Let us find your solution
Not sure which Reputation / Review Management is right for your hotels? Let us find your solution

10 Best Reputation Management Software

Quickly and easily gather feedback from your guests and actively manage your online reputation
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.
Learn more

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...
90
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.
Learn more

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.
89
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.
Learn more

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
Not sure which Reputation Management Software is right for your hotel?
Get custom recommendations
Guest Experience Management for Hotels to drive revenue and direct bookings
This vendor is trending with growing share of voice.
Learn more
76
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.
Learn more

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.
Learn more
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.
Learn more

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
72
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.
Learn more

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

thumb description

Trish Luies: The backbone of GuestRevu’s award-winning support [interview]

by
Lara Salomon

A company is nothing without the people behind it, and one of the people behind the world-class and award-winning support that GuestRevu offers is Trish Luies. From support member to management, Trish has grown with GuestRevu, and helped us to grow in return over the past four years. She is the familiar, always-friendly voice that clients come across when they have any questions, queries or qualms about their guest feedback and online reputation management solutions. Sales guru, Amy Branford, chatted to her recently about her role at GuestRevu, the importance of monitoring and managing your feedback, what makes us stand out from the crowd, and more.   Video transcript: Hi guys. Today we're going to be chatting to Trish who's head of our amazing support team, and we're going to be finding out a little bit more about her and her role in GuestRevu. So, Trish, if you could tell us a little bit more about yourself and how you got into GuestRevu in the beginning? Yeah, sure. So, I work in the South African office and I've been here for about four years now, absolutely love the company. I found out about the job online. I was job hunting at the time, and as soon as I saw it, I knew this was exactly the thing for me, and I went for it, and here I am.   And it's quite a few years later, isn't it? You've been here four now? Yeah — four. Four years, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Love it, and I couldn't imagine myself anywhere else.   And we couldn't imagine being without you. So, Trish, what is your favorite bit about GuestRevu? 'Cause we know there's lots to love, but there must be something that, you know, makes your day. My favorite bit about GuestRevu is the people and the culture, honestly. Just, like, people like yourself, you know. Everyone makes the day so much easier, when you get into the office and you know everyone is just wonderful, and we all treat each other a bit like a family.   No, I totally agree with you there. And what's your favorite support moment? You must have had a few over the last few years with GuestRevu growing. Yeah, I've had a lot of moments. I honestly can't think of any one in particular right now, but at the end of the day, just making a client's day easier, making their job easier, is what keeps me going through the day and really makes it all worth it in support. “Everyone makes the day so much easier, when you get into the office and you know everyone is just wonderful, and we all treat each other a bit like a family.” And, you know, you're speaking to clients all the time that are using the system on a daily basis. What is the most frequently asked question that you get? My most frequently asked question is, "How should I respond to my reviews?" If you had a negative review, "What should I say?" You know, from my experience, my suggestion there is to talk to the guests, and just understand what was actually wrong, and hopefully even try and fix the problem. If you just leave them, and you don't respond, or you don't do anything, then there's no chance in them ever coming back. They're just going to think that you don't care about them. That's why I think it's particularly important to always be monitoring and managing your feedback. Continuously. Day by day if you can. Because it really makes a huge difference to your hotel and how people perceive your hotel. No, I definitely agree with you there, Trish. So, if you could tell us a little bit more about the TripAdvisor Platinum Partnership that we have at GuestRevu and how that assists the hoteliers. So our TripAdvisor integration actually works great for our clients. From what we've found, it has a 200 to 300 percent increase actually for the number of reviews that you end of getting online, and that makes a big difference in your ranking especially, and hopefully they'll push more people to the book button with your hotel. We've got Platinum Partnership, which we're all very proud of, and it just makes it very easy for guests to leave reviews on the TripAdvisor page.   Yeah, we generally see a higher bubble rating in those reviews as well, don't we, Trish? Yeah. Actually that's true. We also see a better average review rating that gets pushed through onto TripAdvisor. What we find why that is, is because we ask every one of your guests, so you end up getting a bigger amount of people leaving reviews online, instead of before, where it was only the very happy guests, or the unhappy guests that went online. That's how we just ensure that you get a much better average review rating online. “I think it's particularly important to always be monitoring and managing your feedback. Continuously. Day by day if you can.”   What do you think makes us stand out from our competitors? I think one of the biggest things that makes us stand out from our competitors is our customer support, and the way that we just speak to our clients and help them with their problems. It's not just about getting them onboarded and, you know, just them using GuestRevu. It's about helping them and making sure that the product is actually delivering them value and making a difference in their lives. And, apart from that, there's other reasons, like the contracts — we don't have a binding contract — and also we don't charge for our support. It's free of charge. We don't charge for training, so if you ever needed training on the application, you can just pop the support team an email, and we'll schedule it with you without any costs involved. I think that just really makes us stand out from our competitors, because we really care about our customers and your success.   So we've been hearing rumours around office about our amazing update that's coming soon. Can you tell us a little bit more about that and give us an inside scoop? Yeah, sure. I'll give you some small details that we can give. So it's very exciting. Our development team, and everyone, has been working incredibly hard to get this out to our clients. We've made massive improvements with our usability, our mobile friendliness, and also some cool things that we've added that you should look out for is service tickets, and multiple questionnaires, and also multi-language. But that's just some small things. There's lots more to come, and just keep an eye out for it. “It's about helping them and making sure that the product is actually delivering them value and making a difference in their lives… I think that just really makes us stand out from our competitors, because we really care about our customers and your success.”   Service tickets sounds interesting. Can you give us a little bit more on service tickets? Service tickets is basically a bit like a task manager. It lets you keep on top of the things that you need to fix at the hotel, or do at the hotel. Like, if the guest has given you a little suggestion, or anything along those lines, you can create a task and give it to one of your staff members to follow up on. And then that's just a very good way to communicate with your team. Trish, thanks for your time. I know that support is really busy and you've got a lot of tickets to go and see. So, I hope you have a fantastic afternoon, and thank you for looking after our clients as well as you do. Thank you, Amy, for the time.

