How to use your hotel’s reviews to successfully package your offerings

By Bonke Liwani |

Author Bio

With experience in public relations and journalism, and an attitude imbued with the gregarious good nature that epitomises hospitality, Bonke has a knack for understnding the industry.

As much as any other product or service, different hotel packages will always appeal more or less to different people. You may try to emulate your competitors that are enticing some of your prospective guests through their doors, but paying too much attention to competitors tends to shift your focus from your guests’ satisfaction to that of your competitors’. 

How to use your hotel’s reviews to successfully package your offerings

What matters most is being on top of your guests’ experience, and so in tune with their perspective on travel that you are in a position to attract more of the guests who are searching for the packages you have to offer. Guest feedback technology makes it easier to strategise how your booking packages should be tailored to your ideal guest, and also rework how to market your packages if needs be.

Guest feedback helps hoteliers identify which guest segments or ‘buyer personas’ are attracted to the different travel packages you offer. Whether you offer ‘slow travel’ packages that immerse guests in the entirety of their destination; ‘home away from home’ staycations; or all-inclusive packages that make a guest forget the outside world exists – there is always a motive behind the offer your guest’s choose, which is linked to the type of travellers who will enjoy each hotel’s offering the most.

From basic satisfaction questions on primary service ratings (e.g cleanliness, value for money), to feedback on your specialised services (e.g safaris), asking guests for their opinions will give you a clearer picture of the impact all your service efforts have on the guest experience. You should then analyse your guest feedback data to delve further into your guests’ wants and needs, and understand what they pay attention to during their experience at your property. Doing so not only keeps you alert  to the sentiment felt by guests overall (especially if you recently made any changes like menu updates, renovations, or wellness activities for example), but also helps you understand your property from your guests’ perspective – an invaluable insight when defining and subsequently marketing new products and packages.

A strong customer-oriented focus is one of the many qualities that enable the company to build excellent relationships, underpinned by an efficient and helpful support team at GuestRevu.

The power of these insights is invariably influenced by the technology you use to collect and analyse them. Tools like GuestRevu’s advanced filters, for example, make it easier to understand each of your different guest segments. You can construct highly detailed filters so that you only view feedback from one target market at a time. You can then see  a wealth of information about each target demographic – which is the happiest, which is unhappiest? Are any guest segments with easily identifiable grievances that might be made significantly happier with a few small changes? Or are there unexpected segments of guests who enjoy aspects of your offering you didn’t think were worth including in marketing material? Once you understand each guest segment, you can target more of the happiest demographic, and analyse what it is that they love and include more of it in your offering or marketing material. You can also improve services to satisfy the unhappiest guest segment, or refine your marketing campaigns so as to not waste resources attracting guests who aren’t looking for what you have to offer.

How-to-use-your-hotel’s-reviews-to-successfully-package-your-offerings

Keeping track of the effects of any changes you make is critical to ensuring you’re interpreting your guest feedback insights correctly, and stopping wasteful expenditure. A feature like GuestRevu’s Milestones is a star player when it comes to monitoring the effects of those changes to guest satisfaction indicators at a later stage. Milestones are custom markers that can be added once to your account (e.g. “pool refurbishment completed”) and displayed on any graph to show changes in metric over time. So, any modifications you make that impact the guest experience can be measured more easily and in detail with this tool, according to how each of your guest segments responds and rates your property. 

How-to-use-your-hotel’s-reviews-to-successfully-package-your-offerings

Hoteliers need to think more like experience business, to create personalised experiences that produce high emotional value to ensure their packages are memorable. The interpretation of guest feedback data can help you keep your efforts so intentional, that you can even tailor specific ‘care packages’ for the variety of traveller types you have.

Aside from the services and amenities available at your property, you need to also know your property’s surroundings well, to capitalise on business opportunities that may lie within your range. An easy example to use would be collaborating with tour buses to take guests on a scenic drive around town from your property as part of their package, which may be more worthwhile if your property is in a touristy city. This kind of opportunity is an example of what you can discover from guest feedback technology. You could filter your data to only look at feedback from travellers who live within a 3-hour drive of your property, and then see if any locations or attractions in your area are mentioned frequently in these reviews. 

