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  • Writer's pictureZach Ho

The Power of Reviews: Managing Your Online Reputation in the Philippine Hotel and Resorts Industry

Hello, fellow Hotel and Resort owners. The Philippine hospitality industry is booming. From the pristine beaches of Palawan to the bustling streets of Cebu, tourists are flocking to experience our unique brand of Filipino warmth and service. But in this competitive landscape, how do you make your hotel or resort stand out? The answer, my friend, lies in the palm of your guests' hands – online reviews.

Think about it: how often do you research a restaurant or hotel before booking? Chances are, you dived headfirst into review platforms like TripAdvisor and Agoda, just like most travellers today. These online reviews hold immense power, swaying booking decisions and shaping a hotel's reputation in the digital age. So, how do you harness this power to your advantage? Let's dive into the art of managing your online reputation in the Philippine hospitality industry.

The Power of Reviews: Managing Your Online Reputation in the Philippine Hotel and Resorts Industry
The Power of Reviews: Managing Your Online Reputation in the Philippine Hotel and Resorts Industry

The Power of Positive Reviews: Your Secret Weapon

Positive reviews are the golden ticket to success. A study by Hospitality Net revealed that a one-star increase in a hotel's TripAdvisor rating can lead to an 11.2% rise in room rates. That's significant revenue you wouldn't want to miss out on! Positive reviews not only boost your bookings and revenue but they also:

  • Boost your search engine ranking:  Search engines like Google prioritize businesses with positive online reviews. The more positive reviews you have, the higher you'll climb in search results, making your hotel more discoverable by potential guests.

  • Build trust and credibility:  Let's face it, we all trust recommendations from friends and family. Positive online reviews act as digital word-of-mouth, giving potential guests the confidence to choose your hotel over the competition.

La Isla Bonita Resort, for example, demonstrates the impact of positive reviews, a stunning beachfront property in Panglao, Bohol. Their consistent stream of glowing reviews about their breathtaking views and exceptional service has undoubtedly played a major role in their success.

Encouraging Positive Feedback: Let the Good Vibes Flow

Now, you might be wondering, "How do I get more positive reviews?" Here's the good news: it all boils down to providing an exceptional guest experience.

  • Proactive Guest Service:  Go beyond the ordinary. Surprise guests with room upgrades when available, personalize their experience with welcome notes mentioning their interests, or offer complimentary breakfast pastries. These little touches create lasting memories and encourage positive feedback.

  • Train Your Staff:  Your staff is the heart and soul of your guest experience. Invest in training programs that emphasize attentiveness, responsiveness, and a genuine desire to make guests feel welcome. A happy and well-trained staff translates to happy guests who are more likely to leave positive reviews.

  • Encourage Reviews – But Do It Right:  Don't be shy! Subtly encourage guests to leave reviews during their stay. Place cards in rooms with instructions on how to find your review pages on popular platforms. Send polite email reminders after checkout, thanking them for their stay and gently nudging them to share their experience.

Here's a pro tip:  Consider offering small incentives for reviews, as long as they comply with the platform's guidelines. This could be a discount on their next stay or a free spa treatment. Just remember, the key is to encourage genuine feedback, not incentivize fabricated reviews.

Addressing Negative Reviews: Turning Frowns Upside Down

Let's be honest, negative reviews happen. A guest might have had a less-than-ideal experience due to unforeseen circumstances. The important thing is how you handle it.

  • Respond Promptly and Professionally:  Time is of the essence. Aim to respond to negative reviews within 24 hours. Acknowledge the guest's concerns and apologize for any inconvenience caused. Be sincere and professional in your response.

  • Don't Get Defensive:  The worst thing you can do is get into a public argument with a disgruntled guest. Take a deep breath, avoid getting defensive, and focus on resolving the issue.

  • See It as an Opportunity:  Negative reviews can be a valuable source of feedback. Use them to identify areas for improvement in your hotel. Did a guest complain about cleanliness? Step up your housekeeping protocols. Was there an issue with slow Wi-Fi? Invest in an upgrade.

Remember The Bellevue Resort: They took the feedback to heart and promptly expanded their restaurant offerings, introducing a new poolside bar and collaborating with local food trucks for greater variety. This proactive approach not only addressed the guest's concern but also showcased their commitment to guest satisfaction, ultimately leading to a wave of positive reviews praising their responsiveness.

  • Consider Taking the Conversation Offline: For more complex issues, consider taking the conversation offline. Publicly acknowledge the review and offer to connect with the guest via private message to discuss a resolution. This shows your willingness to go the extra mile and potentially turn a negative experience into a positive one.

Strategies for Different Platforms: Mastering the Review Landscape

While the core principles of responding to reviews remain the same, some popular review platforms in the Philippines might have slightly different nuances. Here's a quick rundown:

  • TripAdvisor: The granddaddy of travel review platforms, TripAdvisor prioritizes detailed and informative responses. Address specific concerns raised by the guest and showcase the steps you're taking to improve.

  • Agoda: Widely used in Southeast Asia, Agoda emphasizes clear and concise communication. Focus on acknowledging the guest's feedback and offering solutions if applicable.

  • Google My Business: This platform integrates seamlessly with Google Maps, making it crucial for local discoverability. Respond promptly and professionally, keeping your response concise and informative.

Conclusion: Building a Reputation for Excellence

Managing your online reputation is an ongoing process. By proactively encouraging positive reviews and addressing negative ones constructively, you can build a strong online presence that attracts guests and drives bookings. Remember, happy guests are your best marketing tool.

So, are you ready to take control of your Hotel or Resort's online reputation?  Implement the strategies discussed here, and watch your hotel or resort blossom into a haven of exceptional guest experiences, reflected in a glowing tapestry of positive online reviews.

At Allora Linen, we're passionate about helping hotels and resorts thrive.  We offer a wide range of high-quality linens and hospitality supplies that elevate your guest experience. But our support goes beyond products. We're here to be a resource for all your hospitality needs, including online reputation management.

Feel free to reach out to us today!  Let's work together to make your hotel or resort the shining star of Philippine hospitality.

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