thumb description

You need more, not better reviews

by
Lara Salomon

It’s a well-known adage that quality should be valued over quantity, and while that may be true when it comes to many aspects of life, online reviews are the exception to the rule. Every property, restaurant, attraction, activity and, frankly, person wants to get glowing reviews about the services that they provide. But not every review is going to be five stars — your offering is not going to be to every visitor’s tastes after all — and those less-than-stellar reviews still have their place in boosting your online reputation and ranking. Let’s have a look at why that’s the case.   1. Quantity is a big part of TripAdvisor’s algorithm… While the quality of reviews is certainly taken into consideration when determining where you fit into the TripAdvisor ranks — after all, if you’re looking at two pages with 100 reviews apiece, you would expect the property with the better reviews to come out on top! — it’s only one part of a detailed algorithm which values how many reviews you get, as well as how frequently you get reviews, and what those reviews say. And it’s not just on TripAdvisor that the quantity of your reviews counts — while you might expect 15 five-star reviews on any platform to count for more than 25 three-star ones, the fact is that more reviews shows a more consistent experience, giving travellers a better idea of the experience that they’ll receive when booking with you. That’s why, according to research done in 2015, 79% of TripAdvisor users prefer to read 8 – 12 reviews before they choose a hotel.   2. … As is recency Another important factor taken into consideration by TripAdvisor, and which would be taken into account by other review platforms, when determining your ranking is how long ago those reviews were received. While glowing recommendations from ten years ago are fantastic for reminiscing over the wonderful experience that you provided even back in the day, they won’t count for much without more recent reviews to confirm that those wonderful experiences are still what travellers can expect from you.   3. More platforms give more scope TripAdvisor may be considered a giant when it comes to online review collection, but it’s only one platform, and the more platforms you are being reviewed on, the wider your audience. Getting reviews across your online travel agencies and social media pages can help potential visitors to find out more about you on their preferred platform. If a traveller’s finds a photograph of your fantastic food on Facebook, they won’t necessarily want to hop onto TripAdvisor to learn more about your meals and what other diners thought of them — they’ll want to find those details on Facebook directly, and these reviews should be ready to help them on that journey.   4. More information means realistic expectations Being average may sound awful, but getting average reviews is actually awesome. Five-star raves about your restaurant and irrationally critical rants about your rooms do not portray an entirely accurate image of the experiences that you’ve provided, and are not necessarily what review-readers are after. Because it’s not always possible for you to be at the top of your game, potential visitors want to know what your average experiences are like, not the best or worst that you have to offer. This is what makes it vital to be getting reviews not only from guests who had excellent stays, but from that usually silent, middle-of-the-bell-curve majority as well. The more details travellers can get about what a stay, meal or visit with you is like, the quicker they’ll find out whether you’ve got what they want, and the more likely they’ll be to book. It also contributes to a more trustworthy brand-image, but more on this later. One way to get the valuable insights from your in-between guests is simply to ask for it: 70% of consumers will be happy to leave a review if asked according to BrightLocal’s recent research. This is just one of the ways that review collection partners like GuestRevu come in handy.   5. You learn something new with every review Reviews don’t only provide valuable information to potential visitors to your premises, but also provide you with the opportunity to improve. The more reviews you get, the more detail you see about the experience that you provide, and from the most important perspective of your property — that of your guests themselves. As owners, managers and staff, it’s always difficult to see what you offer objectively — try as you might to have an experience as a guest at your own premises, barring an Undercover-Boss-style makeover, you will always be treated differently by those who you work with on a daily basis, and will never get to see what your average visitor experiences. Reviews can offer you insight into that experience, pinpointing what you’re getting right and what could be better, and, as The Coaching Inn Group found, offering insights that can help you to make improved operational decisions. “If you have an intelligence platform that’s telling you that 65-70% of your guests are saying that you need to spend money, you need that information so that you can make that informed decision.” — David Campbell, Coaching Inn Group   6. One person’s rant may be another’s rave No two people are alike, and what may be one guest’s gripe, may be another person’s cup of tea. Your proximity to the hippest craft beer pub in London may be a drawing card to one person, while the noise that the pub creates could lead to more than one complaint. This means that the more reviews you have, even ones that are average or less-than, the more opportunities you’re giving yourself to appeal to the right review-readers and help your target audience to find you.   7. People don’t trust only positive reviews It may seem counter-intuitive, but you don’t actually want to only have positive reviews on your platforms. While it may seem as though an abundance of great reviews can only boost your reputation amongst readers, 68% of people trust reviews more when they see both good and bad appraisals, and, if they only see positives, 95% of people suspect censorship or faked reviews and distrust the establishment. The more reviews you have, and the wider the range of those reviews, the more trustworthy you will come across to those considering visiting your establishment. Quality absolutely has its place in hospitality — in the services that you offer and the experience that you provide — but when it comes to online reviews, quality has taken on a different meaning. Any accommodation or experience provider can have stellar owned-media, but that just doesn’t cut it any more. Review readers want authenticity and transparency, they want to know what to expect before they book. And getting more reviews is a way to provide just that.

