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In today’s very transparent Internet world, online guest rating systems can be both a major challenge and a business opportunity for hoteliers.

In addition, the validity of guest rating systems are not always cut and dry. For example, people tend to give a restaurant in their own neighborhood a more negative review, as opposed a restaurant they encounter during their travels. This reinforces that human biases come into play when it comes to online ratings, and that brands should continually aim for trusted relationships with their guests.

It probably comes as no surprise, but new studies show that many guests are more influenced to book, or not book, based on online reviews – not price. This means that potential guests are using online review sites such as TripAdvisor to make certain that the hotel reviews match their expectations.

This also reinforces the value of creating trust with guests. Though how can hoteliers create this brand trust?

By providing a “frictionless guest experience,” hoteliers can improve reviews and loyalty, as well as empower guests to interact with hotel brands in customized ways.

From booking to checkout and beyond, guests must be fully satisfied throughout the entire lifecycle – especially when doing online booking.  This often starts with tools that anticipate guests’ needs before they even arrive. Essentially, this means meeting guests’ needs before they even know what they want.

By fully anticipating guest needs, it is possible to instill this trust, which will go a very long way in ensuring lasting brand loyalty.