Word-of-mouth referrals is like the holy grail for boutique hoteliers. How can you get more of your guests to refer you – whether on online review sites or in person – resulting in even more ideal guests?
Here are three steps to acing word-of-mouth at your boutique hotel.
Focus on impeccable service
It’s simple, but so true – your guests can feel when you really care about their welfare and your accommodation business.
Do you continuously try to improve your service? Do you make sure you invest in your property to keep it up to date and make guests feel comfortable?
Try to map out your guest’s experience with you – from the moment they step in the door to the moment they leave. Ask yourself what you would like to expect, and how you can make them feel that much more valued. It makes all the difference.
Make it easy for them to refer you
So your guests are happy with you. Now what? How easy is it for them to refer you?
You should continually ask for guest feedback as they leave. Tell them that you would really appreciate it if they reviewed you on TripAdvisor, and direct them to your TripAdvisor page.
Your boutique hotel’s property management system should have an automated email function to allow these emails to be sent automatically after check-out, but it doesn’t hurt to say it in person.
Respond to every review
Many boutique hoteliers only respond to the either the negative reviews that they receive, or the good ones. You should be replying to all reviews.
When guests leave glowing feedback, say thank you! This shows that you truly appreciate it.
When guests are complaining, reply in a professional manner, and let them know how you will improve your service in the future (if you feel they are making a good point).
It’s imperative that you don’t get defensive. This reflects badly on you, and your business.
Create a promotion
Running a ‘refer-a-friend’ promotion is one of the most effective ways to get more word-of-mouth business to your boutique hotel.
Simply send this out via email and let guests know as they check out. Guests will like that they can get their friends a discount.
A system like GuestCentrix can help you send automated emails, create and track promotions, and keep in touch with your guest database to maximise your boutique hotel’s word-of-mouth referrals. Click here to learn more.