'How was your stay?' : Does the Hotel Ritz has something to learn about Travel 2.0 ?

We know in the hotel & travel industry that "User Generated Reviews", customer service and quality of the customer's experience are the main keys if you want to run a succesfull business.

But does everybody know about Travel 2.0 and how to manage "User Generated Reviews"?

I think not, let me explain a exemple with Ritz Hotel in Paris.

First, some fact:

- Remember, Travel 2.0 vision, it is all about the community, and where your "friends", readers and customers are! and Internet is all about multiple touch points with the potential customer!

- "User Generated Reviews" technology is based on "Long Trail user reviews". To be simple, the game for TripAdvisor for exemple, it's to be in the Google index with the name of your hotel, and before you of course !!!

- Hotels' online identity is in many cases "stolen" by big players...

- Social media is the next generation of the Internet

- This trends are here to stay and you have to play with it !

Second, let's analyse "User Generated Reviews" for Hotel Ritz in Paris (most famous hotel-Palace in Paris)

Check out the Ritz reviews on TripAdvisor (58 reviews)

Some title reviews, seems it's not "the perfection" and I don't see any hotel management answers !

"Ritz is the Pitz"
"Comme Ci, Comme Ca"
"not the best"
"putting it up... !"
"NOT Putting On The Ritz!"
"Shame on Ritz Paris"
"Grand but worn around the edges lends to the feel of a palatial old mansion"
"Keep your Money and Stay away from the Ritz in Paris."
"Worst Hotel I've Been To in My Life."
"Service lacking"

Third, some simple solution(s) to manage "User Generated Reviews"

>> Begining by the bottom line:

The hotel should work on their core business (customer service to make happy customers) and try to avoid negative postings. The hotel may use "public and free" tools, for exemple Google Alerts and Technorati or Sphere to monitor what is the online chatter about the hotel out there. The hotel has to monitor "User Generated Reviews" (web sites like TripAdvisor) and react if a negative review comes up.

>> Concentrated on some key players in the UGC market

I suggest to scan reviews inside this web sites: TripAdvisor (leader with more than 22 millionsusers / month) VibeAgent (futur leader) Vinivi (good player for french and european market) HotelChatter FlyerTalk

>> Then, using Web Reputation Monitoring Tools I make a post about this tools here (sorry in french)

I see 4 products and services on the market: Hotel Protect

Reviews Analyst

Chatter Guard

TravelClick Search View

>> And engage a dynamic strategy about UGC

Remember a Internet principle, web site needs good content and good data for their end users. So, give them good data and good content. Ask your customers to post reviews on your selected "User Generated Reviews" web sites. Help your customers in this process (give a User Review Card, tell them in your flyers and documentation, make a brief with your reception desk...)

Conclusion Involve your users and customers in the discussion, get them to participate actively and they will market for you.

What do you think, any other ideas to manage "User Generated Reviews" in the hotel & tourism industry?

P.S: disclaimer, I have nothing involve with Ritz Paris ;-)

5 Dec 2014