and that is a really good thing. Some people just don’t feel comfortable giving feedback there and then in person, even if it is a glowing report, so it’s important for people to have their say in the way they feel comfortable sharing. This then benefits others considering booking with that same business, and can really help raise the profile of businesses that otherwise would struggle to achieve the same brand reach as competitors who have bigger budgets but possibly not as great service. TripAdvisor is a meritocracy that creates a level playing field based on quality, and that has made a meaningful impact on a lot of businesses in lots of parts of the world.   What would you say the role of guest feedback is in the hospitality industry? Every industry cares what its consumers think, especially if they want those consumers to come back. In hospitality, this is all the more important because travel is such a high-spend and high-emotion purchase. We have seen over the years that reviews help improve standards and reduce costs for businesses in paying for market research — they have what they need right there in the reviews for free! We also have third-party data to show that improvements in service quality and therefore review score leads to increased demand and revenues, so guest feedback really can be the start of a highly virtuous circle.   How would you say that TripAdvisor has changed the landscape for feedback? You only have to walk around a destination and count the TripAdvisor stickers in windows to know the impact has been significant. Businesses want to collect reviews, for all the reasons above, and because it gives them further opportunity to stand out from the crowd. As travel consumers, we are all individuals with different tastes and needs, and those differ depending on the type of trip we are on, so it’s critical that we connect the right consumer with the right property, based on their needs at that time. TripAdvisor is working hard on doing that better than ever and that means it’s a fantastic opportunity for all businesses on our platform to access the market.   What would you say to properties who view TripAdvisor reviews as damaging to their brand? The vast, vast majority of TripAdvisor reviews are highly positive and we know that most people want to praise the brilliant service they have experienced. It’s also important to share critical feedback when appropriate, because it raises standards across our industry and ensures transparency. We hope that businesses see that as an opportunity to shine, and that one poor review within a large number of positive ones does not negatively impact their business. What’s more, with the manager response tool, the last word goes to the business owner which really is a huge benefit. So I would always suggest businesses view critical feedback as an opportunity to thank the reviewer for their feedback, use it as an opportunity to improve and also to actually attract more business – we know, for example, that thoughtful management responses can actually increase future bookings, so there’s really nothing to lose!   If you could give one piece of advice to hospitality professionals looking to improve their listings, what would it be? Make sure you engage, frequently and thoughtfully. As mentioned, management responses are invaluable, but so too is current content. Make sure your listing content is up-to-date and consider seasonal adjustments to ensure you are really appealing to travellers who are thinking about booking right now. Photos are extremely important, especially of the inside of your property so it’s worthwhile investing in some great shots.   Is there a review or response that sticks out in your mind as portraying the value that this kind of platform holds for hotels? I was in Cape Town a few years ago and met a wonderful entrepreneur called Siviwe who had grown up in the Langa township. He wanted to start a tour company to show visitors to the city a different side of local life, from the perspective of his own community. One day someone told him about TripAdvisor and so he started asking customers for reviews and his business really grew as a result. Using his business success for good, Siviwe founded an incredible youth charity in that same township, which has been a major success and contributed to hundreds of children’s education in his community. For me, that reflects the power of a great entrepreneur and also of how TripAdvisor can really be an opportunity to grow great businesses – making sure the voices of the most brilliant and passionate business owners are heard by the visitors who are looking for the best experiences in a destination, regardless of where they are from or what marketing budget they have.   What is the best hotel that you have ever stayed in, and why? I have been very lucky to stay in some remarkable places. I’ve experienced the high end of the market, such as incredible ethical safari lodges in South Africa, as well as very small, low-key properties like amazing pubs in the Lake District that wow you with their service and personal flair. Each experience is so different that I couldn’t possibly choose just one! What I will say is that, for me, the link that connects all the best places I have stayed are those that take their responsibility seriously — to their local community and environment. I consistently find that those businesses also deliver the best service and experience, so that’s what I look for when I travel.

