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Ranked 1st (out of 28)
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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Certificate of Excellence
Ranked 1st (out of 28)
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
Certificate of Excellence

Reviews Summary

Ratings Summary
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

Ranked #1 out of 28 in Reputation / Review Management

Ease of Use
Customer support
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GuestRevu Overview

Through automated guest surveys, review collection and consolidated reporting, we help busy hospitality professionals to listen, learn from and earn from their guests (request a demo on our website, linked below). GuestRevu is focused on making your life easier and saving you time with TripAdvisor and Google integration, instant notifications and much more. With aggregated guest, property and competitor reports, you have everything you need to make data-driven operational decisions so you can meet and exceed expectations. Read more Less

About GuestRevu View website

Founded in 2014 | Headquarters in United Kingdom | 22 employees

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What Customers Love About GuestRevu

92% recommend

Its a great and easy way to manage your guest satisfaction. Easy to use and understand, quick integration and very helpful staff.

Operations Director in Durban (South Africa)

Software is very easy to implement and use. Provides invaluable feedback from guests on a continuous basis.

General Manager from Other in Grahamstown (South Africa)

It is simple enough to use and implement. It adds to your time where often technology if too complicated can steal your time.

General Manager from Boutique in Draycott (United Kingdom)

Good friendly service, always willing to help. Issues get resolved within minutes. Survey questions can be altered according to your needs.

General Manager from Boutique in Johannesburg (South Africa)

It provides us with invaluable information quickly and our own customers take the time to use it after each stay

General Manager from Other in (United Kingdom)

The software has taken a job that involved several people and made it a seamless process with a hands off approach. We are now able to see reviews instantly and everyone in the company see them too and making problem resolution immediate

Reservations Manager from Other in Palo Alto (United States)

Fast feedback Links with TripAdvisor Super convenient Super easy to use

Marketing Assistant in Stellenbosch (South Africa)

Easy and simple to navigate, and if you struggle with anything just ask the support team - they respond quickly and sort any issues out within 24hours (or less). Love that it is linked to TripAdvisor, allowing our guests to rate us on TripAdvisor nice and easy. Good tracking tools and reports as well!! By far the best guest review system I have worked with!

PR and Marketing Manager from Other in Johannesburg (South Africa)

It's quick, easy to use, customer friendly and allows guests to say what they think in as many or as few words as they want. It gives a great platform to measure consistency of performance and trends. The reporting is also very strong - easy to understand, customizable and powerful. It also allows one to set one's own parameters.

Managing Partner from Other in Cape Town (South Africa)

I can gauge service of staff, even my own performance. I can liaise directly and immediately with guest to get more detail and give them feedback to ensure a positive goodwill. I can often prevent negative reviews on TripAdvisor. I can analyse who my market is.

Proprietor from Vacation Rental in Cape Town (South Africa)

My monthly summarized reports as well as the fact that we can get in contact with the client directly by mail

Property Manager from Boutique in Windhoek (Namibia)

Quite easy to use and understand, uncomplicated. Great weekly and monthly feedback and reports. Very useful tool for our operations team.

General Manager from Other in Johannesburg (South Africa)

We are able to collect guest data quickly and efficiently. Having direct links to Trip Advisor also has huge benefits of increasing guest reviews. Couple tips to maximize your hotel's usage: - Create structured questions to get the exact information you are seeking - Remember to upload guests' emails regularly and respond personally to criticism and problems

Operations Director from Boutique in (United Kingdom)

break down of the guest experience areas comp set online helpdesk showing collection of reviews from all booking channels

Guest Services Agent from Budget

I really like the OOPS reports come direct to my email.

Front of House Manager from Other

The software allows for so many different reports to be shown which is very helpful. I also enjoy that we can post our reviews on social media via GuestRevu.

Manager from Bed & Breakfast

Summarises everything so its convenient. Interesting reports. User Friendly. Everything on one platform which makes feedback easier to manage.

General Manager from Other

It enables us to get feedback from our guests upon check out and improve on where needs be to ensure that out guests receive the best service possible. The reports generated are very helpful as well.

