The headline is shocking, so is the problem. Google has rolled out a new large algorithm update called Penguin 2.0 recently that is going to have a gigantic impact in the rankings of keywords for websites across the globe. The update will bring many websites down to the ground and dramatically reduce bookings for many accommodation providers.
If you feel your hotel / bed & breakfast may have been affected, we can offer you our resident specialists’ here at Queensborough Group to update and monitor your website to help you through these frequent Google updates.
However, if you feel that you have been impacted and have no idea how to check this for yourself, or you'd like to know if you've been hit by Penguin 2.0, please let us know and we'll get right back to you.
• So what’s changed?
Google’s last update (Penguin 2.0) which was released on the 22nd of May has completely changed the way in which Google index’s your site.
Meta data, on site links, Anchor text & relevancy are more important than ever.
• Will my website be affected?
The latest change in Google’s Algorithm will affect every single domain name to date, this significant change may be the reason you are noticing a substantial reduction in traffic to your website.
• Just how important is Google?
Google is critical for online exposure, almost 90% of daily searches are done through Google. Keeping up to date with Google’s latest criteria is crucial for driving traffic to your website & most importantly away from the competition.
• How can I protect my website?
Protecting your online revenue couldn’t be easier, Our Search engine optimization package will streamline your website using the latest search engine optimization techniques with monthly reports and adjustments you can rest assure your site will always be up to date with the latest Algorithm changes.
If you don’t understand these jargons, and wonder how to get your website ethically to the top of search results, call us on 01204 373710.
All Q-Book online booking users can update Agoda through our FREE channel manager (Q-Connect) more info here.
From the middle of December 2012, Visit Scotland will no longer be offering its own online booking facility on www.visitscotland.com.
Attach Q-Book to Facebook to create bookings for free
• Bookings straight from facebook
• No commission
• Even more likes and shares
• It's free & it's easy
Let clients check your availability and book through Facebook for free
We have hundreds of clients using this service with great success, more info here.
Q-Book can be integrated into your TripAdvisor listing.
When a booker clicks on “Show Prices” this will show your available rooms, they can then proceed to book rooms at zero commission.
Saves you paying commission to other agents & increase your direct bookings, more info here.
Q-Book now linked to Guestlink and their networks full list here.
Let Q-Book update your rates & availabilty on any of Guestlink tourist sites for free.
Q-Book is going from strength to strength our in house booking software is growing in popularity with thousands of accommodation providers throughout the UK, we now have thousands of satisfied clients using Q-Book who are making good use of the marketing tools within the booking system with no commission to pay, plus our connectivity service of using Q-Book to update other systems such as Booking.com and many others, this saves a lot of time and stops double bookings, no setup fee, no connection fee, no lock-in contracts.
There have been huge plans to move Blackpool away from its image as a destination only for stag and hen parties and become a top family resort. New attractions including a revamped Tower and the opening of Nickelodeon Land, which features rides based on children's TV characters, have been placed to help draw in families of the young and the old.
The Creators behind Blackpool's key tourist attractions believe that the town has the prospective to develop into one of Europe's top family-friendly resorts. Merlin Entertainments, which manages Blackpool’s Sea Life centre, is assisting the council to revamp Blackpool’s Tower. It is believed that work on the tower was going so well that part of the attraction would reopen in time for this year’s illuminations.
The tower top observation platform is set to reopen, as the Blackpool Tower Eye. This platform will open on September 1st and will boast a new extended glass floor area and a 4D cinema, showing tourists a bird's eye view of Blackpool through the seasons.
Helen France, director of tourism, commented that the plans should end "old opinions" of Blackpool. She went onto explain: "We're really pushing Blackpool as a family resort. We're giving people more reasons to visit and a larger variety of things to do when they get here.
A national survey shows that a record number of people visited Blackpool in 2010. Thirteen million visitors arrived in the resort and spent £1bn, compared to 10 million visitors in 2007. The council commented that overnight stays also increased in 2010, particularly during the illuminations period from September to December. There are high hopes that these new plans will help to top that figure in 2011.
