Social media reviews and guest surveys both offer valuable insights into customer satisfaction, and how a hotel responds to that feedback can make or break its business. An effective feedback system is one that monitors both online reviews and survey results to create a holistic view of the guest experience. Armed with that intelligence, management can take swift action to increase satisfaction levels, improve intent to return and recommend, and ultimately drive revenue.

Social media and your online reputation

Reputation and review management now outrank marketing and advertising among the top investment priorities in the hospitality industry. In fact, in 2014, a significant portion of the $6.4 billion allocated for hotel upgrades and improvements was spent responding to complaints on online review sites. The impetus to do so becomes clear when you consider that a one-star rise or drop in an organization’s average rating (using the standard five-star system) can result in as much as a nine percent corresponding swing in revenue, according to a 2011 Harvard Business School study.

A few interesting statistics from other recent studies that underscore the impact of online reviews on consumer decision-making:

  • 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations from their friends or family.
  • 80% read online reviews before they make a purchasing decision.
  • 68% would not do business with an insurance agency with no online reviews.
  • 33% would not dine at a restaurant with a 3-star review on a review website.

Social media feedback is a form of engagement and in today’s digital world, it’s vital to build rapport with customers through review site monitoring and management. A timely and polite response to individual reviews demonstrates a willingness to engage in a public forum with your guests, creating a sense of transparency and accountability.

The survey advantage

There are limitations, however, to the intelligence gleaned from social media feedback. Customers are most motivated to post online reviews when they have had an extreme experience -- either very positive or very negative. Surveys, on the other hand, encourage more controlled feedback from a broader sample of customers -- information that can be used to identify and improve systemic issues. Surveys can be conducted both during and post-stay, providing detailed insight into what your guests like and dislike about their experience.

A holistic solution

By integrating and analyzing feedback from both online review sites and guest surveys, you gain the most accurate measurement of your organization’s reputation and guest satisfaction levels. The best of today’s technological solutions do the hard work for you – gathering and analyzing data and presenting it in easy-to-use dashboards that put actionable intelligence at your fingertips. You can quickly identify key drivers of satisfaction, pinpoint which areas of your property are performing well and which areas need improvement, determine a course of action, and implement changes that lead to higher levels of intent to recommend and return.

UniFocus’ GUESTScope -- with its Key Opportunities, Survey Response System, and Online Reputation Manager – employs the most advanced survey technologies in a full complement of tools to solicit, manage and respond to guest feedback. Its collaboration with TripAdvisor seamlessly integrates social media and survey response, enabling guests to push their survey comments directly to the world’s largest travel website. The result is a holistic solution that provides the actionable knowledge you need to convert feedback to loyalty and drive R.O.I.