thumb description

Trend Digest: Why back-of-house tech shouldn’t be back-of-mind

by
Lara Salomon

Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, chatbots and self check-in — guest-facing technology comes in multiple forms and has seemingly endless capabilities that are discussed practically daily. But the uses for tech don’t necessarily begin or end with your guests themselves. Back-of-house technologies are often no less vital to attracting and engaging with guests than their customer-facing counterparts, but can easily be overlooked. That’s why, this month, we’ve decided to delve into some of the valuable areas that internal hospitality technologies can cover, and how they can improve your guest experience.   Human Resources Staff are the cornerstone of any business, and of any great guest experience. They are the first point of personal contact, and yet, they are also one of the most volatile commodities in the hospitality industry. As you know, empowered, happy, innovative staff members who jump at every opportunity to impress can boost morale and add value to guest experiences, while dissatisfied, unengaged, or poorly trained staff can be detrimental to your efforts across a range of areas. Making sure that your staff are satisfied, engaged and trained is especially challenging in an industry where a high turnover rate and constant need for onboarding are the norm, as Adrian Tan points out in his breakdown of Travel Daily’s inaugural HR Executive Summit. “Hoteliers are often under pressure to hire lots of people, within a short time frame, whilst rushing from one location to another and, of course, maintaining a professional disposition and making sure everybody is happy. It is a tough job and attrition can be high. So when you are short on headcount, you face the added dilemma of ensuring newcomers are properly trained versus putting them straight to the floor.” — Adrian Tan, Travel Daily Media The answer, of course, lies with technology. From online survey tools like OfficeVibe to employee performance tools like EngageRocket, from onboarding software like Gnowbe to using chatbots like Su-Ette for common HR queries, technology to help manage staff training, engagement and human resources in general abound. And, as Andrew Fox of Timico also explains, a digital employee portal on its own can go a long way to opening communication between management and staff members. “An established portal built by a knowledgeable partner will allow you to seamlessly share all kinds of information with employees, such as incoming VIP guests, best practices, onboarding initiatives, health and safety instructions, maintenance announcements, and more.” — Andrew Fox, Timico   Data Collection & Analysis From the moment guests start interacting with your property, there is an opportunity to collect data that can help you to refine your marketing efforts, your staff and revenue management, your guest experience and so much more. But what data should you be collecting? How should you go about it? And what should you do with the data once you have it? These are all questions that collection and analysis software such as Fourth, For-Sight and Travel Appeal can assist you with. “Nowadays, generating a proper understanding of data – and connecting all data sources effectively – is paramount in generating a competitive advantage, providing superior customer value and ultimately orientating the future of any business.” — Alessandro Inversini, École Hôtelière De Lausanne       As Alessandro Inversini of École Hôtelière De Lausanne explains in his article on data science in hospitality, “data science, which may at first seem overly ‘techy’ and ‘expensive’ is actually quite feasible.” And James England of MarTech Series agrees. “The biggest opportunity for restaurants and hotels lies within their collective data. Front-end and back-end solutions hold a wealth of raw data, which, when aggregated into a single platform, turns that information into contextualized insight. This allows managers to better understand their business and ultimately, better equip them to make informed decisions about everything from hiring to ordering to marketing.” — James England, MarTech Series With the correct data, you can be ensuring that you are targeting the right audience with your marketing efforts, encouraging guests to increase their spend by offering them the packages, activities and add-ons that they want.   Task Management Where some technologies help with human resources, and others with gathering data, task management tools bring together the best of both worlds, enabling hospitality professionals to manage time, make note of guest comments, and assign or action tasks based on feedback, training needs and more. As Kevin Brown of Amadeus explains to Phocuswire, “Hoteliers are finding a clear and direct correlation between task management automation, improving guest satisfaction scores, and optimizing RevPAR.” “While the core benefit of task management technology is to unlock staff capabilities, there is also a growing understanding that staff-facing technologies provide hoteliers with a critical advantage in exceeding consumer expectations around service and personalization.” — Phocuswire Service tickets, like the ones that GuestRevu offers, are just one example of how task automation tools can result in improved efficiency, better staff management and excellent guest experiences. “Perhaps a guest noticed a small detail that your teams hadn’t noticed yet, like a creaking bed, or a loose tile. You can make sure that the problem is resolved by creating a service ticket straight from the online review or from the guest’s survey response, and can make sure that the next guest to stay in the room won’t discover the same problem.” — GuestRevu