It is thought that Blackpool Football Club's recent promotion to the Premiership has also helped draw visitors to the resort. Ms France explained: "While we don't get that many visitors directly from matches, it has really boosted Blackpool's profile. The team are very good ambassadors for the town and their success means Blackpool is on national TV every week."
A new exciting partnership, formed between the UK’s national tourism agency ‘VisitBritain’, and the well-known UK airline ‘Easyjet’ aims to profoundly market Britain as a tourist destination over the next four years.
This four year campaign, said to be worth over £18million, will aim to deliver;
- 50,000 extra UK jobs within the industry
- 4 million additional visitors from overseas
- A further £2 billion visitor spending within the UK
The agreement between both parties will help improve visitor numbers to the country and help make the most of the unique opportunities provided by events such as this week’s Royal Wedding, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Olympic Games. The deal will also help deliver vital assistance with the promotion of Britain through these sequences of events. Strategic marketing will ensure overseas visitors come and experience what the UK really has to offer.
EasyJet is the latest private sector company to donate towards the target marketing fund of £100million, where the private sector must match the £50 million of public money already committed by national tourism agency, VisitBritain.
EasyJet’s involvement in the campaign will be mainly focused in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland. These match the target countries as set out by VisitBritain. EasyJet has a strong presence in these countries with local staff and promotional agencies available to drive a number of multi-media campaigns.
EasyJet cover the majority of the desired European market routes, with over 300 million Europeans living within an hour’s drive to one of their airports, thus making all parts of Britain easily assessable. This will help increase the number of visitors from overseas massively and have a direct positive impact on all aspects of British tourism and the hospitality industry.
The rise of the ‘Staycation’
New research* indicates that there is no sign that the popularity of the “staycation” – the holiday on home turf – is fading.
The welcoming news showed that almost half (48%) of people are seriously contemplating staying within the UK for their main holiday. The figure compares with 39% on the same survey done last year and 29% in 2009.
In addition to this, the survey showed that more than three quarters (79%) of travellers who took their main holiday in the UK in 2010 have said they are ‘extremely likely’ to return in 2011 compared with only 66% in 2009.
This survey indicated that while many people initially choose to stay and holiday in the UK for economic reasons, the UK tourism industry has exceeding consumer expectations and therefore people plan to return because of the excellent service they received and the enjoyable attractions and locations available within the UK. The stress and hassle of air travel was also cited by 38% of those surveyed as a reason to holiday in the UK this year compared with 29% in 2009.
29% of people questioned feel that UK tourism businesses should be supported in the current economic climate whilst 51% of travellers (who like to base their holiday around their hotel experience) considered that the UK’s appeal has definitely increased. When asked ‘why’ they thought this, 29% of people mentioned better hotels/accommodation, 24% improved restaurants/catering and 19% thought that UK hotels delivered better overall service and was more customer absorbed. 45% of those questioned also felt that the UK scenery was a reason to stay in the UK for their main holidays.
Based on the results of the survey, the fact that UK holidaymakers are choosing to stay in the UK based on positive experiences rather than the cost of traveling abroad, it is suggested that the trend of the ‘staycation’ can be sustained well into the future.
*the results quoted in this article come from the independent market research firm BDRC Continental.
Mobile Internet – the future is here!
Mobile Internet is already here – 3G (broadband wireless services) is the typical wireless technology and smart phones like blackberry, Iphone and LG etc are a definite part of everyday life. The guarantee of “instant, anywhere and anytime” Internet access, immediate information, location-based services and personalization are the key plusses of mobile Internet.
Research has shown that three in four active travellers use a mobile device while on the move. Two-thirds say they are likely to explore, shop and book travel activities via their mobile devices. So then, just what are the mobile services that will allow hoteliers to take full advantage of this prospect?