Manager from Bed & Breakfast

Easy to read you can check with competition and get a correct idea about the efficiency o your businesd

Managing Director from Other

We've been using GuestRevu for the past 4 years now. It has become an integral part of our guest feedback, relationship management and product development processes. The feedback we get from the software is discussed weekly in the resort management committees and from there specific issues are handed over to the various teams within each resort to monitor, action and provide feedback on. The integration with TripAdvisor is invaluable and we look forward to the coming updates.

GM Marketing from Resort

We appreciate that we can handle all the reviews in only one space. Very user friendly and wonderful reports.

General Manager from Boutique

All my reviews on one email Timely monthly reports Comparison with competitive set review email sent to each guest after check out

General Manager from Extended Stay

We do not only use this platform to create online reviews but most importantly, we use it to understand our customer experience (positive and negative in nature) in order to streamline operations, creating new and innovative ideas to stimulate our business growth and sustainability!

Marketer from Resort

Easy to use, great HUD, pretty easy to navigate around the platform (once trained and know how to use it.) Very smart system. Pooling together all reviews from all platforms is great and very convenient.

Food and Beverage Manager from Branded

I like the software because it gives an immediate overview if the client's feelings and comments. It also gives a possibility of a quick response to clients' needs.

Manager from Other

It is provides a very useful summary of all aspects of a guest's visit and their opinions which can be analysed to develop improvements in our service. It helps us to gain more TripAdvisor reviews (which are generally all very positive). If people have had a chance to air their (sometimes small) gripes directly they perhaps feel less inclined to complain in public.

Owner from Boutique

- real feedback from the guests, which helps us improve our services - ability to see how the locations do in comparison to each other

Customer Service Manager from Other

We get feedback from our guests,hear what they are saying about us and also we know where to improve to remain the preferred place to stay.

Front Desk Agent

User friendly and helps us to keep on top of our game. The fact that all online reviews are collected and collated in one place ensures that we are one step ahead of our competitors.

General Manager

Easy to use & very effective. As a hotelier you get to know what your guests think about the services provided in your property. Feedback received greatly helps in improving the problem areas.

General Manager from Resort

Reputation Management control and full overview: Overall control as a group that is about to launch into a New Hotel Brand.

Chief Operating Officer from Other

The email notifications are of great help as it means that we can take actions straight away on any issues raised by our guests

Interim Hotel Manager from Other

The email notifications are of great help as it means that we can take actions straight away on any issues raised by our guests

Interim Hotel Manager from Other

One benefits most through the opportunity of improving your service based on your guests feedback.

General Manager from Boutique

We do enjoy the auto response - think the review is too long though

Hospitality Manager

We getting feedback and we really trying to better our service on whatever the guests complaint about All that is registered on here can see the problems and action

Group General Manager

Feed back forms from actual guest are useful but I cannot begin to understand reports

owner from Other

- opinions on breakfast & restaurant, rooms, staff etc - staff we can reward - elements of design and functionality we need to keep or improve

Project Manager from Boutique

Reliable system. Great dashboard and utilities. It was very easy to setup and the team was very helpful during the on-boarding process. We are now able to respond immediately and more efficiently to our guest feedback.

Manager from Boutique

Fast and efficient service The product offers and track in depth feedback of you business

General Manager

the fact that we have a tool where we can gather useful information all together.

General Manager from Boutique

The most useful aspect of GuestRevu is that it gives us direct and and actionable feedback that can be used to improve our business.

Head of Digital Media from Branded

Very professional and responsive company not just during setup but throughout the last six months since we have been actively using it. Software is easy to use and intuitive.

General Manager from Resort

Sheer volume of prompt feedback from guests where we can interact with them by reply, Very easy system for guests to use and dashboard is very clear so you can quickly pinpoint what areas need most attention. love the competitor analysis!

General Manager from Boutique

Gives a broad calculation of guest overall stay Nice breakdown of sub categories Consolidates OTA reviews Gives a guests to add comments, to assist the property to identify good & bad

Reservations Manager from Boutique

The Guestrevu platform intercepts a guests review in order to obtain relevant negative information about problems they may have experienced. Positive experiences in the guest review is then published on the web. It really helps me as a service provider to concentrate on areas that need more attention without losing ratings.