thumb description

In the hotel industry price is king and reputation is queen

by
Hotel Tech Report

It’s not uncommon for tech companies in hospitality to start as B2C brands (business to consumer) then pivot to service hotel businesses instead.  Triptease launched as a TripAdvisor alternative before pivoting to become a direct booking platform.  Similarly, Munich based TrustYou started as a hotel booking website that aggregated reviews from around the web to provide a single trust score for properties around the world before becoming a leading guest feedback and reputation management platform. Back in 2008, TrustYou founder Ben Jost noticed that online review scores had the ability to make or break hotel performance.  He also noticed that reviews were being spread to more and more websites like TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook, Yelp and Expedia. Jost and co-founder Jakob Reigger hypothesized that if they could consolidate these reviews to provide travelers with a holistic view of a hotel by creating a proprietary aggregate score that they’d be able to leverage their neutral position to become a dominant booking platform. TrustYou’s booking platform experienced some success but Jost and his team noticed that thousands of hotel managers were coming to the site because they wanted to monitor their review performance across multiple channels - this was their ‘ah-hah’ moment.  With this insight, TrustYou pivoted from a B2C model into B2B (business to business) and the firm’s growth exploded. “I remember 5 years ago we had one slide in our sales deck showing a king and a queen on a throne. The headline said “when price is king, reputation is queen.” Maybe it will take another 5 years until we see those both equally presented, but I definitely see it in the future.” ~Benjamin Jost TrustYou has since doubled down on reviews and even demonstrated a commitment to reviews in it’s own business winning 2nd place in the 2019 HotelTechAwards beating out more than 100 hotel tech peers.  Everything that TrustYou does tests back to the fundamental question of whether a product or service will enable hotel clients to achieve higher review scores by delivering better service to guests.  That mission has resonated with hoteliers around the world and in 2017 alone the Company analyzed more than 100 million guest reviews and collected more than 4 million survey responses. TrustYou’s guest feedback and reputation platform consists of four main components that work in tandem to gather feedback, manage collection at scale and leverage that feedback to drive more business: Review marketing: Market guest reviews via a website widget to increase hotel website conversion Guest messaging: Communicate with guests before and during their stay to ensure a great experience then send surveys afterwards to increase review volumes and rankings Guest surveys: gather feedback from guests after their stay to maintain guest satisfaction scores Reputation management: Real time insights into review scores and online feedback across a variety of channels Reviews are critical to the survival of any hotel today and Benjamin Jost believes that trend is only accelerating.  We sat down with him to learn about his vision for TrustYou and to get his perspective on the evolution of reputation management in the broader hotel tech marketplace.   What was your background prior to starting TrustYou? After studying engineering, I worked for two Venture Capitalists in Paris and Munich. Then I decided to go on an 8 month trip around the world, and when I came back, I started working in corp dev / M&A for a renewable energy company. I think TrustYou ultimately was born from my urge to do something on my own.   Tell us how you founded TrustYou. My co-founder and old friend Jakob Riegger always had his own businesses from the age of 18, and from the outside, it always looked so cool to be your own boss. I think after working for various bosses in various types of organizations, I wanted to do something on my own, and when Jakob also simultaneously wanted to start something new, we brainstormed what we could do together. So the idea of creating a business together with my co-founder came before the actual idea of TrustYou. We started as a B2C company, so actually, our very first customers were users who heard about our site and used it. I know all my family used it because I told them to! But it wasn’t enough, and we were a typical underfunded, German startup and had no idea how much it would cost to actually compete in the B2C world of travel. So while running out of money we realized that more and more hotels were using our website and were looking up their reputation scores and reviews from across the web on our site. Of course they never booked their own hotel so we didn’t earn any money. But that was the starting point of our B2B business. I think it’s much easier to earn money in B2B than B2C so kudos for all the B2C companies who succeed in this world.   Wow, I didn’t realize that TrustYou started as a consumer facing brand. Can you talk about the B2B business today? We believe deeply in the power of feedback to build a better product and offer a better service. The only currency that counts to achieve that goal is feedback from your customers. Therefore, hotels need to find a product that helps them collect, understand and market guest feedback (reviews, surveys, messaging) for every customer, via every channel, at any time. I still strongly believe that a hotel’s reputation is more important than their room price and for sure a more sustainable competitive strategy. The TrustYou dashboard gives hoteliers real time insights to improve their businesses Who is one mentor that has really helped you scale TrustYou? Many people helped me over time. One mentor who was there from the very beginning until today is Philip Wolf, founder of Phocuswright, who still sits on TrustYou’s board of advisors. What makes him important to me, next to his great character, is his unvarnished opinion about tough questions and topics. You can surround yourself with people saying yes to everything or with people who point to facts that can be really are uncomfortable to tackle, e.g. cutting costs, hiring people you deem unnecessary at first, etc. And he doesn’t let go until you tackle them, which I appreciate. I don’t always like it, but I always appreciate it.   