Mobile Hotel Websites
Firstly it must be clearly understood that the mobile Internet is not wireless access to the conventional Internet. Companies who literally “translate” their standard websites for the wireless world are almost guaranteed to be unsuccessful to achieve any meaningful usage and conversions. The mobile Internet follows different rules than the conventional Internet. Mobile users also have less time to browse and are very often on the go. Slower download speeds, smaller screens and limited data-input capability (e.g. the number of keywords that can be typed in a search) are some of the restrictive factors. Imagine trying to squeeze your normal desktop wide-screen hotel website onto the tiny screen of a mobile device?? Accessing a “conventional” website via a mobile device often results in an adverse user experience: the failure to find information needed, and a highly predictable outcome of abandoned websites and reservations.
To solve this issue, hoteliers should offer a mobile website specially designed for such use to provide an excellent user experience. Mobile users demand mobile sites that download quickly, provide brief and to the point textual content and minimal visual content. Effectual and simple navigation is of specific importance so people can easily find short descriptions of hotel facilities and services, maps and directions as well as contact numbers and email addresses. More information on having a mobile website click here.
Mobile devices and Customer Service
Mobile devices are usually continually present, always on and usually only used by only one person. Hence, using mobiles to provide quick, discreet and highly personalized services convinces customers that this is their service. Here are only some of the customer service initiatives possible using the mobile space;
- Booking confirmation text messaging
- Pre-Arrival text messages (up-selling opportunity; value add – e.g. events and happenings at the hotel or in the local areas, etc.)
- Post-departure texts with short guest satisfaction surveys
Opt-in Customer Mobile Lists
Text messaging is huge and is constantly growing. In 2008, over a trillion text messages were sent worldwide. Unlike email marketing, which is free and vulnerable to abuse such as in the form of unsolicited spam, mobile text marketing has to overcome two very important difficulties:
- People are willing to share their email with just about anybody, however are not so forthcoming with their mobile numbers – revealing them only to close friends and relatives.
- Wireless carriers are taking the privacy of their subscribers extremely seriously and reacting aggressively to any attempts of cold calling or unwelcome text campaigns.
Therefore it is not a simple task to produce an opt-in list of existing guests and potential new customers’ mobile phone numbers. These guests would have to provide the hotel with definite consent to receive special promotions via their mobile devices and many people are still very wary of this.
How could you create and expand this consent? Here are some possible techniques
- During Guest check-in/check-out
- Website sign-ups
- Mobile coupons and other special offers
- Interactive contests, games that require the input of a mobile phone number or sending a text message to a short code
- Quizzes and polls
- Social media initiatives
3. Mobile Text Marketing
Once have addressed the privacy and customer consent issues as discussed above, the next logical step is to work on the text campaigns and decide on their frequency.
Here are example text message campaigns:
- Mobile Coupons – e.g. discount coupons for a discounted meal / free drink at the bar, 10% off a reservations, etc.
- Mobile competitions – e.g. text “Free Room” to a short code and enter our Free Room Giveaway
- Interactive games
In conclusion travellers, all over the world, are already using their mobile devices to research and then book hotels. Even mobile sites of small, single properties are being visited and are enjoying the exposure to thousands of mobile customers. Some travel and hotel companies are already taking advantage of revenues created from their mobile sites, therefore if you as a business has not yet done so… now is the time to act on this growing trend.
It is highly expected, by experts, that British tourism will be boasted by travellers from all over the world hoping to catch a glimpse of the royal wedding on April 29th 2011. 600,000 visitors attended the 1981 wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, and hundreds of thousands are expected this time around too. The Royal Wedding is projected to bring a boost not just to the tourism industry in London but right across the UK’s travel and tourism industry. The couple met at St Andrews University and spend time at Balmoral in Scotland which will have a beneficial impact on visitors to these areas. The Royal couple will live in North Wales where William is serving with the RAF, which will be a great boost for Wales's and its attractions such as Snowdonia National Park and its surrounding castles including the medieval Caernarfon Castle.