Owner from Bed & Breakfast

1.To assist in Identifying guest problems to enhance the next guests experience 2.What are guest are expecting when staying. 3.Customer support is excellent, always keeps you updated and never keeps you waiting. 4. In this day and age TripAdvisor is key, with guest review it assists in our rating and what guests have to say about our hotel.

Operations Manager from Other

Tracking guest comments and inputs into the business as this teaches up to listen and apply thought to any issues raised and better compliment the team when guests highlight people of departments

General Manager from Boutique

Easy to review, perfect tool to gain the information required and easy to use.

General Manager from Other

Detail information analysis as well as the information on the dashboard look

Regional Operations Manager from Other

From the reviews, we know what need to be improved, sometimes guest provide us suggestion or new ideas which we do take seriously, sometimes they suggest us which we cannot (for e.g. English Breakfast), the infrasture doesn't allow us to install equipment for English Breakfast. so it's positive that guest rates us and we know where improvement need to be done so guest enjoy their stay and be our regular guest

Deputy Manager from Bed & Breakfast

I like the fact that GuestRevu, is more personal platform rather than a all the other review search engines, and that we are more in control of our desired questions that are more relevant to ur property.

General Manager from Boutique

- easily accessible support team - stability of website - no glitches, bugs or errors - in-depth analysis of guest feedback

Assistant Revenue Manager from Branded

The system highlights problem areas and we are able to react much faster to sort theses areas out. Our guests felt heard without having to turn to public/social media. Our negative public reviews seem to now be much less. (If any)

Owner from Boutique

1. Great response rate from the support team. 2. Easy to work with- reports are clear and easy to understand. 3. Up to date guests feedback

Rooms Division Manager from Bed & Breakfast

Collecting reviews in a professional way. Amalgamation of reviews to look for themes in responses.

Director from Bed & Breakfast

visual layout very welcoming and easy to read access to reviews and scores useful information of social media

Front Of House Manager from Boutique

Quick response times to queries . The products they offer are excellent , and have become an invaluable management tools in the Hotels I have managed

General Manager from Resort

We have been very impressed with GuestRevu for both guest satisfaction survey and online reputation management. The integration with TripAdvisor is key for us and the fact that it allows us to track that all reviews have been responded to as well as managing actions that result from the collection of the scores.

Business Development Manager from Boutique

It was a great benefit working with GuestRevu, to gather real guest feedback for The Bohos Boutique Hotel awards 2018...

Owner from Bed & Breakfast

I like that i get up to date information as soon as the guest sends it. I appreciate that the guest can give as much written feedback as they would like and are not restricted by one or two lines.

Executive Assistant Manager from Resort

The simplicity of the report and the way it set up, is so easy to use. You have all your reviews in one place and you can tailor make your responses to reflect your business (this review was updated by the user).

General Manager from Boutique

Have found this system invaluable to get guest feedback - both positive and negative - without having to first read about it on Tripadvisor.

General Manager from Boutique

GuestRevu helps us as a business improve the number of reviews going to TripAdvisor, which in turn has increased our ranking, our customer feedback response has improved with better understanding of what our customers are experiencing at the hotel. GuestRevu are very supportive and if you need to refocus on an area they are there to help and support.

General Manager from City Center

It is easy and efficient hits the main points. Well some times guests are not willing to give their feed back and we miss it. We try to find how to make it done. Not easy.

Owner from Other

- Better understanding of the the guest needs. - Areas that needs improvement in the business

Sales & Revenue Manager from Hostel

Breadth of information consolidated and the visual language it is communicated in.

General Manager from Branded

Simple and easy. TripAdvisor integration has vastly boosted our TripAdvisor stats.

Assistant Manager from City Center

-easy to reach out to guests for feedback -good conversion to positive trip adviser reviews -negative feedback used to review areas of the business/staff and make improvements

General Manager from Boutique

Local and always bringing improvements to the ease of the software. Program is reliable and gives great reports.

Admin Manager from Branded

The main benefit of GuestRevu that we like is the relationship that it allows you to build with guests before and after they stay to ensure high customer satisfaction and, in turn, better reputation management,

General Manager from City Center

Very easy to use in order to compare ourselves with our competitors and see exactly where we can improve or what our strengths are.

