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Strategies to Improve Hotel Guest Reviews

Julie Frost
October 27, 2023

Reviews are one of the most honest forms of marketing. Some hotels shy away from review management, fearing that one bad rating will destroy their reputation. However, reviews don't have to work against you. In fact, these ways to improve hotel reviews can make ratings one of the strongest tools in your arsenal.

People trust reviews because their peers have no reason to lie about their experiences. When you combine feedback management with great customer service, you'll have evidence to back up your claims. Did a traveler love your ballroom? Share that quote on Facebook. Are you famous for generous amenities? Add review snippets to your website. Maximizing your reviews turns an ordinary hotel into a beloved, long-standing institution.

Follow Up

Woman calling and following up with guests while taking notes.

Guests leave the most detailed reviews when the experience is still recent. For this reason, don't be afraid to request a review when your guests check out. They won't think you're pushy--in fact, they'll appreciate that you take their opinion seriously. Just avoid pressuring them for five-star ratings. Instead, frame the review as an opportunity to reflect on their visit.

Give them a business card as they leave, or send an email or text message with a link to your review page. If you don't hear from them, follow up again a week later. Point out that rating takes only a few minutes because nobody wants to write long reviews on their smartphones.

Check In Regularly

Checkout time isn't your only chance to request a rating. Has a mobile app ever invited you to rate your experience during screen time? You can do the same with your hotel's app or complimentary WiFi. When travelers log on, invite them to rate their stay while they're relaxing and enjoying your amenities. Ideally, you'll catch them in a good mood.

Similarly, leave placards in their rooms that encourage them to review their stay. Staff members can also request feedback in passing. Use a light touch so that visitors feel like you're seeking their genuine thoughts, not grinding for five-star reviews.

Host Giveaways

Card that says "Enter to Win"

Broadening your portfolio is one of the best ways to improve hotel reviews. If you have only five reviews, a one-star rating could tank your credibility. However, a one-star complaint barely makes a dent in a listing with hundreds of ratings. More reviews also mean more visitors, showing travelers that you run a legitimate business.

Drive more ratings by offering an incentive, such as an entry into a $50 gift card drawing. Most people will leave star ratings without much feedback, but you'll still gain insight into your performance and boost your review numbers. Plus, you'll have one happy customer who can't wait to use their gift card for another trip.

Highlight Reviews

Instead of passively accepting ratings, turn them into free marketing. Highlight glowing reviews on your website and social media profiles to build credibility and inspire people to leave their feedback. People might question your marketing, but they can't question third-party opinions.

Scrolling quotes and gold stars create a positive impression, leading guests to expect the best from your business. They're more likely to leave appreciative feedback when they leave--maybe subconsciously hoping that they'll see their name scrolling across your website.

Offer Freebies

The best ways to improve hotel reviews involve making customers feel good. Freebies, such as a surprise upgrade, complimentary breakfast, or thank-you gift, turn an ordinary stay into a reward. A few months after their stay, send a coupon with a discount on their next booking.

Freebies and discounts make a strong impression because they cut slightly into your profits. If you're willing to inconvenience yourself for your guests, they'll return the favor by leaving five stars on Yelp.

Respond to Reviews

Person responding to reviews on a computer.

Many travelers use review platforms as a customer service hotline. While they don't address you directly, they want you to know that they loved or hated their experience. Responding to feedback builds loyalty because it shows customers that you're listening. When they complain, you'll address their concerns, thank them for reaching out, and possibly turn around a negative experience.

Likewise, thanking customers for positive reviews shows your appreciation, motivating them to rate your hotel again on their next trip. They'll associate your hotel with warm, friendly interactions and recommend you to their friends. Publicly engaging with clients also highlights your stellar customer service, building trust among future visitors.

Manage Listings

Create profiles on booking or review sites, such as Yelp, to expand your reach. Some platforms pre populate information about your hotel, making it even more essential to sign up--an unclaimed profile might have inaccurate information. Once you've claimed your site, you can market your hotel with events, promotions, and high-quality photos.

Travel sites also provide another place for visitors to rate their experience. You're competing with local businesses on the same platform, so take time to manage your listings, answer questions, and respond to reviews. Show visitors that you appreciate every guest, even the ones that leave one-star ratings.

Be Personable

If you had a positive but ordinary experience at a coffee shop, you probably wouldn't write a review. However, a great interaction with a helpful barista or a humiliating incident with a rude employee would prompt you to rate the business. This also applies to your guests. Other incentives help, but ultimately, five-star customer service generates the best feedback.

Learn a little about every client's trip so that you can give them personalized attention. Some hotels are streamlining the check-in process with apps and self-service kiosks. Technology adds convenience, but make sure you don't eliminate human contact. Reach out to your guests and personally thank them for their business.

To learn more about providing great customer service, check out these hospitality employee turnover solutions.

Polish Your Strategy

Hiring a hotel revenue management company leads to better reviews, more visits, and positive word-of-mouth, grabbing both individual clients and businesses with dozens of travelers.

Bridgetown Revenue

Management Solutions offers customized plans with services, such as strategic planning, brand conversions, pace evaluation, rate parity management, lead generation, and performance reviews tailored for your hotel. Reach out to discuss your options.