A user on Quora.com asked this excellent questions: What are some innovative ways to encourage guests to leave online reviews for your hotel? As reviews are such an essential part of hotel internet marketing I though this deserved a blog post:
1. Review While They Stay
Make it as easy as possible for a guest to review your hotel. By offering free WIFI you can make it very easy for a guest to post a review. As it may be viewed as unethical to offer free WIFI in exchange for a review, just offer the WIFI regardless but be sure to mention that the WIFI is offered free so that guests can provide a review if they wishto. A mobile device such as an iPad at the front desk can provide a quick and easy method of adding a review.
2. Use a custom home page
Create a custom home page from your complimentary hotel WIFI that directs users to post a review on popular review sites such as http://www.tripadvisor.com/. Bear in mind however, that many reviews from one computer might raise the suspicions of the review sites. Therefore be sure that you are also encouraging guests to review using other methods.
3. Post stay communication
By using an automated guests response and communication system, an email or text message can be sent out a few days after they checked-out. This email should thank the guest for visiting and remind them that if they enjoyed their stay that it would be great if they could click this link to provide a review of your hotel.
4. Complimentary print material
Provide the guest with a complimentary set of post cards on checkout with a tag reminding them that your hotel would greatly appreciate a review on the top travel and hotel review websites.
5. Mention reviews on any written material
Ensure that any written material given to guests such as a complimentary map contains some text on it urging them to leave a review. This written material should also contain the URL’s of your online presence, website, email, social media profiles etc.
6. Mirror on-site reviews to review sites
When you receive a positive review on your hotel website, reply to the guest asking them also to review your hotel on the top review websites.
7. Add to guest newsletter
Add a section to your guest newsletter with an easy button to review the your hotel.
8. Front Desk
Ensure that front desk mentions the possibility of adding a review when they mention the free WIFI or when a guest says they had a great stay.
9. Explain why a review is beneficial
Explain to guests that each review allows the hotel to improve its service and so by posting a review they will have played a part in improving the experience they will enjoy when they return.
10. Ensure superb service!
Remember that the best review is a good review, so ensure that your guests are given something positive to talk about. Something about their stay should have been so exceptional that they feel they just have to talk about it a review.