The majority of hoteliers, especially those in London, will already have arranged their Royal Wedding packages and be heavily promoting them to fill rooms. However the weeks before the event ought to be carefully handled in order to maximise revenue taken over this exciting period. The UK government announced the 29 April as a public holiday. This extra day essentially means that a large number of UK residents will be able to take an 11-day break, by taking only three working days off. Many overseas visitors will also take part in the royal celebrations. Tourism is also predicted to increase even further in 2012, when the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games occur. So how can these special events be utilized to bring in the maximum profits possible – read on for some important tips:
- Minimum Stay Requirements-To fully take advantage of these types of important one-day-events, it is advisable to implement a minimum stay requirement. This will encourage longer booking periods and have a positive impact on occupancy levels throughout the period.
- Extended length of stay package deals.- In addition to the ‘minimum stay’, it is also recommended to offer customers an extended length of stay special package and deals. This will encourage travellers to stay for longer to combine the Royal Wedding with other tourist attractions. These packages should be made available during the booking process as well as an on-going marketing process to confirmed guests.
Keep everything balanced
Hotels may find that their repeat and loyal customers are hesitant about travelling to London for the event weekend due to extreme pricing concerns. In the interest of boosting occupancy over the long-term, hoteliers are advised to pay calculated attention to your normal base business rate and wedding-generated business rate.
Ensure that your hotel’s cancellation policy is communicated clearly to the sales and reservations teams – and then to every customer who makes a booking with you. It can be expected that there is a large number of cancellations for bookings made over a major event. However, if your hotel or guesthouse has an indisputable, clear and concise cancellation policy - you will be able to dramatically reduce any negative impact on revenue from these last-minute cancellations.
- Overbook your hotel or guesthouse by 5% - Research has shown that hotels, while expecting demand to reach record levels, actually tend to only reach 95% occupancy during major events. Depending on your business mix and the number of guaranteed bookings you have, it is generally recommended to overbook by at least 5%. This should be gradually reduced as the date gets nearer to the event and bookings are made to more accurate numbers.
- Does your hotel offer additional services?- Income from food and beverage sales has shown to come in below expectations on major event days. It is therefore advisable to focus on meeting and event sales, and food and drink marketing efforts, on the days leading up to and after the big event, as there will be a greater need to increase profits during this period. Greater occupancy levels should also allow hoteliers to offer attractively priced rooms plus full board packages before, during and after big events such as the Royal Wedding.
In today’s economy, where costs are undergoing a constant analysis and profit margins are becoming smaller by the day, listening to customers and encouraging feedback should be deemed an important part of the business agenda. It is true that a large proportion of businesses are now connecting with their customers to get feedback, however this is very often where the practice ends. Many businesses go through the lengthy process of gathering customer feedback only to leave the data unused.
Research has shown:
"A 2% boost in customer retention has the same effect on profits as cutting costs by a massive 10%"
If Customer insight is to be used successfully, it should lead to positive actions from the business. Businesses should be focusing on the opinions made by customers and implementing actions to improve their business processes and therefore the customer experience. Yes, it is a given fact that the quality of the customer experience is one of the biggest contributes of business success or failure – and in the hospitality trade, it holds even more importance. But what factors really affect and influence the overall customer experience?
The customer experience should be deemedto start way before the clientstays at the hotel or guesthouse… andthat itfinisheslong after they have departed! Customer anticipationsare usually set when visiting and browsing through the hotel’s website or other online information. A website can be viewed by anyone in the world at any given time and it is true that first impressions do count immensely. Therefore hoteliers need to be aware of the importance of their online presence and make sure it matches up with the impression that they want to give to their customers. A potential guest can very quickly be put off by insufficient information, poor images and site that is extremely hard to use.
It should also be noted that the most successful establishments identify that the customer experience doesn’t conclude with their departure. Post-stay follow-up is one of the most successful methods to convert a positive experience into repeat visits and recommendations. This post follow up could be in the form of a personal written or spoken telephone thank you or maybe an update on the result of feedback given. Make sure that the permission of the guest has been granted and then also follow up with email news of offers and new services.