Head Receptionist from City Center

gives us feedback on performance identifies problems early gives important feedback on which staff are giving good service to guests

CEO from Resort

The Guest Revu team is a professional team who listen to all our requirements and make changes when necessary.

Reservations/Accounts Manageress from Bed & Breakfast

Improving customer service by reading the guest feedback Measuring against competitors Hot alerts NPS

General Manager from Branded

- Excellent support online and telephonic - Dynamic system - continuous development, progress and changes to make systems focus on what we as supplier needs - One portal to access all comments and statistics for all properties in our Hotel Group - Cost - system upgrades and new developments are implemented WITHOUT increasing monthly costs (BONUS)

GROUP PR & International Sales Manager from Villas

Clearer direction on our internal strengths and weaknesses and identification on iproving areas of concern.

General Manager from Boutique

GuestRevu has made our everyday customer feedback process so much more streamlined, easier to manage and gives us everything we need in a one place. The systems saves a lot of time for us and it also helps us to identify easily areas where we need to improve.

Revenue Manager from Boutique

Guestrevu gives us a great data about our customer's satisfaction, which enables us to analyse what our guests would like from us. Very happy with the service.

General Manager from Budget

We are solving any problems the guests have encountered before they have the opportunity to voice their experience on TripAdvisor. The biggest benefit we receive when using GuestRevu is that is it giving our guests a quick, easily accessible form of communication.

Duty Manager from City Center

Great way of getting feedback from the guests Very easy to use Very clear Getting much more feedback than relying on other sources

Manager from Other

"Easy to understand" dashboards. The hot alerts are an excellent way of high-lighting issues which we are then able to deal with quickly to remedy. The link to Trip Advisor works really well for us.

CEO from Branded

This product enabled me to accelerate my goal of increasing our rating on Tripadvisor. We wanted to go from 4 bubbles to 4.5 and this has now been accomplished.

General Manager from Boutique

Incredibly intuitive and simple to use system. Required very little initial set up, which saved us a lot of time. Staff training is very straightforward, never had to worry about manuals, SOPs or creating any additional material for team members. System as a whole has incredible capacity to crunch and present data in simple but powerful way. At the same time, GuestRevu allows us to take deep-dive into important aspects of our business. In real time.

General Manager from Branded

Complete Product in one place. Ease of access with the new product developments that we have seen in 2018. The interlinking of all platforms and reviews in one place is amazing.

General Manager from City Center

Thorough and effective. Love the scoreboards which it generates to show how we compare to other properties.

General Manager from Branded

Very easy setup, excellent on-boarding team and assistance throughout the process. Guest engagement with the survey has been much better than expected and very useful in terms of feedback and insight.

Manager from Boutique

Getting direct feedback from our guests through the GuestRevu platform has really improved not only the way we deliver services to them, but also our direct interactions with our very high level of repeat guests. It has also increased the volume of TripAdvisor reviews with the easy conversion from questionnaire to review at the end of the process.

Group Commercial Director from Boutique

The Team at GuestRevu are helpful and always ready to go the extra mile. The monthly reports come in on time and are always helpful.

Hospitality Manager from Other

As a small establishment, we do not have the resources to scan all of the social media and to canvas our departing guests. Often small Hotels see this as an unnecessary expense, but the value of solicited feedback in terms of hints to improve the quality of the hotel's offering and the marketing of the hotel is actually worth the expense, one more room night sold more or less covers the fee. 12 more room nights pay for a year

Owner from Resort

I love the reporting , the numbers are clear and very easy to read . We have been using the insights for our clients , our buildings etc. I also love very the team which is always available for any requests , ideas , challenges . Thank you Francine, Suzie and Mark.

Head of Sales from Extended Stay

Ease of access along with increased, in depth feedback allowing for staff in all areas to see visible and accurate improvements in service levels.

Assistant General Manager from Resort

Great dashboard and email overviews and quick engagement if required. Very forward thinking company.

Executive Dean from Boutique

The product is very user friendly and the GuestRevu team are always available if you have any questions or if you aren't sure how to do something.

Reservationist from Bed & Breakfast

We use Guest Revu for over 20 of my hotels, this product is very easy to install, very easy to use and it provides us with great guest insights to generate revenues. The support provided is also very good.