What's one commonly held belief that most hoteliers believe to be true that’s actually false? I think the one I most commonly hear is “I know my guests, I don’t need software to tell me”. Even if you are the type of hotelier who listens to their guests without a survey or reputation management tool, I definitely know you don’t measure any KPIs, track your progress over time, share feedback effectively with your team, or know if you’ll improve from where you stand today. Additionally, you still don’t respond to online reviews, especially the negative ones, and you don’t reach the average guest by sending them your own survey, your own questions. Technology does all of that for you, truly helping you listen to your guests, and win against the competition.   What's the most surprising thing you've learned about scaling technology into hotels? Scaling a business in hospitality requires more manpower than what I would have expected when we started. In the beginning, I thought we would be a self-service technology that hotels would just buy, login to, and use. But we quickly learned that the business would require not only our tooling but also our expertise. We have truly become a service company, as well as a software company, and that requires talented people to support the hoteliers. We’re happy to be an extension of our client’s team as their dedicated feedback experts.   Are there 1 or 2 companies that have been a particularly good partners for you? We partner with hundreds of different fantastic companies, so it wouldn’t be fair to just name one or two. However, what I would like to see in our industry are more open APIs and more simple connections.  I think this would be very beneficial for our common customers, the hotels, but many tech companies don’t operate that way. I wish every tech company in our space would have a section on their website “API for developers” where you can develop solutions on top of their APIs and widgets. I am pushing my company to be open in that way because it just becomes much easier for partners to work with us and new things can be created. For example, I would still love to see rate management companies correlate their data with our data. We have the APIs, just plug them in.   I would want every rate management company, every IBE, every website builder, every PMS, every CRM to use our APIs and products to build a better product. Review content plugged into different hospitality solutions is already happening on a small scale, but not everyone out there knows how easy and convenient it is and what kind of value add it can provide to their own solutions. We have an entire team dedicated to those needs.   Where do you see TrustYou in 5-years? I want us to power feedback not only from guests but from other stakeholders as well. I believe we will enable feedback and communication between hotels and guests using messaging apps like Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, and SMS instead of email. To help service our clients, I would want our platform to act as an AI solution and suggest actions to hotels based their data instead of just presenting it. I also think feedback will move from “3 days after stay” to “real time”. And I want TrustYou to spearhead those trends.   How will the online reputation management category change in the next 5-years? I hope to see guest feedback become a “must-have”, where it belongs to a hotel stack like a website or internet booking engine. More and more hotels will have figured out that with a 4.1/5 overall score they can offer a $100 room rate, but with a 4.6/5 score they can charge $150. I remember 5 years ago we had one slide in our sales deck showing a king and a queen on a throne. The headline said “when price is king, reputation is queen.” Maybe it will take another 5 years until we see those both equally presented, but I definitely see it in the future.   Does TrustYou have any new products or feature launches that you're particularly excited about? We just launched a new restaurant analytics product (May 2019) that is seamlessly connected to the hotel’s toolset, so for all hotels that run a restaurant in parallel, they can more easily manage their online reputation. Additionally, we have combined our Analytics and Survey with our Messaging product together into one platform so that as a hotel you can manage pre-stay, onsite, or post-stay communication and feedback from one place. Another big launch is coming towards the end of 2019, but I can’t talk about it just yet. Stay tuned!   What's one piece of advice that you have for any entrepreneurs looking to get into the hotel tech space? When seeking funding and putting together your business plan, calculate an amount you think you need, and then double it!   What is the best book you've read lately? Blitzscaling by Reid Hoffman. It’s written by Reid Hoffman, founder of Linkedin and Paypal.     What is your favorite podcast My favorite “podcasts” these days are live interactions with my children. Very funny. Topics change every time. No scripts. I love it.   What is one thing that most people don't know about you? I’m very approachable, and I think anyone who has ever reached out to me knows that. I’m an open book. So if you have questions or need information, I’m always happy to hear it and respond back.

thumb description

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.”

