Adele Gutman Milne, CHBA, CHDM
9 Reasons Hospitality Leadership Needs to Prioritize Reputation as a Revenue Growth Super Power
Welcome back to a new season of Get Great Guest Reviews!
I recently saw one of our hospitality friends post a survey about what general managers were interested in seeing more content about. I wish I could remember who put it out; perhaps someone reading here will remind me so I can link to the survey here.
As I recall, Trends in the Industry, Technology, and Revenue Management were all popular. However, Reputation and Social Media were combined and still came out at the bottom of the list, with only 2% of hospitality professionals showing any interest.
Oh, no! Say it isn’t so! I took this surprising information as a challenge to start our new season of the podcast with a review of why everyone needs to care about guest reviews.
The most fundamental concept of business success is that highly satisfied customers are more likely to return, purchase more frequently, and spread good word-of-mouth advertising to help a business attract and keep more loyal guests. In the world of hotels and global online distribution, this basic principle is exponentially elevated and more important than ever before.
In this episode, I wanted to break down 9 Top Reasons Why Hoteliers Need to Make Reputation and Guest Feedback a Super Power for Revenue Results.
Listen in now to hear about the impact on customer loyalty, employee retention, Average Daily Rate, Sales & Marketing conversions, display algorithms, and more!
Here's a brief outline below of my TOP 9 REASONS WHY every Hotel needs to hop on board the Reputation Cultivation Train and start reaching for those Five-Star reviews as a Revenue Generation Strategy.
#1. Reputation Cultivation Makes us More Effective Leaders.
On CNBC, I recently heard Mickey Drexler, the brilliant former GM of The Gap, and J. Crew saying, “Look at the reviews. It’s a reflection of leadership.” If you are interested in operational excellence, you have a fantastic tool at your disposal to help you get laser-focused on what matters most to your guests in nearly real time. And it’s free! It’s guest feedback and employee feedback.
When you learn to see every insight as an opportunity to learn and evolve, your job will become easier, more efficient, and more rewarding.
We are all here to up our game and optimize our revenue. That means we as leaders have to be on a mission to improve our Guest Satisfaction SKILLS continually! Our team members can only deliver when they have the support they need from us, including tools, training, inspiration, and freedom from fear to make changes, adaptations, and make good decisions to elevate joy and diminish friction points.
2. Reputation Cultivation Helps Us Keep More Customers. We are all spending loads of time, energy, and resources attracting new guests. Do we want that relationship to be a one-night stand? Of course not! That’s inefficient! We want a long, fulfilling relationship! To have that, you can’t treat people like a transaction. You need to romance the guest! Make them feel loved! Treat them with respect! Communicate with kindness, honesty, and integrity at every touch point of the journey.
Every day, let technology help you to invite, inspire and empower your team to bring their heartfelt hospitality to every guest encounter.
Whether you are winning the heart of a guest or turning a moment of misery into an unforgettable magical experience, it goes far past the one stay for one guest. It’s all the future stays of that guest and the friends they bring, and all the people who are moved book your business thanks to Five-Star reviews, recommendations, and referrals.
3. Reputation Cultivation Helps us Optimize the Lifetime Value of Every Guest! A loyal guest who loves you enough to think you deserve a five-star review will stay more frequently, pay more gladly, and say more wonderful things about your hotel to other potential travelers. If you are lucky, they will enthusiastically share their experience with the world online, expanding your reach and attracting even more customers to you.
Many years ago, Xerox had a study that was reported in the Harvard Business Review that showed that 5-star reviewers were six times more likely to repurchase a Xerox than 4-Star Reviewers. Five-star reviewers are promoters, and four-star reviewers are neutral. So to optimize success, we need to break away from the Four Star pack and always reach for Five Stars when it comes to guest reviews.
4. Reputation Cultivation Helps Us Earn More Visibility! When we get more Five Star Reviews, Recommendations, and Referrals, we get displayed to more travelers just as they are at the point when they are planning their trip and making buying decisions. That’s because the algorithms of travel websites favor hotels with more volume and more recent five-star review scores. So a hotel with 100 recent five-star reviews will be seen more than one with 100 recent four-star reviews.