By using GuestRevu surveys to collect feedback from our guests, we: Are the first to know when service failed in a specific department Can see trends in guest experience levels and be pro-active in anticipating future problems Can monitor improvements in guest experience levels after investing in areas highlighted within the feedback reports Have seen improvements in TripAdvisor ranking due to the TripAdvisor integration within the surveys

Revenue Manager from Extended Stay

It is a tool that helps us improve, we get a feedback straight from the guests allowing us the opportunity to rectify any problems that may have arisen in their stay.

General Manager from Branded

Easy to use Very innovative with constant improvement Customer support - excellent Accurate information

Director from Other

Giving us real time insight in our guests' experiences and being able to understand and track training needs, maintenance needs

Operations Manager UK from Resort


  • Alerts & Notifications
  • Corporate Reporting
  • Mobile Accessibility
  • Workflow Management
  • Competitive Intelligence
  • Sentiment Analysis
  • Social Media
  • Revenue Reporting
  • Reporting Dashboard
  • SMS text messaging
  • Multi-property Management
  • Case Management

Featured Clients


GuestRevu has completely changed the way we manage our business from the way we interact with our guests to how we market, plan for the future and how we develop our business with our guests in mind. Our guest feedback is at an all-time high and by getting this honest and clear feedback we have been able to raise our standards and respond quickly to any issues that may arise. I see us having a long relationship with GuestRevu. Daniel Thompson General Manager at the Mullion Cove
I was unsure of the extra cost to start, but once we saw the clear information provided and the amount of responses we were getting from the trail, then to roll it out [to the rest of the group] was a simple decision. It’s is a natural add on to our site business meetings. We can also see repeating issues and therefore are able to deal with them faster. Kevin Charity CEO at the Coaching Inn Group
I would highly recommend GuestRevu, as it truly allows you build that open bridge between management and customers, and get on a more personal level with your guests and see things through their eyes. Tarek Aboudib General Manager at the Sandy Beach Hotel & Resort
Through GuestRevu, we are able to ensure that the quality of all the lodges that fall within the reserve remain high. Every month, we receive customised guest feedback reports that form a large part of management decisions that are made day to day. Mat Matysik Marketing Manager at the Shamwari Game Reserve
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Awards & Certifications

Active Markets


Freemium (hotel can trial for free)
30 day trial
Monthly subscription (/room/month)
$3/room/month - $6/room/month

Free Reputation / Review Management Reports

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Recent Reputation / Review Management articles

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This is the tech that will improve your hotel marketing performance

