Tag Archives: personal

Managing Your B&B Reputation

Managing Your B&B Reputation

Managing your B&B reputation is more important than ever in this fast-paced world of easily accessed online information. Whether bed and breakfast innkeepers monitor it or not, people are talking about their inns. Do you know what others are saying about your bed and breakfast?  Do you look at reviews written by your previous guests? Conversation goes on whether or not you participate in it.  You can’t afford not to know what is being said about you and your inn!

According to Trip Advisor, 93% of people find reviews important when determining where they want to stay.  This is why receiving positive feedback from satisfied guests is so critical.  Every effort should be made to reduce negative reviews and improve the reputation and appeal of your place of lodging.

Online reputation management means monitoring and influencing the image of your property throughout the internet.  Places of hospitality should focus on review sites, social media, and search engine results.  People from all backgrounds and all over the world use the internet for online travel research before booking their accommodations.

B&B Reputation Management Tips:

  • Monitor all feedback avenues regularly
  • Spend most of your time listening and paying attention
  • Read everything travelers are saying about your B&B on OTAs & review sites
  • Set up a Google Alert for the name of your B&B and other relevant keywords
  • Communicate why people should recommend your brand vs. your competitors
  • Know what messages about your brand you want guests to share
  • Provide plenty of opportunities for guest feedback during their stay
  • Answer all questions in a timely manner
  • Respond with an open mind to comments
  • Engage with sincerity and authenticity
  • Take all precautions to prevent negative events from occurring

Owning a hospitality business means you need to actively protect your image.  In the event that your reputation management escalates to crisis management, ignoring negative guest comments does not make them go away.

Actions To Protect Your Hospitality Brand:

  • Identify the naysayers and respond promptly
  • Make the appropriate apologies and explanations
  • Seek to positively solve their problem
  • Isolate them so the conversation becomes more personal, but far less public
  • Talk in a one-on-one private discussion to find the solution to their problem
  • For every zealot trying to hurt you, your loyal guests are ready to defend you
  • Consumers will generally “shout down” detractors who are way off base
  • Reputation terrorists often base their arguments on feelings vs. facts
  • Have an escalation plan in place for excessive bashing in multiple forums
  • Pick your battles and tactfully respond to criticism
  • Always take the high road

Gathering a lot of mostly positive feedback will increase your visibility because guest reviews will be distributed efficiently on social media as well as booking platforms. At the same time, you can avoid high provision fees by getting people to use your website and your booking engine.  A high rating means your reputation is on a good level, automatically driving demand for your B&B and creating more revenue for you and your employees.

The key is to be attentive and responsive to guests in person, on the phone with callers, and online with those asking questions or making comments.  If you do not have a blog already, considering adding one so that people can get to know the details about you, your inn, and your local area. 

Managing your B&B reputation is critical to the success of your bed and breakfast.  Our elite reputation management service tracks comments on review sites (like TripAdvisor and Yelp), gives you tips to encourage more positive guest reviews, and we prevent (and defuse) reputation crises so you maintain your reputation for superior hospitality. Contact Bed and Breakfast Blogging if you would like to know more about it! 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

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The Art of Social Selling

the art of social selling

 

I highly recommend Shannon Belew’s book called The Art of Social Selling: Finding and Engaging Customers on Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, and Other Social Networks. Belew says the power has shifted from the brand to the consumer.  Marketing has become a two-way conversation with the customer. The art of social selling is based entirely on your ability to build relationships.

 

Did you know that over one BILLION people are active on social networks? Thus, it is extremely important that you know where your customers are hanging out.

Shannon Belew defines “social selling” as the identification, targeting, and reaching out to prospective and existing customers through social media channels and social communities in an effort to engage them in conversations that result in a potentially mutually beneficial relationship.  This means being more social (listening and conversing about the customer’s needs) and less traditional selling.  The heart of social selling is relationship building.