Load more

Recent Reputation / Review Management News & Community Updates

Trish Luies: The backbone of GuestRevu’s award-winning support [interview]

GuestRevu

A company is nothing without the people behind it, and one of the people behind the world-class and award-winning support that GuestRevu offers is Trish Luies. From support member to management, Trish has grown with GuestRevu, and helped us to grow in return over the past four years. She is the familiar, always-friendly voice that clients come across when they have any questions, queries or qualms about their guest feedback and online reputation management solutions. Sales guru, Amy Branford, chatted to her recently about her role at GuestRevu, the importance of monitoring and managing your feedback, what makes us stand out from the crowd, and more.   Video transcript: Hi guys. Today we're going to be chatting to Trish who's head of our amazing support team, and we're going to be finding out a little bit more about her and her role in GuestRevu. So, Trish, if you could tell us a little bit more about yourself and how you got into GuestRevu in the beginning? Yeah, sure. So, I work in the South African office and I've been here for about four years now, absolutely love the company. I found out about the job online. I was job hunting at the time, and as soon as I saw it, I knew this was exactly the thing for me, and I went for it, and here I am.   And it's quite a few years later, isn't it? You've been here four now? Yeah — four. Four years, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Love it, and I couldn't imagine myself anywhere else.   And we couldn't imagine being without you. So, Trish, what is your favorite bit about GuestRevu? 'Cause we know there's lots to love, but there must be something that, you know, makes your day. My favorite bit about GuestRevu is the people and the culture, honestly. Just, like, people like yourself, you know. Everyone makes the day so much easier, when you get into the office and you know everyone is just wonderful, and we all treat each other a bit like a family.   No, I totally agree with you there. And what's your favorite support moment? You must have had a few over the last few years with GuestRevu growing. Yeah, I've had a lot of moments. I honestly can't think of any one in particular right now, but at the end of the day, just making a client's day easier, making their job easier, is what keeps me going through the day and really makes it all worth it in support. “Everyone makes the day so much easier, when you get into the office and you know everyone is just wonderful, and we all treat each other a bit like a family.” And, you know, you're speaking to clients all the time that are using the system on a daily basis. What is the most frequently asked question that you get? My most frequently asked question is, "How should I respond to my reviews?" If you had a negative review, "What should I say?" You know, from my experience, my suggestion there is to talk to the guests, and just understand what was actually wrong, and hopefully even try and fix the problem. If you just leave them, and you don't respond, or you don't do anything, then there's no chance in them ever coming back. They're just going to think that you don't care about them. That's why I think it's particularly important to always be monitoring and managing your feedback. Continuously. Day by day if you can. Because it really makes a huge difference to your hotel and how people perceive your hotel. No, I definitely agree with you there, Trish. So, if you could tell us a little bit more about the TripAdvisor Platinum Partnership that we have at GuestRevu and how that assists the hoteliers. So our TripAdvisor integration actually works great for our clients. From what we've found, it has a 200 to 300 percent increase actually for the number of reviews that you end of getting online, and that makes a big difference in your ranking especially, and hopefully they'll push more people to the book button with your hotel. We've got Platinum Partnership, which we're all very proud of, and it just makes it very easy for guests to leave reviews on the TripAdvisor page.   Yeah, we generally see a higher bubble rating in those reviews as well, don't we, Trish? Yeah. Actually that's true. We also see a better average review rating that gets pushed through onto TripAdvisor. What we find why that is, is because we ask every one of your guests, so you end up getting a bigger amount of people leaving reviews online, instead of before, where it was only the very happy guests, or the unhappy guests that went online. That's how we just ensure that you get a much better average review rating online. “I think it's particularly important to always be monitoring and managing your feedback. Continuously. Day by day if you can.”   What do you think makes us stand out from our competitors? I think one of the biggest things that makes us stand out from our competitors is our customer support, and the way that we just speak to our clients and help them with their problems. It's not just about getting them onboarded and, you know, just them using GuestRevu. It's about helping them and making sure that the product is actually delivering them value and making a difference in their lives. And, apart from that, there's other reasons, like the contracts — we don't have a binding contract — and also we don't charge for our support. It's free of charge. We don't charge for training, so if you ever needed training on the application, you can just pop the support team an email, and we'll schedule it with you without any costs involved. I think that just really makes us stand out from our competitors, because we really care about our customers and your success.   So we've been hearing rumours around office about our amazing update that's coming soon. Can you tell us a little bit more about that and give us an inside scoop? Yeah, sure. I'll give you some small details that we can give. So it's very exciting. Our development team, and everyone, has been working incredibly hard to get this out to our clients. We've made massive improvements with our usability, our mobile friendliness, and also some cool things that we've added that you should look out for is service tickets, and multiple questionnaires, and also multi-language. But that's just some small things. There's lots more to come, and just keep an eye out for it. “It's about helping them and making sure that the product is actually delivering them value and making a difference in their lives… I think that just really makes us stand out from our competitors, because we really care about our customers and your success.”   Service tickets sounds interesting. Can you give us a little bit more on service tickets? Service tickets is basically a bit like a task manager. It lets you keep on top of the things that you need to fix at the hotel, or do at the hotel. Like, if the guest has given you a little suggestion, or anything along those lines, you can create a task and give it to one of your staff members to follow up on. And then that's just a very good way to communicate with your team. Trish, thanks for your time. I know that support is really busy and you've got a lot of tickets to go and see. So, I hope you have a fantastic afternoon, and thank you for looking after our clients as well as you do. Thank you, Amy, for the time.