5. Reputation Cultivation Helps Us Enhance our Perceived Value. Once we are featured in front of all those travelers, that abundance of enthusiastic five-star reviews elevates the perceived value of the experience we are offering, making it easier for us to convert more bookings and at a higher average rate because we have SOCIAL PROOF that we are delivering a consistently more valuable experience.
6. Reputation Cultivation Helps our Digital Advertising Conversion Rates.
You can have the best ad in the world, but 95% of consumers use reviews to make decisions. When people are intrigued by the ad, they will usually still go online to learn more. If your reviews are consistently enthusiastic, it is easy to close the sale. If they are lukewarm or negative, with only a modest number of 5-star reviews, they will continue to look for a better value for their money.
7. Reputation Cultivation helps our Sales Managers Produce More Revenue with Less Effort.
Your Sales team may be highly trained and successful at persuading decision-makers to book your hotel. But if operations and marketing are not committed to diminishing the recurrence of friction points when guests give feedback, those problems will continue to recur, and the reviews will reflect that. If you are not working every day to invite, empower, and inspire the team to deliver happiness, we can't be surprised when lackluster reviews fail to impress big-ticket decision-makers to try the hotel and return to the hotel year after year.
To support the sales team's success, take advantage of the everyday opportunities to listen to the voice of the customer and learn from them. Collaborate with your team and challenge the team to find small tweaks that diminish friction and increase delight for future guests. When you deliver great service, you won't find the need to negotiate rates as much because people appreciate the value of your experience.
8. Reputation Cultivation Helps Us Yield Rates with Greater Confidence.
An overwhelming abundance of 5-Star reviews provides social proof that we have differentiated our hotel's guest experience from the competition by delivering happiness, not just attributes. Our past guests appreciate the value, and they are willing to pay more, but so are those who are discovering our hotels online for the first time.
According to Expedia, travelers are willing to pay 35% more for a hotel with 4.4 Stars out of five than a hotel with 3.9 out of 5. Well-run 3 Star hotels are well able to achieve ratings above 4.5 out of 5 when leadership is committed to a daily Reputation Cultivation practice.
This helps our hotels outshine our usual competition and compete with hotels above our classification because what we may lack in opulence, we make up for in service-inspired loyalty.
9. Reputation Cultivation helps us attract, develop, and retain great employees
Our team members perform better, stay longer, and help us recruit new associates because they are empowered and feel inspired by how we live our mission every day. They don’t feel stuck dealing with the same issues day after day, wasting countless manhours, because problems found are not fixed and prevented.
When we embrace feedback as a catalyst for Creativity, Compassion, and Leadership in Action, we collaborate to solve the repetitive problems that plague, distract, and crush the spirits of our team members. When you continually brush off pain points, you don’t just lose guest loyalty. You also lose employees who don’t want to handle the same problems day after day.
Our team members want to thrive and feel successful in accomplishing an important mission. Therefore, make innovation as natural as breathing. Take the data in guest feedback and lead your team on a journey of caring, collaboration, and continuous improvement!
I hope I have helped make a case for making Reputation Cultivation a priority for your hotel's leadership team. So why not share this content and invite your whole team to follow Get Great Guest Reviews to learn the proven method to inspiring consistent Five Star Guest Reviews.
If you want to level up your game, you need to level up your habits. Technology alone will not solve your problems. But only when your full team feels invited, inspired, and empowered to leverage technology to embrace the voice of the customer and support a culture of change, compassion, and Leadership in action will your organization be able to reach its potential for profitability.
Remember: You don’t need to be a five-star hotel to deliver five-star experiences and inspire five-star reviews!
I want to thank all of you for your support of the podcast, which led to having, Get Great Guest Reviews being ranked among the top 35 Podcasts for Hospitality. Wow!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
If you have a question about reputation and how to inspire consistent five-star reviews from your guests, contact us at email@example.com
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LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adelegutman/ Invite Adele to speak at your next conference: https://www.adelegutman.com/AdelesSpeakersSheet If you have a question about reputation and how to inspire consistent five-star reviews from your guests, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org