The customer experience ultimately can be described as every encounter that a customer has with a hotel or guesthouse, over the lifetime of their relationship with that hotel. Successful hoteliers are the ones who provide a consistently great experience whenever a guest comes into contact with the hotel – whether that is on the telephone, through the website or when they actually stop by to dine, drink, sleep or all three. Every imaginable exchange with a guest is an opportunity to check they are making the most of their stay as well as a chance to improve it. Maybe start by saying “hello” in reception and checking they are enjoying their stay. Include conversing about the aspects of their stay that are ‘not’ to do with your accommodation - maybe asking if they have visited local attractions or recommend a restaurant or cuisine?
It should be seen that every single interaction between the various members of staff and the guest is an opportunity to build a positive relationship therefore encourage customer loyalty including potential recommendations of your hotel to friends and family.
Email Marketing for Hotels
With all the recent publicity over social media, email marketing has taken a backseat role in many ways. However email remains a very powerful marketing tool when used correctly and most definitely should not be overlooked. Email generally has a greater psychological value than other types of social media communication. If you are regularly delivering value in your mails, people will listen to what you have to say.
Ways your hotel could use email
- As a relationship building tool. You can use email to give your business personality and a sense ofquality.
- Use it as a feedback and research tool.Many hotels send an automatic survey link to gather guest feedback. There are also other ways you can use email to get feedback. Not only on the guests stay, but also for new ideas and other market research.
- As a direct promotional tool. Write newsletters to guests; detailing special offers; notifications of new facilities; or to provide insider information. Create an email that offers travel tips or other useful information, and people will welcome your updates that come with it.
- Use it to provide superior guest service.There is so much potential for hotels to use email to improve their guests’ experience and hence increase repeat bookers. A series of e-mails could be generated whenever someone makes a booking: leading up to the stay, and then following up after they depart. Putting everything on autopilot insures every guest has an outstanding experience interacting with your hotel and reduces the potential for errors.
- Offer Competitions. You can use email to hold a contest, and to offer prizes to winners. This is one method of increasing interactivity, and to increase interest in your newsletter. Encourage contest participants to get others to sign up as well-and watch the interest grow.
To find out more about how to do this in “Q-Marketing” our new email marketing tool visit http://www.abchotel.co.uk/screen-shots.html
Plan your list building strategy
You don’t want to be thought of as a spammer. That’s why it’s important not to send emails that are not targeted properly. To get the best results from each email you should firstget permission from your recipients before you send out anything. Try the following to achieve this:
- Include a signup form on your website. Just keep it short: email & first name is best.
- Have a system in place where your front desk staff ask for addresses during check-in or check out
- Consider leaving a letter of invitation in their room
- Always provide a strong benefit for the person signing up for your list. Receiving updates (marketing messages) alone isn’t usually a very strong offer. Exclusive discounts and preferred service are more compelling.
Tips for writing effective emails for your hotel
- Make sure you get through the spam filters. Mail that isn’t delivered isn’t read.
- Write effective subject lines. Tell what’s inside, but don’t overdo it. Sometimes boring is best. Don’t use too much hype.
- Include your contact information and a telephone number.
- Provide a Link to Your Web Site.
- Use good grammar.
Choose a publishing frequency
Publishing too often can result in people unsubscribing. If you don’t publish enough, people may forget about you. Find a regularity that works well with your audience.
Test… and test again
As with most online marketing, success is achieved through continual testing…and making changes based on the results.
Ideas for testing
- Days of the week (Monday…or Saturday?)
- Time of day (morning, evening etc.)
- Subjects & Topics
By using email as part of an overall marketing plan, you can help people form a positive impression of your business, develop customer relations, and help get the word out about your organisation. It’s a valuable marketing tool that can bring in more visitors and help increase both new and repeat sales.
We have looked at hints and tips on how Twitter can effectively be used to market your business and gain more bookings: Facebook is also another tremendously valuable business tool that should be a certain contender in your marketing campaign. Read on for some important suggestions on how you can use Facebook to increase your business’s bookings.
Why use Facebook in your Campaign
Facebook has over 500 million active users and that number continues to increase. Creating a Facebook page provides a fantastic opportunity to directly interact with prospective and existing customers. Facebook also provides a free way to carry out market research – you can ask questions amongst your fans, evaluating their reaction to ideas before you go ahead with anything.