Hotel Tech Report

Hotel marketing is a complex and nuanced practice that requires planning, patience, and the ability to analyze and adapt to results. In practice, a hotel marketer blends a creative mindset with a strategic approach that uses strong creative in support of marketing campaigns that increase occupancy and revenues. Let's look at the skills necessary for success in this role, as well as the technology that solves specific pain points encountered regularly by hotel marketers.   The three parts of a hotel marketer’s day-to-day A hotel marketer’s role has three overlapping components: creativity, strategy, and relationship management. Across these components, a hotel marketer must be a team-oriented problem solver, as well as an outcome-based thinker that consistently plans and executes to achieve desired outcomes. #1. Creativity. The creative part of a hotel marketer’s job is what draws many to the role. In the day-to-day breakdown of tasks, creativity flows throughout. Each day, a hotel marketer brainstorms new promotions, crafts social media messaging in support of existing promotions, analyzes campaign performance, and collaborates across departments to execute campaigns. #2: Strategy. On the strategic side, a hotel marketer must be prepared. First, identify and understand the hotel’s niche: what are the guest demographics, where do they book, and what are their preferences? Once that’s clear, each marketing campaign should have a plan with clear objectives, creative collateral targeted to demographic and channel, and set milestones. As there will be overlapping campaigns at any given time, organization is key. Track your metrics, analyze performance via channel managers and booking tools, and iterate on your strategy.   #3: Relationships. The final pillar of a hotel marketer’s day-to-day is relationship management. With the GM, a successful hotel marketer must nurture clarity and foster trust, which ensures that the marketer has the support to execute ambitious plans. With the revenue management team, a successful hotel marketer must listen, be flexible, adapt to that team’s daily adjustments. Don’t be precious with marketing collateral and campaigns -- sometimes even the best campaigns must be paused in reaction to evolving revenue dynamics.   Tech to optimize workflow and fuel breakout successes Whether it's encouraging more direct bookings or capturing demand from intermediaries, the bulk of the hotel marketer’s investment in technology relates to managing marketing spend. It’s all about discovering and implementing the right technology to optimize workflow and fuel the breakout successes that elevate the marketing team’s profile.   I want to improve...my Customer Acquisition Costs.  By leveraging the expertise of digital marketing agencies that spend nearly all of its time on campaign optimization, a hotel may benefit from lower customer acquisition costs overall. Outsourcing this portion of marketing can also help solo hotel marketers gain perspective and creative input from an expert. “They feel like an extension of our own team on property. In addition to being experts in the digital marketing field, they strive to understand our own business and frequently ask for updates on our current occupancy, ADR, business mix, etc. to provide better, well-rounded strategy recommendations that touch our major revenue centers. They are flexible in their reporting and put good tracking mechanisms in place to more accurately report on ROI...” -Reviewer sharing the benefits of using a digital marketing agency (read more Screen Pilot Reviews here) For those who prefer handling internally, advertising technology for hotels has evolved to give marketers more direct control over ad spending on digital metasearch channels such as Google Hotel Ads. Metrics impacted by digital marketing agencies: When using these tools, monitor your Customer Acquisition Costs (cost of advertising and any commissions). Don’t forget to include any payouts to the digital agency in your calculations!   I want to improve...content planning.  Whether its content marketing or social media management, marketing teams benefit from additional tech that improves team productivity and boosts transparency. There are rarely enough staff resources to manage the creation and distribution of content. As part of the weekly calendar, scheduling promotions is an ongoing event for hotel marketers. Having a clear content calendar, coupled with a social scheduler, allows marketing to be more efficient and transparent with all stakeholders. Metrics impacted by content planning tools: When using the software, monitor your team’s response time to social media requests, as well as your “time to market” for content pieces, or how long it takes content to go from idea to publish.   I want to improve...our hotel’s reputation.  A hotel’s reputation has a direct impact on revenues. Recent research analyzing the correlation between ratings and room rates reveals that “a  higher star rating implies higher online reviews” which is “positively  related to higher pricing power.” The reputation management experts at Revinate found that -- assuming equal prices -- consumers are 3.9 times more likely to choose a hotel with a higher review score, while 76% of travellers are more likely to book a hotel with a higher score, regardless of price. For a hotel marketer, this means that securing positive reviews is as good as gold. This process becomes second nature with reputation and review management tools. A portion of each day should be devoted to responding to reviews, as well as analyzing -- and improving -- existing efforts to secure reviews from past guests. An ambitious hotel marketer will also leverage the relationship with the GM to solve any concerns raised by guests, as well as building trust across departments to align everyone with a culture of guest-centricity. Metrics impacted by reputation management software: When using reputation management software, track your hotel’s average review score, as well as your team’s response time to guest feedback and reviews.     Reputation software propels efficiency for hotel marketers GuestRevu testimonial       I want to improve...our relationships with guests.  Another technology used each day by a hotel marketer is email marketing and CRM software. As the hub for guest profiles and marketing communications, the software is the framework for an effective marketing strategy that focuses on nurturing long-term guest relationships. In fact, a hotel marketer spends so much time in a CRM that it should be the most carefully evaluated of all software. Each week, a hotel marketer should review scheduled promotions, collaborate with revenue management to craft creative promotions that resonate, and optimize for conversion. Each quarter, existing segmentation should be reviewed and new segments tested. To streamline productivity, the best CRM will connect to a hotel’s PMS to automatically pull in guest profiles and send out post-stay surveys. The end result is higher productivity and better conversions that make a hotel marketer look great to the GM. Metrics impacted by CRM software: When nurturing guest relationships, track your e-mail CTR rates, as well as unsubscribes. Also, in collaboration with your web team, strive to connect visits from e-mail subscribers to revenue to track ROI.   Just don't forget to get out from behind the computer! With the right technology and strategy, changes shouldn’t surprise a hotel marketer. Technology encourages adaptability by reducing the time it takes to make changes on the fly. Just don’t forget the human touch that defines hospitality: get out from behind the computer, tour the property, and maintain relationships. On-the-ground always benefits a hotel marketer with short-term perspective and long-term social capital.

