The Quick Way To Increasing Guest Reviews
What is this episode all about?
According to Visa’s UK Consumer Index, while consumer spending dropped by 0.8% in July for the 3rd consecutive month running, spending on Hotels, Restaurants and Bars saw an increase of 6%.
Showing that now is the perfect time for hotel owners to be launching a direct booking hotel marketing strategy.
People have less to spend and are choosing to spend it on getting away and relaxing.
Have a look at your Hotel Marketing Plan and review how you are capturing this increase in consumer spending?
Figures gained from https://www.hotelowner.co.uk/10784-consumer-spending-falls/
Facebook will soon have a ‘watch’ tab within Facebook. People can upload videos and create playlists, share and comment. If you are wondering what this means, just think YouTube inside Facebook.
The opportunity here for Hotel Owners is to add a new effective marketing method into their marketing plan.
How can you do this? In the Podcast, we discuss how you could easily create a playlist for each area of the business and publish a short two-minute video on a consistent basis.
Here are some examples of videos topics you could create:
- Chefs Recipe of Week or Day
- Each day record your chef making a meal and discussing how to make it.
- Or get your chef to talk about the quality produce they are using.
Similar to the chef idea you could do something around the bar. For example, you could do a cocktail of the week, showing how the cocktail is made and what goes into it.
In exchange for the recipe to be sent to them, you could ask people for their email address.
Gaining their email allows you to add them into your email campaigns to get future direct bookings, commission free! Email marketing campaigns are essential to any hotels marketing mix.
These are just two ideas you can take and immediately implement. Listen to the podcast to find out more.
In a recent article on ‘the drum’ they talk about a recent survey by Emarketer found that in 2017 51.8% of Hotel Bookings will come from mobile devices and this will grow to above 86% by 2019.
The article goes on to discuss how according to Hubspot, video content will account for 74% of all internet traffic.
If your Hotel Marketing does not include video, then you will be missing opportunities.
To help Bed and Breakfast Owners, the B&B association have gone on the offensive by attacking how Online Travel Agents are potentially misleading travelers with what they alleged are false deals.
In the Podcast, we discuss that while this is a good move the B&B association could be doing more to help B&B owners to improve their marketing and websites.
Most the sites we review on a daily basis are weak or bad. Bad B&B websites give terrible booking experiences, so it is no wonder travelers decide to book with an Online Travel Agent website.
Sites like Booking.Com and Expedia look amazing, trustworthy and easy to use. B&B owners have no excuse, creating low-cost websites and booking facilities is easy these days. If you have a website that is out-of-date or doesn’t include a direct booking facility, please do get in touch.
In last weeks episode, we told you about how New York Hotel industry had produced a marketing campaign that accused Airbnb of being connected to fueling the rise in terrorism. Airbnb has unsurprisingly retaliated.
According to an article in skift.com people from Europe are flocking to Hotels and B&B’s in the Irish countryside, seemingly on the fear that it will be too difficult to get there after Brexit.
If you are an Irish hotel, you could capitalise on this situation by creating products tailored to people from France, Germany, Spain, etc.
If someone from France, for example, saw that you had a breakfast menu or special package aimed at them, you increase the chances of them booking you over a generic bed and breakfast offer.
In Disney’s new Star Wars themed hotel, they create an entirely immersive experience of Star Wars where Star Wars fans can dress up and get involved with roles plays, star wars food and much more.
It’s worth remembering that people are increasingly buying ‘experiences’. Disney understands this, and they know that travelers will pay more for an ‘experience’ because experiences evoke emotions in people and people WILL pay through the nose for enjoyable experiences.
Consider, as an accommodation provider –
How can you create an experience? Maybe a murder mystery weekend or do a joint venture with a local attraction. You can then promote this using voucher system.
Main Section: Implementing Kaizen – Your answer to improving guest reviews
First all let’s recap – What is Kaizen?
- Simply put Kaizen means ‘Change for the better.’
