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Technology + People = Reputation Management

Is your hotel using its reputation management software to its fullest potential? Are you responding to guest reviews in a timely manner? Are the reports you are generating being analyzed to correct issues in operations or guest services? For the majority of hotels, the answer likely is "no." Adopting social media technologies that monitor a hotel's or brand's online reputation is critical today to better connect with travelers. But unless those tools are being maximized, reputations and business practices can still suffer.

CoMMingle by Lodging Interactive has teamed up with leading hospitality reputation-management companies to supplement their technology applications whereby CoMMingle will provide the human resources necessary to answer guest reviews and manage guest responses on behalf of the hotel.

Consider this data provided by ReviewPro:

• A negative review or comment on the Twitter, Facebook or You Tube Web sites can lose companies as many as 30 customers (Convergys Corp)
• 92% of Internet users read product reviews and 89% of people say that reviews influence their purchasing decision. (e-tailing group)
• 85% of executives use social media during a purchase decision (Forrester research)
• TripAdvisor reviews are viewed three times more often on partner websites than on TripAdvisor.com (Tnooz)
• 69% of online shoppers said they trusted the Internet for advice, vs. 43% for magazines and 35% for TV (Yahoo)

"With guest review management becoming critical to the success or failure of a hotel's social media program — and its online marketing campaign overall — hotels would be remiss not to dedicate a full time team to social media monitoring," said DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive Founder and President. "But let's face it, unless you are a mega brand or luxury resort, finding the financial or human resources to monitor social channels to their full potential and creating effective responses to guest reviews in a timely fashion, is increasingly difficult. That's where CoMMingle comes in.

"We have spent the last few years building relationships with guest-review companies so that we can complement their technology with 'our people,'" Vallauri said. "Hotels that are using systems such as Revinate, for example, can outsource social media monitoring and guest review responses to us. Our teams log in as the hotel, and reply to guest reviews accordingly, always keeping the hotel apprised of comments and alerting it to concerns. It doesn't matter what type of guest-review technology platform a hotel is using; CoMMingle can work within the tools to maximize the messaging and deliver more consistent responses. Hotel General Managers especially appreciate this service, since it saves them considerable time in personally responding to reviews."

Lodging Interactive is an award winning interactive agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry. CoMMingle by Lodging Interactive is an outsourced social media marketing agency that develops customized solutions for hotels, restaurants and spas. The company works with its customers to grow and better manage their use of social media channels, provide reputation and consumer sentiment monitoring, and social search engine optimization. CoMMingle is designed to assist hotels in engaging online with social media strategic planning, growing and managing social media channels, word-of-mouth marketing and experiential marketing, reputation and consumer sentiment monitoring, and social search engine optimization.

Technology + People = Success
Revinate is a software platform designed exclusively for the hospitality industry that makes it easy for hotels to take control of their online reputation by using online reviews and social media to learn from and connect with travelers. CoMMingle works side-by-side with Revinate customers to provide staff to respond to the reviews.

"As a software company, we provide software, extensive training and best practices, but look to partners for managed services," said Marc Heyneker, Revinate Co-Founder and VP of Sales. "Having partners such as Lodging Interactive’s CoMMingle division handling the social media at hotels makes it a very robust solution for online reputation management — as well as using data to drive operational changes and engage with clients. Revinate provides the technology backbone, while CoMMingle serves as the eyes, ears and mouthpiece of the hotel, monitoring conversations and posting instant replies if desired."

CoMMingle has been providing social media assistance to hundreds of hotels since 2009. The company works closely with each property to understand its goals and objectives, then crafts a strategic plan, backed by proprietary technologies and experienced social media marketers.

"Hoteliers need to understand that just because they purchase reputation management software, it can only do so much to improve communication between the property and its guests," Vallauri said. "While hotels receive a dashboard of information as to how the property and its service is perceived by travelers, it also needs to interpret that data and respond to reviews to manage their ongoing relationships with guests. That alone can get overwhelming. CoMMingle, however, is able to help."