You can use this information to then either refine your marketing messaging to communicate your proximity to these sought-after attractions, or use it to curate packaged offerings in partnership with other local attractions that will appeal precisely to each target demographic.

Another useful element of consolidated guest reviews, surveys and questionnaires is understanding where most of your bookings come from (direct or indirect) - which impacts how you strategise the marketing of your packages, and how your team tailors your overall booking journey to suit your key demographics. If you're reconsidering which OTAs (Online Travel Agencies) to work with moving forward, feedback data will also give you a better idea of which ones align best with your hotel brand, and will help get it in front of your prospective guests.

A solid online reputation that’s specific to your key market will lead you to the right kind of word-of-mouth that can generate more direct bookings for your hotel, or through OTAs. Feedback technology helps you find out how those bookings come in, and also break down which guests (direct or online) leave more positive reviews. This feedback pours back into the upkeep of your online reputation, because you may find that your website's pictures and descriptions needed refreshing in order to bring more of the guests you need online and through OTAs.

The three broad traveller types defined by Hotelmize provide a good example of how to define your traveller types according to what they’re looking for, and examples of how you could approach packaging their stays:

  • Business travellers: As people who travel for work purposes that are often short term, these travellers are looking for an experience that’s conducive to their productivity, with as few hindrances as possible. Before you do too much of anything else, make sure they look forward to your fast, reliable internet connection, a desk to work in their room, or dedicated common areas where they can work peacefully without entirely isolating themselves.

  • Leisure travellers: Although these travellers may also be in town over a short period, it is generally to relax and explore the surroundings for entertainment. It's important to expose them to all the pastimes and attractions they have the option of enjoying while they stay at your property. Depending on how equipped your hotel is with amenities, for example, you can create family getaway packages that include wellness activities like yoga classes for the parents while the kids are looked after in your games room, or spa treatments for couples retreat specials. It’s all about creating unique experiences that are memorable enough to make it worth possibly spending a bit more to book your packages.

    If you don’t have some of these facilities available on-site, collaborating with the locals who provide those services, or simply sharing information about the relevant activities nearby can make a world of a difference. Every interaction with your prospective guests should show them the relief and comfort they stand to experience if they give you a chance.

  • Special interest travellers: These people travel specifically for certain activities and attractions to fulfil their personal interests. Your focus should be on which nearby attractions gain the most attention online, and doing keyword research and social media trend tracking along with your guest feedback data analysis can make that a little easier for you to accomplish. For example, If you’re in a coastal city that brings in a lot of beach lovers and surfers, you need to align your packages with that to facilitate their entertainment activities.

    Feedback data will show you if a majority of guests travel solo, in pairs or in small groups, and your packages should include themed small events like cocktail night specials for guests, access to minibus rental for small groups to visit the beach and back during the day, as well as making your chefs stand out as the perfect seafood menu providers to go along with the water activities in between. Your price point comes second to value for your guests, and if you spend some time on adding more details to the experience they intend to undertake, you stand to gain guests who are willing to cough up a bit more money to have a truly once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience with you.

Hoteliers need to think more like experience business, to create personalised experiences that produce high emotional value to ensure their packages are memorable. The interpretation of guest feedback data can help you keep your efforts so intentional, that you can even tailor specific ‘care packages’ for the variety of traveller types you have. We’ve spoken about making sure you exchange in the same “love language” as your guests, and that involves creating experiences that you know they will appreciate because you know the kind of people they are.

Guest feedback reveals what keeps guests satisfied, what makes you stand out from the competition, and why at times they may pass on you for your compset instead. It saves you from paying too much attention to the competition, and in turn focuses on what you should refine and offer according to the segments informed by your traveller types. The guest perspective is an honest representation of what you do well to attract them, and quite often it’s in the smaller details that you otherwise may not have noticed as the host. A more focused approach to customer interaction will earn your hotel brand a stronger connection to its intended people, because of your attention being on what they want and need.

Topics: Guest experience, Best practices, Hotel marketing, Personalisation, Feedback

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