Business Pages versus Personal Profiles
Do not create a personal profile for your business. Profiles are for people, Pages are for businesses. Facebook is constantly building functionality for businesses, which is only available to pages and NOT profiles.
The last thing you want is for users to find your Facebook Page and then leave straight away. Therefore the content on your page is of the utmost importance and should be made relevant and interesting. Consider using photographs,videos, audio, blogs and other interesting content that would be of an interest to your target audience. Also possibly consider things such as games, quizzes, and other types of active content to help keep fans on your Facebook Page for longer durations of time.
Fans that return to your page often are much more likely to become paying customers. Therefore it is very important to keep your Facebook page fresh and updated. The most important thing here is persistence. Unless you keep interacting with your fans on a regular basis and continue to post appealing content, you are going to find it hard to attract new fans.
Encourage Community Interaction
Ask your fans questions on the Facebook pages ‘Wall’ or share company or even personal insights with them. Post photos of your business and service offerings and invite your fans to do the same. Also consider asking Fans who have stayed with you to post reviews on their stay. Give your fans a reason to want to communicate. The more you update and engage with your community, the more visible your page is to your Fan’s friends. Every interaction on your page, whether made by you or one of your fans, will show up on every one of your Fan’s news feed. And this results in more visits.
Marketing your page
Invite friends, friends of friends, customers etc. Provide links on your website or any other online presence to click through to your Facebook Page.Try offering exclusive deals to Facebook fans and promote this fact to everyone that you come across - verbally, paper marketing and anything else online that you may be a part of to encourage people to join your page.
Post and Tag Users in Photos and Videos
Tagging users in photos and videos is possibly one of the most effective promotional activities that you can do. This is because as soon as you tag a user, all of their friends see it and then other users are guided towards that album which in this case, is located within your fan page.
Now you have your Facebook page looking good and actively promoting your business, you must have a strategy in place to convert your fan base to paying clientele. Perhaps you will offer a special event, coupons, discounts and other incentives. The bottom line is to let your fans know exactly what you want them to do. Be sure to pace your offers. If you’re hosting any events, be sure to also use the Facebook Events feature.
For some, Twitter has demonstrated to be a highly effective way to connect with customers and build a community. For others, tweeting has been nothing but a useless waste of time and energy. However, if used correctly, Twitter can be one of the most fashionable social media tools to help drive quality traffic to your website and develop an ongoing group of supporters. In this article we will look at important tips on how to build a profitable twitter campaign, how to maintain and increase your followers and what you should do in order to increase the traffic to your website and hence increase bookings.....
- Add a Picture - Twitter is a Social Networking tool and should be used to correspond with your followers in a similar way as you would by meeting them face to face.. The first thing people see of you on Twitter is your profile image and it is a fact that people usually form instant impressions. It is usually better to use a personal photo of yourself rather than a business logo – as people usually don’t build relationships with businesses; but with the people who work in them.
- Add a Profile Bio- Who are you? What do you do? What do you like and why should people click your follow button? Whether you think you’re a sales person or not, to gain followers you need a bio that makes people want to click your follow button and interact with you. This means you have to sell yourself and your business. Do you offer a cosy home from home experience in your B&B on the Scottish Borders... ? Then make it evident by stating that.
- DON’Tsign up for twitter and follow hundreds of other people immediately. You do not want to be mistaken for a spammer, so instead sign up, take your time and follow people slowly.
- Twitter is a community — not advertising space. Twitter is a fantastic tool to market and really interact with customers. It gives you the opportunity to have real-time conversations with them, but if you don’t interact and answer questions people have (business related or not), people will turn off and move away from you. Don’t constantly push with business information. Be social and see what your customers want or need. Have friendly conversations until people get to know you as someone they can trust. This requires you following what other people are talking about and joining in conversations that go beyond yourself or your business. This is very important as people will accept the promotion of your business in balance. But don’t expect to sign up for twitter, put out a few of your links and have a huge surge in bookings and sales overnight.
- DOstill post links to your website, latest blog entries, offers, etc.—but REMEMBER TO KEEP IT BALANCED.
