Travel bookings, whether done by computer or mobile, will never again be separated from internet searches, recommendation sites, and reviews. Hotel companies that view this transparency as an asset take measures to delight guests, keep reviews positive, and sometimes change perceptions when a guest is inclined to complain.
In days past, complaints may have been left to comment cards or front desk rants. Social media allows for a more public airing, but also creates a space for a back and forth conversation. Many times, a complaint is handled so well that the guest leaves with an even more favorable view than they would have had during a non-eventful stay. A manager at a popular family resort heard about a comment regarding a poor arrival experience and immediately called the guest to see what had gone wrong. He was able to turn the entire situation around by acknowledging the issue and sending some snacks and drinks to the room. Because of his hasty intervention, the guest was impressed and posted a public review to that effect.
Engaging guests while on site is the most efficient way to surprise and delight them. Any means of communication with guests, whether it be face to face, phone calls, or via technology, is an opportunity to create a unique experience and further personalize their say. Collecting information such as birthday, anniversary, or food preferences makes it easy to provide little touches that add to the stay.
Relating in this fashion can be an excellent way to boost your travel reviews but it is imperative that this be in addition to marketing and especially upselling efforts. It is tempting to use customization solely for sales. Marketing is a great use, but relevance that changes reviews or even goes viral is focused directly on the guest.