Imagine that a friend calls you over for dinner and asks you to bring ice cream.
However, he doesn’t tell you what flavor of ice cream to bring, leaving you to make that decision.
Since you don’t know his favorite flavor, you’ll do what any other red-blooded American would do. Get a generic flavor like vanilla or chocolate.
Because generic is safe and requires no thought
That need to do something safe and easy is exactly how group planners feel when you ask them for a review without telling them what you’re looking for.
And that lack of direction leads to a generic group review like this one.
“This hotel is really nice. They took really good care of our group and we will definitely consider them again next year.”
So what’s wrong with this review?
While the review is positive, it sounds very blah. It has no personality, and does not talk about any specific instances. It certainly does not look like it came from a raving fan of yours.
Readers of this kind of review will skip it and move onto to one that has more details. After all, isn’t that what we do when we shop online for products such as books?
Having these types of generic reviews are nice to have but they aren’t going to get any one of us any business from groups.
And getting more business is why you want great reviews to begin with
A detailed review on a site like LinkedIn or WeddingWire can bring you a ton of referral business. Why? Because they are detailed and people love to read the details. They want to know what kind of experience others have had so they feel comfortable booking with you.
And when you get a review like that, they will serve as an invisible salesforce convincing group planners that you are the right hotel for them.
So what’s stopping you from getting great reviews?
Two very simple mistakes
- Mistake 1:You’re asking for a review after the event
- Mistake 2: You’re not showing planners what kind of reviews you want
Let’s start with the first mistake
Mistake 1:You’re asking for a review after the event
You can’t just tell a client at the end of the event that you would appreciate a review and expect them to leave a glowing two hundred word review. You need to set it up so that the client is expecting to leave you a review.
Get a commitment from them ahead of the event. Tell them that you will do what it takes to go above and beyond their expectations and in return, you would like an honest review. Just getting this initial commitment sends the planner a message that this is important to you.
Follow that up by mentioning it once during the event. And then, send them an email with a link to the exact website you want the review on. But just getting the customer to the review website is not enough. You have to get a detailed review.
Mistake 2: You’re not showing planners what kind of reviews you want
Just sending a link will still get you those generic reviews. Instead, show the planner what kind of reviews you’re looking for. In the email you send out asking for a group review, add links to four to five reviews about your hotel that are awesome. Then add something like :
“And if you’re wondering what to write, take a look at some of these super detailed reviews that other groups have given us. I realize it may take a few extra minutes to complete, but I would really appreciate you adding some things that really delighted you about our hotel.
As you can tell, I take great pride in the work I do, and the reviews are how I let potential customers online know that they will have a great experience. It helps me build trust and I hope you can find the time to add your thoughts today.”
Sending out an email like this will get you lots of reviews from happy groups.
But won’t asking for a long review turn off some people
After all, once a planner is done with his/her event, all they want to do is catch up on all the work that has built up. And telling them to add a long detailed recap of the event will not help their situation.
And you’re right.
But if you got a commitment from them, and you’ve mentioned several times how important this is to you, then they will find the time. If you deliver above and beyond their expectations, they will be more than delighted to leave a great review right away.
So lets review a bit here
Hotel sales managers make several mistakes when asking for reviews. These mistakes result in short generic reviews.
In order to get great reviews, you need to be specific about what you want the planner to do. Let them know where you would like the review, and show them examples of the kinds of reviews you would love to see.
And watch as great glowing reviews start to roll in.
What’s the next step?
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