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How to maximize your hotel’s bookings by aligning your technology with your goal

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Hotel Tech Report

The growth in technology tools for hotels has complicated life for hoteliers. While it has always been important to bring potential guests into the conversion funnel, there are now many ways to both capture and convert lookers to bookers. When considering the different ways to bring prospects into your hotel’s funnel, it can be helpful to start with the goal and then look at technologies that accomplish that goal. This approach differs from other common vendor evaluation processes in one key way: it puts the goal first rather than the category. For instance, rather than comparing only direct booking tools to one another, this process focuses on the desired outcome -- and then compares tools across categories that may help a hotel achieve that outcome. With this outcome-based approach, hotels have stronger odds of successfully matching with the correct vendor for a specific issue.   "I want to improve conversion on my website" When it comes to getting more direct bookings, it’s all about the hotel website. After all, a hotel with a buggy website and poor user flow will scare off many potential guests who seek a trustworthy booking experience. Direct booking tools promise growth in direct bookings by increasing conversions on a hotel’s website through price check tools, real-time guest messaging, smart segmentation, and pricing optimization. These direct booking tools offer a mix of capabilities, so it’s best to evaluate each according to how your hotel prioritizes direct bookings. Booking engines are a necessity for selling rooms directly. Without a modern and intuitive interface that’s optimized for conversion, guests will go elsewhere out of frustration or suspicion. Look for a booking engine with real-time inventory updates; otherwise, you risk double booking across channels. Reputation management is more than just an operational tool: it’s also handy for marketing. Most hotel reputation management solutions have the ability to feature previous guest reviews on your website; doing so can dramatically boost your conversion rate. Virtual tours can help conversions. When potential guests consider a hotel, they want to be certain that the property is as advertised. Consider investing in a virtual tour to give guests piece of mind.   "I want to drive new traffic to my website" Once a website has been optimized for direct bookings and conversion, the next step is to entice more potential guests to it. There’s a blended approach to making this happen.   Content marketing is one of the most affordable ways to engage potential guests and to bring them to your website. With great content, you’ll have an engaging website to attract visitors, as well as plenty to post on social media. Be sure to make your content relevant to your guest profile. Social media is a challenging place but can deliver results when done right -- especially for distribution of the great content you’ve created! Social media is also a goldmine of consumer insights. Leveraging social media tools can bring you closer to your customers. Influencer marketing continues to be a growth area for hospitality marketers. Inviting influencers to experience the property, or paying them to post about the property, appeals to hotels looking to reach particular demographics. These influencer marketing tools should factor into the mix, helping identify the right influencers and tracking the success of your campaign. Digital marketing agencies are assets for those hotels that have enough budget to engage subject matter experts. Hospitality marketing agencies use their experience across clients to build high-impact campaigns that can be quite intimidating to deploy solo.   "I want to bring back old guests" According to research from the company that invented the Net Promoter Score, increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%. Statistics aside, it really comes down to customer acquisition cost for hotels. With each booking channel taking a large commission for bringing in a guest, it can be extraordinarily lucrative to re-engage former guests. Loyalty programs are helpful assets to organize and track a comprehensive loyalty program for independents. The best technology will give you insights into your guest profiles, and help you craft the best offerings to each group.  Read our article "Do independent hotel loyalty programs actually work?" to decide if this option is right for your hotel or properties. Email marketing is a critical piece of the loyalty puzzle. When evaluating email marketing tools, you want to be sure that it integrates with your existing loyalty program and hotel CRM tools.   "I want more bookings on OTAs & Metasearch" Third-party websites and metasearch are important pieces of any hotel revenue management strategy. As part of a cohesive approach that includes direct bookings, wholesale, and groups, these channels are valuable tools to shore up low demand periods and achieve overall revenue targets. Metasearch and ad tech bring advanced reporting, bidding and inventory management to your third-party distribution strategy. These metasearch tools help hoteliers wrangle the complex web of metasearch campaigns, as well as integrating in real-time with existing systems to maximize profitable bookings without overbooking. Review management software performs a critical function: it monitors your hotel’s reviews for potential operational issues. Catching poor performance before it affects the guest experience means better reviews -- and a higher ranking in search results on OTAs and metasearch sites.

