It is crucial to know how well you performed when dealing with guests. You want to offer the best possible service to each and every one of them. However, you can only do that if you know how your guests are receiving your service by asking them to leave reviews.
Are they enjoying how observant your waiting staff is by stopping by and asking them if they’d like anything else? Or do they find it rather frustrating that they are not left alone to enjoy their Negroni? It’s hard to know! But what you do know is the importance of knowing the answers to these questions..
Questions to consider
- Did that guest enjoy how they were treated upon check-in?
- How did my guest feel about the way she/he was approached in the lobby?
- Do our guests feel they get enough information from our concierge?
- Are our guests receiving enough attention from the hotel staff?
- Do our guests think that the service we offer is consistent?
- Is our guest happy with the speed at which we try to resolve their issues?
- What do our guests think of our restaurant and the quality of food we offer?
- Is there anything we could improve upon in our Spa services?
- Can we be better? And if so, how?
- Is our check-out service helpful and enjoyable?
If you have asked yourself any of the questions above, then you might want to ask your guests for a review. It is only natural to want feedback on the service you offer so that you can either change, tweak or improve it to better suit your guests' needs. A great hotel does everything possible for their guests and their sole desire is to ensure that each and every one of them feels taken care of and enjoys their stay.
This is why we have come up with a list of ideas that you can draw off to ask your guests for their feedback.
The best ways to ask for reviews
1. Through email
A nifty way of asking for a review is through email. The reason for this is that it is the perfect mix of personal and impersonal. If you contact your guests through the email address they have provided when booking with you, it’s also perfectly normal to reach out via email to ask what they thought about their time. You are not asking them in person, but in a way which still feels relatively anonymous. This means that you are more likely to receive honest feedback.
You can link this feedback directly to your website review page. However, you might also want to read it first and subsequently decide if you would like it featured on your website. This is the perk of asking for a review via email—you get to decide where it is seen or published. If it’s a 5-star review, then you will want to ask the guest if you can publish it. If it’s a 1-star review, then you get to see where you can improve. You also have the possibility of reaching out to the guest to apologise and offer a discount or better service the next time they visit.
2. In person
When asking for a review in person, you need to ensure you do it with great caution and tact. It is important that the staff member asking a guest for a review does so in a respectful manner.
The best time to ask for feedback in person is when your guest is raving about something that they thoroughly enjoyed at your hotel. Ask them questions about what in particular they enjoyed and why. It’s a good opportunity to ask them to write it down for you or send the feedback over via email so that you can publish it on your website.
On the other hand, a guest can also be unimpressed with the service they receive and feel the need to voice it somewhere. It’s best to catch this in person, as opposed to them getting on TripAdvisor and leaving you a nasty remark there. The reason for this is two-fold:
- It gives the guest the feeling that you truly care and that you are there to listen to them. It also gives you the opportunity to see where your hotel might be lacking and improve in these areas.
- The guest will feel less inclined to leave a 1-star review on a public platform. They will feel that they have spent enough time discussing the matter with the hotel, and therefore you will curve the chances of receiving a bad review.
3. Using in-house performance cards
These are great. In-house performance cards can be placed in any area of the hotel and include questions that are suitable for each of those departments.
For example, you could place a ‘house-keeping’ performance card in the hotel room, including questions like:
- How do you feel about the quality of our bedding?
- Were you satisfied with your room upon checking in?
- Could you leave us a review that rates our rooms that we can use publicly?
You could do the same thing in the hotel restaurant or spa, adjusting the questions accordingly.
The best way to ask for a review is to always start with one or two general questions. This lets the guest feel that the reason you are asking for feedback is to improve your service. Then you ask them for the actual review that you can use publicly.
Another perk of the in-house performance card is that you can share it with the managers of each department, who can then pass these notes on to the staff to ensure that changes are made to improve the service offered.
4. On social media
It is undeniable that social media is a massive tool that many guests use to leave feedback or reviews for hotels.
