A June 2013 Local Consumer Review Study reveals that 79 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Findings from the study suggest "more consumers are reading reviews as part of their pre-purchase research before selecting a local business to use. They are forming opinions faster and needing to read fewer reviews before they trust (or don’t trust) a local business. This puts increased emphasis on local businesses to manage their online reputation closely and ensure that any negative reviews are dealt with in a swift and positive way." As hoteliers budget for 2014, it's clear that guest reviews need to become part of their online marketing strategies. Hotels with limited staff and financial resources to manage the feedback process can easily afford adding the Guest Review System from Lodging Interactive.
"What this data shows us is that travelers are diligently seeking out online reviews before they make any purchasing decisions," said DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive Founder and President. "This validates why hoteliers — especially those operating independent properties — should be adding online guest reviews to their websites. If resources are lacking, both in staffing and finances, the Lodging Interactive Guest Review System is an ideal option.
"Our Guest Review System is a web-based tool that is successfully helping hotels verify, review and display customer comments directly on their hotel websites," Vallauri said. "By allowing management to respond to comments in real time — or outsourcing that task to Lodging Interactive — hotels are improving two-way hotel-to-guest communications and boosting guest retention and loyalty."
Lodging Interactive is a full-service digital marketing and social media engagement agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry. The company's Guest Review System dispatches real-time alerts to hotel managers advising when pending guest reviews pop up. This eliminates delays in addressing concerns and turns potential problems into new opportunities. The system also stops fake reviews posted by competitors or dishonest guests looking for refunds, helping hotels to maintain their reputations. In addition, directing guests to the hotel's website to post comments and reviews keeps them from being redirected to an OTA where they will never come back to book direct.
Social Media Benefits
"The Lodging Interactive Guest Review System is also proving to be a valuable part of a hotel's social media marketing initiative," Vallauri said. "Travelers can share their reviews on Facebook with their network of friends, opening up avenues to new booking audiences, and again, more revenues. Lodging Interactive's Facebook Widget links comments from the hotel's website to its Facebook page in real time. This enables potential guests to read guest reviews on Facebook and enables past guests to leave reviews directly on Facebook as well. Leveraging social media as a communications platform for guest reviews is a natural extension for Lodging Interactive's solution. Better yet, there is no additional cost to implement the Guest Review System on Facebook and our team will even handle the set up for the hotel.”
According to the latest Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising report, which surveyed more than 28,000 Internet respondents in 56 countries, 92 percent of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising. Nearly six-in-10 global online consumers (58 percent) trust messages found on company websites, and half trust email messages that they signed up to receive.
If your hotel is lacking a guest review program or the resources to manage the one you already have, call Lodging Interactive at 877-291-4411 ext 701 or visit www.GuestReviewSystem.com. The Company offers a 10 day FREE trial of its Guest Review System and no credit card is required.