- Started in Japan as a way to improve manufacturing.
- Has now been adopted by many people to be a philosophy in business and life.
So here’s the quickest way to think about Kaizen, it’s a structured approach to accepting that there is no such thing as ‘perfect’ that you can always improve something, even if it’s just in small little steps. This must be done in a structured manner though.
Here is the easiest structure you can use with Kaizen –
➤ Plan – What area are we going to look at?
➤ Do – Take action
➤ Review – What was the result?
Let’s run through an example of how a hotel or any business that get’s reviews can use it:
In this example of Kaizen, we are going to apply it to help us improve ‘Guest Reviews’
As the manager or owner, organise a Team Meeting with key personnel. If you are a small property, then it might just be you or you and your partner.
Let’s say in our scenario the hotel currently has a review score of 8.0.
Before the meeting send out or talk to people about what you are going to look at in the meeting, asking them to read through reviews before they come to the meeting.
Start the meeting and explain the purpose is to uncover ways to work together on improving the Hotel’s Guest Review Score.
Start with a brainstorm (PLAN)–
Let’s use the 5 Why’s – Now in a one to one scenario, I would not recommend using the word ‘why’ as it can come across in a way that the recipient feels you are accusing them of doing something wrong and that they should have known better. Think of when you were a child, did you Mum ever say:
- “WHY! did you bring that dirty ball in the house?”
In this group scenario, it can be safe to use ‘why’ because it is related to the guest review scores and is asked as a generic question.
Here is how the 5 Why’s might work:
- Why is the guest reviews at 8? –
- Because people are not happy with the cleanliness of the room
- Why are people not happy with the room cleanliness?
- Because they say the bathrooms are plug holes are dirty
- Why do they say that?
- Because they are old, stained and slightly rusty
- Why are they are old rusty and stain?
- Because we have replaced them
- Why haven’t we replaced them?
- Because we’ve arranged for it.
Now we know the root cause of the situation and can create a particular action to this.
We have our first opportunity for ‘Kaizen.’
Now assign someone to be responsible and agree a date this will be completed.
Start again with –
Why else is the guest reviews at 8?
Follow this through with at least five more ‘why’ questions to dive deeper into the real reasons behind it.
At the end of this, you should have a set of actions to improve guest review scores.
Now ask the team – If we complete these –
What do we think the guest score will improve by? The group agrees they it could increase to 8.5
You now have a target.
You might decide to stop there and just work on guest reviews, or you could go onto to look at another area of the business.
For example, you could look at revenue per available room, or spa treatment or restaurant purchases
At the end of meeting agree on a review date and book in a follow-up meeting with everyone.
Ask people to update the project plan one day before the meeting.
Once you have concluded this initial meeting, create a project plan.
We’ve created a free template for you to help with this – visit occupi.online/8, and you will get a free your free template.
On the template, you will find
- Stream Lead –Who is responsible for coordinating this?
- Stream Purpose – What is the benefit of doing this?
- Stream Goal – What is the target/How will we measure this?
On the second page
➾ Action: What task is to be done?
➾ Due by: When is it going to be done by?
➾ Name: Who is going to do this?
➔ NOW – DO
Everyone starts completing their actions
This second meeting is mostly booked in a month later; you could do fortnightly but never longer than a month.
In the meeting go through the plan:
➤ Have actions been completed
➤ What has been the impact?
➤ What else can we do?
➤ Have we achieved this target?
➤ Can we aim for a little bit higher this time?
➤ What new actions can we take?
You have now gone through a full cycle of ‘PLAN, DO, REVIEW‘ and the team are working together to improve an area of the business.
Keep repeating this meeting, each time it will evolve and improve.
You have now also created a culture of collaboration and involvement, rather than just telling people they need to do better and creating a ‘done to’ culture.
Not only will you rapidly improve ALL your key performance indicators, but your staff will also be happier and more productive! We talk in detail about this on the podcast.