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  • Writer's pictureLes Copains D'abord

Don't jeopardize your reputation!



In the highly competitive world of the hotel industry, the online reputation of an establishment is an essential pillar, articulated around the intention-booking-stay-review cycle. More than ever, the voice of the customer, embodied in his or her comments, plays a crucial role in the booking decision. 


It's not enough to claim to be "cool", "TOP", "luxury", "design", "lifestyle", "have an incredible atmosphere", "outstanding service"... Only customers are the real judges, validating the "extraordinary" experience claimed or not! 


In fact, an impressive 95% of travellers use online reviews to inform themselves before finalizing their choice of destination or stay. This demonstrates not only the considerable weight of feedback, whether positive or negative, in consumer preferences, but also the need to create a genuine experience that goes beyond the notion of "service standards" to create emotion.


Feedbacks left on digital platforms directly shape the reputation, visibility and economic performance of a hotel, restaurant or destination. "It's the sometimes insolent mirror of a new reality". This is not to say that the customer is king and maker or destroyer of image and reputation. It's a WIN-WIN relationship... "it's good, I say it", "it's abused, I say it too, but more often" .... 


The most strategic point for the business is that this is translated and measured in figures, revenues and therefore the GOP. All a hotel's management KPI's are impacted and correlated with the RPS (reputation performance score)...


A one-star, one-point improvement in ratings can translate into a significant price increase of over 10% (more or less, depending on various studies and sources). On the other hand, a criticism can seriously tarnish an establishment's image and cause it to lose sales: "where there's smoke, there's fire", says a prospect. 

Hotels with the best reputation in a destination are booked first, the best room categories first, at the highest price of the period, and well above their reference segment and competition in price and lead time. This is true and measurable whatever the hotel category, from 1étoile to Palace! 


And yes, in the budget segment, price is not the real deciding factor either! It's not the cheapest that gets booked first, but the one with the best reputation-price ratio!

 Reputation and customer reviews are the new business cards for hotels and restaurants... it's the real "perceived quality". It may seem obvious to you! However, it's clear that the race for customer preference is not measured or calculated by everyone... or to put it another way ....not everyone knows or activates all the levers for activating customer preference.


What are the real actions and operational activations used to generate a reputation that is decisive for the revenue and value of a hotel asset and its positioning?


A proactive review management strategy, including personalized responses to each comment, is naturally a decisive factor in minimizing the impact of negative reviews and consolidating customer relations. But of course that's not what creating preference is all about...


Reputation is a broad, very broad and complete combination, made up of the strength of the brand or brand name, the quality of its history, its design, its capacity to evolve, its location, but above all the soul of the teams, their style, the quality of their day-to-day development, the culture of the management and the social media platform managed as a conversation with its reference community rather than an old-fashioned TOP DOWN advertising platform... 


Of course, the quality of product maintenance, design and identity are also important, but a place without service and soul is a museum. 


The soul of a place, a hotel or a restaurant is its men and women, who are developed and loved in their day-to-day actions, and who in turn love their customers and pass on a unique experience and the passion of a place. 

Let's take the example of the most anonymous service in a hotel: the

chambermaids. You can sense the love of a job well done by the refinement of the furniture set-up, the smell of cleanliness, the precision of a well-fitted bed, well-laid linen etc... 


The importance of training and support for all staff are the real levers for activating a reputation and triggering the motivation to write favorable reviews. The quality of the experience offered to customers is intrinsically linked to the competence, development, motivation and corporate culture of our staff. As a result, a commitment to continuous training through exemplarity is a priority for managers, essential to equipping teams to deliver exceptional service. 


It's these unique moments of exceptional service that, when shared online, help sculpt a positive reputation.


So maybe there's a vocational crisis in the hotel industry? That's an observation, but it's a bit short-sighted in the face of bad reviews, or low Ratings, isn't it?

To love, to develop one's teams, to cultivate one's identity, one's history, with all its qualities and faults, is to be alive and so very human. It's being a hotelier or restaurateur. 


But it also means being a customer. We travel more than ever, more informed, more experienced and more discerning... We can search, we can compare, we can choose, we are influenced .... so we choose and we share .... reputation is a virtuous cycle.


 The experience of a hotel, whatever its category, cannot be average; it must be excellent in its segment. It can even be exceptional when it creates emotion... 

More than ever, reputation is immediate. In a world where everything is seen, commented on and criticized, where excellence is the expected norm, attention to online reputation and customer experience is not simply a competitive advantage, but an absolute necessity. The direct impact of customer satisfaction on an establishment's revenues and valuation is undeniable. So investing in authentic, enriching and memorable customer relationships is the most effective lever for maximizing management KPIs. Every opinion, every comment, every interaction is an opportunity to strengthen your reputation, increase your appeal and, ultimately, maximize your profits. 


Don't underestimate the power of an exceptional customer experience, and don't underestimate the literal meaning of the phrase "exceptional customer experience" in any category. Exceptionality isn't just for the Palaces, it's part of everyone's daily routine and expectations when it comes to reference consumption. It's the key to unlocking the untapped revenue potential of any establishment. 

Reputation is a truly strategic and financial imperative, too often misunderstood or ill-defined...


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