This book reveals Belew’s ten most important rules for online social interactions:

1) Be genuine: your social networking persona should be an extension of your real persona

2) Listen, listen, listen: to truly hear what the customer is saying so you can present a viable solution you must find and monitor conversations that relate to your prospective customer’s needs, concerns, and interests with the goal of remaining relevant to your customers

3) Be responsive: to customer-related complaints and concerns voiced across social media channels

4) Follow the leader: follow group guidelines, watch how members participate and interact with one another

5) Tailor the conversation: find common ground and share information relevant to your audience

6) Be helpful: offer educational opportunities, general support, and even inspiration

7) Identify the enter and exit signs: know if it is polite to enter the online interaction and make sure to exit gracefully

8) Maintain separation of professional and personal: make sure what you share is suitable for both audiences

9) Be consistent: give people a clear expectation of who you are and what your area of expertise is

10) Admit when you are wrong: be willing to apologize, it is a sign of strength and goodwill

Shannon Belew’s concept of “unselling:

  • Unselling is a process that occurs over time
  • Requires consistent interaction with your prospects via social media
  • This establishes your credibility as a good resource
  • Identify and interact with industry influencers
  • Be a thought leader to build social influence
  • Embrace consultative sales in which you are developing conversations that educate and assist the prospect through the buying process
  • This opens the door to an increased amount of sharing
  • This increases the comfort level of prospects as well as puts you in the role of expert

Belew talks about word of mouth marketing.  Social shoppers are not only influenced by their friends and family, but by perfect strangers, too.  Encourage your happy and satisfied customers to provide online testimonials.  Include your links on thank-you pages and emails. Respond to negative reviews quickly.  Thank customers publicly for their positive reviews.

In this book, Shannon Belew cites a Technorati Report that stated that blogs are the third-most influential digital or online resource and the fifth most trusted resource on the internet.  Blogs are great for sharing on social media.  Plus, points made in a blog post can be posted or tweeted on social media.  Later in the book, Belew gives specific tips about using each of the major social media channels.  This is an incredible resource for business owners.

Affiliate Disclaimer: The link to the book is an affiliate link. If you click and make a purchase I will earn a commission from Amazon.  I only recommend what I know and love.

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

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Why Bed and Breakfasts are Better Than Hotels

better than hotel

Staying at a bed and breakfast can be better than staying at a hotel. Your B&B could be located in a restored old home or even a mansion with antique furnishings.  Your gardens may be lush and offer comfortable seating, and your rooms range from cozy to luxurious. Staying in your B&B can be a really unique travel experience and not one to be missed. Here are the top 10 benefits you can emphasize to your bed and breakfast guests.

  1. Their bed and breakfast is included.  While this may seem obvious, it’s actually a wonderful amenity in terms of convenience and cost savings. B&B’s offer anything from a continental spread to a hot gourmet meal. As a special touch, you can even bring guests their breakfast in bed.
  2. You can give them the privacy and peace and quiet they desire.  As a B&B, you can be more exclusive with fewer guests. You often have guests looking for a place to spend a quiet weekend.
  3. They’ll get more personal service.  With fewer guests than a hotel, you can give your guests a much more personal experience. Wanting guests to return, you are invested in making sure you have a great stay.
  4. Your bed and breakfast may be located in a less traveled area.  Unlike hotels, your B&B could be located off the beaten path. This provides your guests with a great opportunity to see less traveled parts of your community that they would otherwise miss.
  5. It is the perfect romantic getaway.  In fact, B&B’s have become so popular for couples that you may cater to this romantic angle, offering special romantic packages. These may include events planned ahead or excursions that are included in their stay.
  6. Your bed and breakfast is more secure.  At a B&B, there are fewer people coming and going. With less going on, as a B&B owner, you can keep a much better eye on their property than a typical hotel staff can on a hotel.
  7. Your guests can get a taste of the local culture and style.  Your B&B has its own character. Even better, you have lots of advice for your guests concerning the best things to do and see in the local area.
  8. You can offer extra activities.  You may be one of the many B&B’s that offer additional recreational activities in your regular packages. Depending on the location, your guests may be able to enjoy biking, hiking, canoeing, golfing, or skiing.
  9. Your guests will encounter unexpected luxuries.  B&B’s tend to offer all those extra special touches that can make your guests’ stay pampering and luxurious. Luxury bed linens and bathrobes, organic food, and locally roasted coffee are only some of the many perks that you may offer. You may even stock snacks and drinks in the common areas and rooms in case your guests get hungry.
  10. You provide a great value.  Although B&B rooms tend to be priced higher than hotels, usually your place offers a better value overall than hotel rooms. More amenities are included such as free phone calls and Internet, you get much better service, and the experience tends to be much more unique than an average hotel stay.

So, as the bed and breakfast owner, be sure to emphasize (on your website, blog, and your other marketing) the unique benefits that guests will receive when they stay at your bed and breakfast and why staying with you will give them a better experience than if they were to go to a local hotel.  You can focus on how your B&B gives that extra special personal touch.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

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