Why guest comments are GOOD for your business.
You would probably be aware that TakeABreak has always had systems in place that mean we can receive and publish guest comments quickly. We know that some of you are finding this confronting, so here is a quick summary showing why the new guest comments system can bring you more business.
Firstly, the system is designed to provide additional information on properties for potential guests – and as they come from a third party, they have the benefit of being an ‘independent’ endorsement of the property. Visitors to the site are more likely to make a decision to book when they can read comments from guests who have recently stayed, as they are likely to accurately reflect the property and their experience.
Another benefit is that it provides guests with a valid way to be more interactive in their comments, as visitor’s books are only ever read by other people who stay at a given property, but online comments have a much wider and more responsive audience.
Finally, you as the property owner/manager, receive valuable feedback and learn quickly what is – and isn’t – working for your guests.
Just to reassure you that the system isn’t open to abuse, here are a few details on how it all works:
* Guests can't make a comment unless they are in our system as having contacted you about a stay
* The comment and rating goes online immediately and is emailed to both you and the guest to prevent fraud
* You have a right of reply
* We have a policy of leaving guest comments online unless they are designated as malicious or fraudulent (ie guest did not stay etc)
The internet is an ever-growing and changing thing, and as it becomes even more interactive as a ‘social media’ tool, visitors want to contribute comments and also read comments from other guests – and not just comments or editorial from the operators or marketing agents. Also, people know that the internet is an ‘instant’ medium and tend to be suspicious if there is no way to contribute, or if comments are not published quickly. This loss of faith is no good for any business, but is potentially more damaging to the tourism industry than any other.
We also need to be seen to be transparent … that guest comments are not whitewashed or edited out of all recognition, and not all comments can be positive or 5/5 … if they were, how could potential guests have any faith in the honesty of the comments? If we are honest in our ratings and guest comments, then they can be assured that a 5/5 property is just that – and the properties who are receiving these ratings will stand out.
Guests will also decide if a negative comment has any relevance to them, for example they may not care that there were no childrens’ DVDs supplied, if they plan to bring their own, or don’t have children.
We all need to look at the guest comments system as a way of improving the way we do business and as an opportunity to finetune the service we offer, when necessary.
For further information on the guest comments system, please email support @takeabreak.com.au