You need more, not better reviews

GuestRevu

It’s a well-known adage that quality should be valued over quantity, and while that may be true when it comes to many aspects of life, online reviews are the exception to the rule. Every property, restaurant, attraction, activity and, frankly, person wants to get glowing reviews about the services that they provide. But not every review is going to be five stars — your offering is not going to be to every visitor’s tastes after all — and those less-than-stellar reviews still have their place in boosting your online reputation and ranking. Let’s have a look at why that’s the case.   1. Quantity is a big part of TripAdvisor’s algorithm… While the quality of reviews is certainly taken into consideration when determining where you fit into the TripAdvisor ranks — after all, if you’re looking at two pages with 100 reviews apiece, you would expect the property with the better reviews to come out on top! — it’s only one part of a detailed algorithm which values how many reviews you get, as well as how frequently you get reviews, and what those reviews say. And it’s not just on TripAdvisor that the quantity of your reviews counts — while you might expect 15 five-star reviews on any platform to count for more than 25 three-star ones, the fact is that more reviews shows a more consistent experience, giving travellers a better idea of the experience that they’ll receive when booking with you. That’s why, according to research done in 2015, 79% of TripAdvisor users prefer to read 8 – 12 reviews before they choose a hotel.   2. … As is recency Another important factor taken into consideration by TripAdvisor, and which would be taken into account by other review platforms, when determining your ranking is how long ago those reviews were received. While glowing recommendations from ten years ago are fantastic for reminiscing over the wonderful experience that you provided even back in the day, they won’t count for much without more recent reviews to confirm that those wonderful experiences are still what travellers can expect from you.   3. More platforms give more scope TripAdvisor may be considered a giant when it comes to online review collection, but it’s only one platform, and the more platforms you are being reviewed on, the wider your audience. Getting reviews across your online travel agencies and social media pages can help potential visitors to find out more about you on their preferred platform. If a traveller’s finds a photograph of your fantastic food on Facebook, they won’t necessarily want to hop onto TripAdvisor to learn more about your meals and what other diners thought of them — they’ll want to find those details on Facebook directly, and these reviews should be ready to help them on that journey.   4. More information means realistic expectations Being average may sound awful, but getting average reviews is actually awesome. Five-star raves about your restaurant and irrationally critical rants about your rooms do not portray an entirely accurate image of the experiences that you’ve provided, and are not necessarily what review-readers are after. Because it’s not always possible for you to be at the top of your game, potential visitors want to know what your average experiences are like, not the best or worst that you have to offer. This is what makes it vital to be getting reviews not only from guests who had excellent stays, but from that usually silent, middle-of-the-bell-curve majority as well. The more details travellers can get about what a stay, meal or visit with you is like, the quicker they’ll find out whether you’ve got what they want, and the more likely they’ll be to book. It also contributes to a more trustworthy brand-image, but more on this later. One way to get the valuable insights from your in-between guests is simply to ask for it: 70% of consumers will be happy to leave a review if asked according to BrightLocal’s recent research. This is just one of the ways that review collection partners like GuestRevu come in handy.   5. You learn something new with every review Reviews don’t only provide valuable information to potential visitors to your premises, but also provide you with the opportunity to improve. The more reviews you get, the more detail you see about the experience that you provide, and from the most important perspective of your property — that of your guests themselves. As owners, managers and staff, it’s always difficult to see what you offer objectively — try as you might to have an experience as a guest at your own premises, barring an Undercover-Boss-style makeover, you will always be treated differently by those who you work with on a daily basis, and will never get to see what your average visitor experiences. Reviews can offer you insight into that experience, pinpointing what you’re getting right and what could be better, and, as The Coaching Inn Group found, offering insights that can help you to make improved operational decisions. “If you have an intelligence platform that’s telling you that 65-70% of your guests are saying that you need to spend money, you need that information so that you can make that informed decision.” — David Campbell, Coaching Inn Group   6. One person’s rant may be another’s rave No two people are alike, and what may be one guest’s gripe, may be another person’s cup of tea. Your proximity to the hippest craft beer pub in London may be a drawing card to one person, while the noise that the pub creates could lead to more than one complaint. This means that the more reviews you have, even ones that are average or less-than, the more opportunities you’re giving yourself to appeal to the right review-readers and help your target audience to find you.   7. People don’t trust only positive reviews It may seem counter-intuitive, but you don’t actually want to only have positive reviews on your platforms. While it may seem as though an abundance of great reviews can only boost your reputation amongst readers, 68% of people trust reviews more when they see both good and bad appraisals, and, if they only see positives, 95% of people suspect censorship or faked reviews and distrust the establishment. The more reviews you have, and the wider the range of those reviews, the more trustworthy you will come across to those considering visiting your establishment. Quality absolutely has its place in hospitality — in the services that you offer and the experience that you provide — but when it comes to online reviews, quality has taken on a different meaning. Any accommodation or experience provider can have stellar owned-media, but that just doesn’t cut it any more. Review readers want authenticity and transparency, they want to know what to expect before they book. And getting more reviews is a way to provide just that.