Recent Reputation / Review Management News & Community Updates

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


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


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


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


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


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.

Is your property social media ready?


One of the fundamental challenges for hospitality marketers is the need to inspire trust in people who have never met you or anyone from your business, usually from thousands of miles away. Luckily, your prospective guests are already predisposed to trust your past guests, and what they have to say about your property in the way of user-generated content, or UGC. We have spoken about the importance of social proof and UGC before, and have even discussed some of the ways you can encourage more guests to post content about your offerings, but one of the most effective forms of user generated content, the photograph, is also one of the most difficult to encourage. So, we thought we would look at some great real-world examples of the ways you can encourage guests to take (and share) photos of your property.   Create vignettes around your property that people want to photograph Analysis has shown that one of the most mentioned (and presumably photographed) aspects of a hotel room on social media is the view, and a quick browse through twitter shows no shortage of “view from my hotel room” style tweets. But what do you do if your view simply isn't that great? You could relocate, of course, but a less drastic option would be to create little vignettes, or styled still lifes dotted around your rooms and common spaces that make your guests think “this will impress my friends”, “that really sums this place up” or “I’d like to remember this scene”. A clever piece of furniture, remarkable holiday decorations or even something as simple as a striking flower arrangement can do the trick.   Show guests where the best photo opportunities are The trend of giant yellow frames for tourists to pose in took off for a reason – it’s cute, quick, fun, and means that travellers don’t have to apply mental effort to deciding where to take their photos, and can instead just concentrate on enjoying themselves.   Pointing out to your guests where the best photo opportunities are doesn’t have to involve great big yellow boxes, if that’s not your style. A subtle floor sticker that says “great selfie spot” or even some strategic positioning of wall art with your brand's hashtag is often enough to get social media savvy travellers snapping away.   Do something innovative, amusing or unexpected It can be tricky to figure out how to get this one right while being careful to stay true to your brand, but doing something unusual is often a great way to get social media attention. An amusing sign, innovative check in procedure, interesting decor and even a quirky bedside phone earn hotels some social media airtime.   Go out of your way to surprise and delight your guests Striving to surprise and delight your guests has far-reaching benefits. Guests who are looked after personally, or exceptionally impressed with how your property or team go the extra mile, are more likely to mention it in reviews, to their friends and family, and share photo evidence on social media. You don't have to give each and every guest a personalised welcome package if it’s not in your budget, but even small touches, when thoughtful, will find their way into your guests hearts and onto their social media feeds.   Quick tips: Making the most of your guests’ photos There are plenty of ways to ensure you are making the most of your property’s UGC, but with photos, there are a few key things to remember:   1. Keep an eye on your hotel’s location and other related hashtags and keywords Just because a guest has snapped the perfect pic at your hotel, it doesn’t mean they will tag you. For guests, the name of the accommodation provider isn't always top of the list of things they want to tell their friends. To ensure you don’t miss out on great UGC, keep and eye open for posts from near your hotel, or mentioning keywords like vacation plus your area. 2. Acknowledge and thank guests for their shares and posts Whenever you come across a photo of your property shared on social media, regardless whether you have been @mentioned or if the guest has used the correct hashtag, you still have a chance to assert your brand. Simply reply to the post from your brand’s account with a simple “Thanks so much for sharing this photo! We pride ourselves on [whatever the image is about]!”. This not only makes your guest feel appreciated, it also gives you the chance to ensure your brand is associated with the image. 3. Ask before you repurpose Of course, it’s easy to embed and link to social media photos (as we have done in this post) but if you’re planning on sharing your guests images, its always a good idea to ask permission first – and it gives you an opportunity to politely engage in their social media conversations and ensure that all their followers know exactly where the photo they are admiring was taken.   Encouraging guests to take, and post, photographs at your property can take some work, but the reward is clear to see, not just for you, but for all those who will get to witness your property’s glory across social media, and be inspired to visit in real life.

The importance of a meritocracy like TripAdvisor in hospitality


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.