There have been many years of talks that soon the user-generated content, WEB2 , will be more than just entertainment. In the Travel Industry, I can say for sure, that this has arrived already long ago. Word of mouth is the King! The only marketing that customers care about is the Feedback of Experience of other customer and not some cliché advertising text written by the best copywriter around.
If you still don’t believe it, here are some real cases from hotels of New York (more than 430 hotels listed in TripAdvisor).
Nr1 marketing tool
Adele Gutman, VP of sales, marketing and revenue of Library Hotel Group: “When I was hired, I was not told to make sales calls or buy advertising. I was told to make these hotels as successful as they can be,” she said. “I have found TripAdvisor a tremendous tool toward achieving that goal. The staff reads reviews every morning. It starts from the top and permeates to every level,” Gutman continued. “If you ask anybody in the hotels—the IT person, the busboy or the electrician—what our priority is, they will say TripAdvisor.”
Kaizad Charma, of the Hilton Garden Inn Times Square, said the hotel responds to every review on the hotel’s TripAdvisor page. The staff discusses all comments in its operations meeting every morning, he said. “We are one of the very few limited-service hotels to have guest services staff—three full-time associates. They send out pre-arrival e-mails and post-stay messages,” he said. “One guest who was in the hotel complained on TripAdvisor about not having cell phone service from her room. We immediately moved her to another room. It’s the little things like that that make a difference in the rankings.”
“If an associate’s name is mentioned in a positive way, they get a $25 gift card. We also do a monthly recognition of employees who have been praised in reviews,” added Charna.
Constant interaction with guests is a high priority for The Distrikt Hotel (ranked No. 4 of 431 hotels in New York as of 31 August), according to Anna Silverstein, sales manager. “Somebody on TripAdvisor just posted that they feel like they’re talking to a real person when we exchange posts,” she said. “Our GM encourages us to be personal, to use our personal sense of humour and to treat people as friends online.“
“And we try to have fun,” Silverstein continued. “We recently posted on Foursquare that if you check into our hotel on Foursquare, you will get a free mango.”
ED for hotels always puts lots of efforts into incorporating TripAdvisor, nr1 marketing tool, to the homepages of our clients’ hotels so their potential clients can read reviews of others and their clients can give their feedback after the stay. BTW, there is much more in Tripadvisor than just hotel feedbacks. I have used to make my “things to see” lists based on TripAdvisor when having holidays with my family. For example, if you look for culture, check the list of commented attractions in St Petersburg. Before packing your bags, check hotel with good booking engine Helvetia Hotel.
Read more of NY hotels experiences in here.