Reviews are no longer stationary written objects that are forever pinned to your website or Google review page. A review nowadays can be a 10-second snap of a meal at a restaurant where the guest either says ‘Doesn’t this steak look amazing!’ or ‘I think I see a hair in my salad...’ and then tags your hotel.
It is crucial to stay on top of things and the only way you can really do that is by staying on top of your mentions i.e. when anyone tags your specific hotel in a post or story. If someone posts something positive about your hotel, it might be worth asking your PR Manager or Social Media Manager to reach out to them and ask if you can repost what they said. You could then create a highlight button on your social media page that is called ‘5-Star Reviews’ and collate any positive mentions in there.
5. On your website
Many hotels have a drop-down option on their website that says ‘Leave A Review’. This is a passive way of getting guests to leave a review on your website. It requires very little action on your part, so it could save you a lot of time.
It is also a great way to show guests that you are proud of the service you offer and therefore do not shy away from reviews but actually welcome them. The best thing about having reviews on your website is that it creates a sense of trust from any online visitor, as they can read all about your hotel and its services before booking with you.
The reviews you have on your website will greatly impact if a guest books with you or not. The better your reviews are, the more likely you are to receive more bookings. It is also crucial for you to reply to the reviews you receive on your website. This could be a simple ‘Thank you so much for your review and we can’t wait to have you again’ or a ‘Thank you for your feedback, we have taken your points under consideration and will do our very best to improve’. What is important is to simply show that you have read and understood the review your guest left and that you thank them for their time in leaving their review.
6. Ask for a Google or a TripAdvisor review
Google Reviews and TripAdvisor Reviews are both public platforms that you cannot control. You can flag a review if you find it inappropriate, but you cannot simply delete negative reviews.
They are a little more delicate due to the lack of control you have over them, however, they are massive platforms that potential guests take seriously. You need to ensure that you have a Google and TripAdvisor presence and that you respond to both the positive and negative reviews left there.
7. Via SMS service
A great way of asking for a review is via SMS. It might seem like a slightly outdated measure, however, many bookings require either an email address or a cell phone number to complete a booking.
It’s an easy way to reach out to guests with a little “Thank you for staying with us” and then offering them the links to all your review platforms to leave a review. A clever option via SMS is when you incorporate a numbering system into your service. This means that you can ask them to reply with a 1 - 5 which will represent what level of service they have received.
They can reply with a 5, meaning a 5 star and this can link to any of your pages you want where it says ‘This guest rated their experience with a 5 star’. They don’t need to leave a long list of things they enjoyed, sometimes just the star rating is already enough.
8. On post-purchase ‘Thank you’ cards
If a guest purchases anything, like an item from the boutique or a spa treatment, you can send them a ‘Thank you’ card. This shows your appreciation for their support for your hotel. At the bottom of this card, you can say ”If you have enjoyed your time at our spa...” or “If you adore the service you received at our boutique then please leave us a review here”.
9. Have a prepared template
Sometimes guests want to leave a review but they have too little time to do so. People live busy lives and going out of their way to leave a hotel a review is simply not on their list of priorities.
A clever way to get around this is to have a template prepared where all they need to do is complete some sentences, add their name and Bob’s your uncle!
A few examples of this would be:
- I enjoyed my stay at the hotel because I … (they fill in the blank)
- I thought the restaurant was … (they fill in the blank)
- The hotel room itself was up to standard / not up to standard (they circle the option)
10. Upon check-out
The final stage of the stay is when they check out. This is a great time to ask for a review as the stay is still fresh in their mind. You can have an iPad set up somewhere close to the reception, where the guest can comfortably sit and fill in a questionnaire that asks them about their stay and ultimately asks them to leave a review too.
It is safe to say that reviews are crucial for the success of a hotel. It is important to ask your guests for their feedback, not only so that you can publish great reviews but also see which areas you might be lacking in, and then improve.