Trend Digest: Why back-of-house tech shouldn’t be back-of-mind

GuestRevu

Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, chatbots and self check-in — guest-facing technology comes in multiple forms and has seemingly endless capabilities that are discussed practically daily. But the uses for tech don’t necessarily begin or end with your guests themselves. Back-of-house technologies are often no less vital to attracting and engaging with guests than their customer-facing counterparts, but can easily be overlooked. That’s why, this month, we’ve decided to delve into some of the valuable areas that internal hospitality technologies can cover, and how they can improve your guest experience.   Human Resources Staff are the cornerstone of any business, and of any great guest experience. They are the first point of personal contact, and yet, they are also one of the most volatile commodities in the hospitality industry. As you know, empowered, happy, innovative staff members who jump at every opportunity to impress can boost morale and add value to guest experiences, while dissatisfied, unengaged, or poorly trained staff can be detrimental to your efforts across a range of areas. Making sure that your staff are satisfied, engaged and trained is especially challenging in an industry where a high turnover rate and constant need for onboarding are the norm, as Adrian Tan points out in his breakdown of Travel Daily’s inaugural HR Executive Summit. “Hoteliers are often under pressure to hire lots of people, within a short time frame, whilst rushing from one location to another and, of course, maintaining a professional disposition and making sure everybody is happy. It is a tough job and attrition can be high. So when you are short on headcount, you face the added dilemma of ensuring newcomers are properly trained versus putting them straight to the floor.” — Adrian Tan, Travel Daily Media The answer, of course, lies with technology. From online survey tools like OfficeVibe to employee performance tools like EngageRocket, from onboarding software like Gnowbe to using chatbots like Su-Ette for common HR queries, technology to help manage staff training, engagement and human resources in general abound. And, as Andrew Fox of Timico also explains, a digital employee portal on its own can go a long way to opening communication between management and staff members. “An established portal built by a knowledgeable partner will allow you to seamlessly share all kinds of information with employees, such as incoming VIP guests, best practices, onboarding initiatives, health and safety instructions, maintenance announcements, and more.” — Andrew Fox, Timico   Data Collection & Analysis From the moment guests start interacting with your property, there is an opportunity to collect data that can help you to refine your marketing efforts, your staff and revenue management, your guest experience and so much more. But what data should you be collecting? How should you go about it? And what should you do with the data once you have it? These are all questions that collection and analysis software such as Fourth, For-Sight and Travel Appeal can assist you with. “Nowadays, generating a proper understanding of data – and connecting all data sources effectively – is paramount in generating a competitive advantage, providing superior customer value and ultimately orientating the future of any business.” — Alessandro Inversini, École Hôtelière De Lausanne       As Alessandro Inversini of École Hôtelière De Lausanne explains in his article on data science in hospitality, “data science, which may at first seem overly ‘techy’ and ‘expensive’ is actually quite feasible.” And James England of MarTech Series agrees. “The biggest opportunity for restaurants and hotels lies within their collective data. Front-end and back-end solutions hold a wealth of raw data, which, when aggregated into a single platform, turns that information into contextualized insight. This allows managers to better understand their business and ultimately, better equip them to make informed decisions about everything from hiring to ordering to marketing.” — James England, MarTech Series With the correct data, you can be ensuring that you are targeting the right audience with your marketing efforts, encouraging guests to increase their spend by offering them the packages, activities and add-ons that they want.   Task Management Where some technologies help with human resources, and others with gathering data, task management tools bring together the best of both worlds, enabling hospitality professionals to manage time, make note of guest comments, and assign or action tasks based on feedback, training needs and more. As Kevin Brown of Amadeus explains to Phocuswire, “Hoteliers are finding a clear and direct correlation between task management automation, improving guest satisfaction scores, and optimizing RevPAR.” “While the core benefit of task management technology is to unlock staff capabilities, there is also a growing understanding that staff-facing technologies provide hoteliers with a critical advantage in exceeding consumer expectations around service and personalization.” — Phocuswire Service tickets, like the ones that GuestRevu offers, are just one example of how task automation tools can result in improved efficiency, better staff management and excellent guest experiences. “Perhaps a guest noticed a small detail that your teams hadn’t noticed yet, like a creaking bed, or a loose tile. You can make sure that the problem is resolved by creating a service ticket straight from the online review or from the guest’s survey response, and can make sure that the next guest to stay in the room won’t discover the same problem.” — GuestRevu

Google Hotels joins the battle for bookings

GuestRevu

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.”

Discover the financial benefits of a great reputation

GuestRevu

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.

Load more

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.

Buyers Guides

Browse All

Free Resources & Downloads

Browse All