- Pay attention and share(Retweet) links to other people’s giveaways, blog entries or sales items. By doing this, those people will be more likely to return the favour and give your stuff a look when they see it come across the screen. .
- DOuse twitter to invite people in your target audience OFF the space and onto your own website. From there you can be more promotional of your products, your services, etc. On twitter you’ll make and foster the relations—but you’ll actually convert sales, clients, etc. on your own site.
- Set Up An Autoresponder- Consider using an automatic responder so that when people “follow” you on Twitter they get a direct message regarding your website.
- Ask questions. Twitter is GREAT for getting opinions whether business related or not.
- Regularly use services like Twitter Search to see if people talking about you and your business. Try to participate where it makes sense.
TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, assisting customers when gathering travel information, reviews and opinions of travel related content. While the average review on Trip Advisor is positive, as with other sites, opinions can range from all out there glowing reviews to... Well how can I put it?... A slightly less-than-favorable account. So....if Trip Advisor is causing your business more problems than profit... What can you do about it??
1. Respond - Quickly.
Don’t shy away from bad reviews. Instead, investigate the concern and turn it into a learning experience.
Respond to the reviewer directly (privately as well as publicly - this is particularly important to encourage the guest to return and re-experience your property). The timing of such a response is also important and most definitely the sooner the better. This demonstrates that you are attentive and receptive to feedback, and will leave a lasting impression. Also, the more quickly you leave a response, the larger the number of potential customers who will read your comments. Register with Trip Advisor so that you can monitor your reviews by receiving notifications every time a guest leaves a comment and therefore you can time your response appropriately.
2. Always be Polite and Professional.
Whether the guest comment is terrible or glowing, the tone of your reply should always be courteous and professional, just as you would handle any other customer service reply. It can be very tempting to respond unkindly to criticism, but remember the fact that your audience is hundreds, if not thousands of potential customers, therefore it is a ‘must’ that you keep your cool. The vast majority of people recognize that everything will not always be perfect. A lot of credit will be given for offering a well-mannered and thoughtful explanation, especially when the complaint is unwarranted. This is your chance to set the record straight.
3. Ask for Feedback
Ask every one of your clients for their feedback on Trip Advisor – put the request on their bill, ask them personally or follow up with an email thanking them for their stay. More positive reviews diminish the negative ones. Businesses with a lot of negative reviews should possibly consider looking at the reality of their guest experience and seriously consider getting some outside advice and training to help turn the situation around.
4. The way you write your reply....
The use of ALL CAPS, HTML tags or excessive typographic symbols, can appear rude and aggressive. Therefore do not be tempted into using any online jargon – keep your reply clear at all times.
5. Use it as a Marketing Opportunity.....
Use this as a marketing opportunity to tell the world about any new improvements you’ve made to your hotel or guesthouse. If you’ve dealt with something that has generated comments from your clients, it is important to state that you’ve taken all feedback seriously and made positive changes as a result.
6. Be Original.
Address each particular situation with an individually tailored response. Customers don’t respond well to rehearsed or pre-written answers and will appreciate an original honest response as an indication that you genuinely care about the client’s opinion and experience.
7. Show Your Appreciation.
Gratitude develops goodwill. Management replies are excellent opportunities to tell guests and customers that you are thankful for their positive comments, as well as their constructive feedback. Don’t hesitate to tell people that you appreciate them. It most definitely goes a long way.
In Conclusion......Follow these steps to help maintain a positive reputation online for your business. Remember, whilst you may only be responding to one reviewer, thousands of other potential client’s may read your comments and form opinions about you and your brand. Take care to give the opinion that you run a respectful, attentive and thoughtful business. Your client’s will appreciate your interest.
It has been a year of celebration for all of us here at Queensborough Group.
A celebration of 15 years of building hotel websites, accommodation guides and booking systems 15 years of always looking forward to offer cost effective solutions help the tourism industry.
We’re completing the year by sharing with you our revelation for the most innovative hotel booking system to date; a vision of excitement and sustainability for Queensborough Group and it’s clients, we call it the new Q-Book v3.