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Reputation Management Software Category Overview

A quick guide to understanding hotel reputation management software

What is reputation management software?
Reputation and review management solutions aggregate all forms of guest feedback from across the web to help hoteliers read, respond, and analyze the feedback in an efficient manner. 95% of guests read reviews prior to making a booking decision, and after price, reviews are the most important decision variable when booking a hotel. With reputation and review management solutions, hotels can positively impact the reviews and ratings that travelers are seeing when making a booking decision.

For info on trends in hotel reputation management, questions that you should ask vendors and more download the 2019 Hoteliers Guide to Reputation Management Software

How can reputation management software improve profitability and efficiency?
  • Drive direct bookings: Online reviews influences millions of booking decisions on hundreds of OTAs and meta-search sites, while encouraging travelers to book directly on your hotel website.
  • Improve guest satisfaction: Review collection allows hotels to boost their online review scores and gather valuable customer insights in order to continuously improve the guest experience.
  • Increase revenue: Reputation management creates insights from your reviews that benchmark your hotel versus competitors and evaluates what most impacts your hotel rating, effectively increasing your hotel ADR.

What are the most important features of reputation management software?
  • Review Aggregation: For many hotels, the most important review channels include their own guest satisfaction survey, Booking.com, TripAdvisor, and Google. If these review sites are not included as part of the solution, the hotel will have to duplicate their review management efforts. 
  • Enterprise Visibility: For hoteliers who oversee multiple hotels, or sit at a corporate level, the option to view and report on behalf of all managed properties is a definite requirement for usability and effectiveness. 
  • Semantic analysis: Simply reading through or scanning reviews will not provide a hotelier any insight into how to improve, but with aggregated review summaries provided by semantic text analysis, hoteliers can start to see what's most positively and negatively impacting their rating. 
  • KPI Reporting: Hoteliers often need to provide reports on their KPIs, i.e. response rate, in order to meet the required status quo. To make them easier to track, they can be downloaded directly from the hotelier’s account or automatically scheduled via email.
  • Competitor Benchmarking: When hoteliers are searching for a hotel, they are comparing the scores of a hotel's competitive set. Understanding and tracking how your hotel is performing in comparison to the competition is a key component to driving bookings.

What makes great reputation management software?
Review management alone does not make a large impact on your hotel’s revenues. Ensure that the vendor offers solutions that have been proven to improve direct bookings and increase ADRs for their customers.

Great reputation management software will improve response rates and ultimately boost your hotel ratings.

Many hoteliers are required by management or ownership to respond to a certain percentage of reviews, as responding to reviews is considered a best practice in hotel management. Most hotels can achieve over 70% by adopting an ORM platform and assigning resources to manage it. (# of reviews responded to/# of total reviews).

Consider what review sources are most popular for your hotel(s) and make sure that you will be able to view and respond to these reviews within the vendor’s solution.Be sure that the hotel rating provided by the vendor is as accurate as possible, otherwise, your bookings could suffer if the score drops too low. Sophisticated formulas will automatically remove any biased reviews that could skew your rating.

To better understand how to distinguish between vendors, check out the 5 critical questions you should ask during the sales process by downloading the 2019 Hoteliers Guide to Reputation Management Software

What is the typical pricing for reputation management software?
Implementation fees are rarely necessary for reputation management solutions, even with a large portfolio of hotels. There could be costs related to integrations on a case-by-case basis.

This monthly cost will typically vary based on a variety of factors, i.e. number of
properties in a hotel group, quantity of rooms per property, and market segment of the properties. Licenses are generally purchased with an annual contract between $30-$50/property/month.

How long does it usually take for a hotel to implement new reputation management software?
The implementation time varies from two weeks to a few months, depending on the portfolio size and competitors that need to be added and checked.The best thing about reputation management is that it does not require an integration with your PMS, CRM, or CRS to get it up and running. However, it can be provided to guarantee seamless connections with your guest data. This will be the longest phase of your setup, so if an integration is not required, implementation can be done in the minimum time frame of 2 weeks.