This is a new hotel online booking system that has many marketing tools available to you at the click of a mouse, also this system is linked to over 150 tourism sites offering you massive exposure, Q-Book v3 has the platform to adapt to change for the future.
With Q-Book v3 booking system our aim was to build the most cost effective innovative hotel online booking system, this system will enable the you with an array of tools that would help you move your business ahead of your competition in this fast moving market place.
I hope you will agree that head of software design Tim Peary (10 years here) and his team have created a powerful and robust booking system that will help and make life easier for accommodation providers now and in the future.
Just Launched is our New look Queensborough Group. This coincides with the launch of our new brochure.
We hope that the new website will be easier for you to find your way around.
Please let us know what you think by posting your comments on our comments page.
Below are a few comments from our customers who use Q-Book V3:
"Q-Book Online Booking v3 - The system is much easier to use than the last one - by far! I do feel more in control, especially when updating Late Availability. Navigation through the system is fine and I like the fact that you are still tweaking it." - Ian
"Q-Book Online Booking v3 - The system is good like all systems there is a settling in period but overall the booking system operation is in place and effective. Navigation is good, presentation is good. A massive improvement on the old system. You have been very responsive to queries I have put to you - so full marks." - Ted
"Q-Book Online Booking v3 - My experience with Q-Book so far are outstanding. It is the first online booking system I have found that is easy to setup, use and experiment with. In addition, it is commission free and at a very reasonable price to subscribe too. It is easy to find your way through the system to setup the establishment. Common options are well integrated and first experiences of staff training seems positive." - Ross
Springwood Guest House
"Q-Book Online Booking v3 - I find the Q-Book Online Booking System easy to use. I am in complete control of my availability and forward and previous bookings. I particularly like being able to illicit, arrival times and means of arrival from bookers. The navigation of the site is logical, quick and easy. It is easy to find any information you require." - Sue
Abinger Guest House
"Q-Book Online Booking v3 - I love it. I think the new system is fantastic.....and I'm not kidding I have more flexibility with my room designations, pricing and descriptions I can email my guests asking them for feedback upon departure I can manually adjust availability with guest details - even more now I can add a quick reservation I can see where my guests have come from. The whole thing is great!" - Mr Welland
We are proud to launch the new Q-Book website to go hand in hand with our new Q-Book booking engine V3. www.abchotel.co.uk
Online spenders spent £5bn in July, according to the latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.
Britons spent an average of £81 each in a month that saw spending rise by 14% compared to the previous month as shoppers responded to sales promotions. Spending was up by 18% compared to last July, a figure received well by industry commentators.
The biggest areas of growth were in accessories (up by 64% compared to the same time last year), lingerie (31%), gifts (26%), and travel (18%). The growth in travel sales was put down to heavy discounting on holidays, together with poor weather at home.
Once again multichannel retailers outshone their pureplay rivals, growth by 18% compared to the online-only retailers’ 8%. Multichannel sellers also converted more browsers into sales, with a conversion rate of 4.49% compared to 4.35% for online-only retailers.
Chris Webster, vice president, head of retail consulting and technology at Capgemini, said: “Although online retail sales survived the recession more convincingly than high street sales, the last two years or so have no doubt been shaky at times. It is really encouraging to see growth levels returning to those seen pre-2007 and before consumer confidence was knocked by the financial crisis and recession.”
David Smith, managing director of IMRG, the ecommerce trade body, said: “With over half of the UK population online at least once a day it is no surprise that online sales continue to grow impressively year on year. The evidence mounts that high street retailers will need to invest more in their online business and put it at the heart of their retail strategy. Online retailers, on the other hand, will need to continue to innovate as they strive to close the growth gap.”
David Stratton, head of partnerships at HolidayExtras.com said: “July was a month of positive growth, with parking bookings up by seven per cent; hotels up by four per cent and overall growth of five per cent. These figures, while in line with our forecast, are behind our yearly budgeted expectations due to the volcano activity in April.
“We are delighted to be in a positive growth situation, particularly in the current economic climate. August to date has seen record booking days.”