The strategic importance of RevPar and ratings

RevPar (revenue per available room) is the most important strategic figure of all hotel activities. It provides information about the two most important basic numbers: occupancy and average price. It often only plays a secondary role, which is wrong, because it is the most telling indicator in hotel management and the best reflection of the success of your activities.

In addition to using RevPar as a measure of success, you should also employ another, more qualitative indicator. The new measure of quality for hotels is no longer how many stars it has, but instead the ratings and comments which customers can write and submit on all the online sales portals and – especially – ratings portals. The relationship between these two qualitative and quantitative indicators does not merely involve correlating the data. Much the opposite, in fact: RevPar and the average rating calculated on portals are inseparably intertwined. A higher score results in an average 1 percent increase in RevPar. Good ratings, which guests submit based on a hotel‘s quality, result in a direct rise in revenue. The rating system can help you increase your RevPar directly, if you concentrate on the factors your customers emphasise positively in their ratings. A crucial aspect of a rating system is the thresholds used in the online portals‘ search systems. Users can search for certain ranges of ratings (from 7 to 8, from 8 to 9 and so on). Online customers usually display these ratings in descending order, which means the hotels with the best ratings appear at the top. Your rating on these online portals is crucial for customer selection. Due simply to this typical search process, passing the threshold from a rating of 7.9 to 8.0 on the portals increases booking volumes on all platforms, as well as advance bookings. The customers trust in the score you have been given and more open to risk, which motivates them to book earlier. And the most interesting result of passing such a threshold is that RevPar increases by at least 5 percent. This increase is clearly attributable to the higher booking volume which results from the better rating, as well as the higher subjectively perceived

A crucial aspect of a rating system is the thresholds used in the online portals‘ search systems. Users can search for certain ranges of ratings (from 7 to 8, from 8 to 9 and so on). Online customers usually display these ratings in descending order, which means the hotels with the best ratings appear at the top. Your rating on these online portals is crucial for customer selection. Due simply to this typical search process, passing the threshold from a rating of 7.9 to 8.0 on the portals increases booking volumes on all platforms, as well as advance bookings. The customers trust in the score you have been given and more open to risk, which motivates them to book earlier. And the most interesting result of passing such a threshold is that RevPar increases by at least 5 percent. This increase is clearly attributable to the higher booking volume which results from the better rating, as well as the higher subjectively perceived.

Due simply to this typical search process, passing the threshold from a rating of 7.9 to 8.0 on the portals increases booking volumes on all platforms, as well as advance bookings. The customers trust in the score you have been given and more open to risk, which motivates them to book earlier. And the most interesting result of passing such a threshold is that RevPar increases by at least 5 percent. This increase is clearly attributable to the higher booking volume which results from the better rating, as well as the higher subjectively perceived quality of your property. Once you‘ve passed a score of 9.0 on the online portals, you‘re on the safe side. You‘re then in the top score range, which customers are likely to search for, and they will be more willing to risk an advance booking with you. The price is no longer the decisive factor for the search, but instead the actual and perceived level of quality. Buying behaviour changes radically as a result and you gain a sustained advantage from its impact. From now on, you concentrate on doing your best to keep your score above this threshold and consolidate it, to stabilise your long-term RevPar at a high level. This requires regular analysis of the comments and ratings you receive, as well as tracking of internal corrective measures. This will help you maintain your score and avoid dropping back down into lower score ranges. It‘s a long slog, but it might even exceed your expectations in the end. HotelPartner is there to help you succeed with this objective. We offer services which enable you to adapt your yield management strategy to your review score on the various online portals, to maximise your revenues and your RevPar.

The strategic importance of RevPar and ratings

RevPar (revenue per available room) is the most important strategic figure of all hotel activities. It provides information about the two most important basic numbers: occupancy and average price. It often only plays a secondary role, which is wrong, because it is the most telling indicator in hotel management and the best reflection of the success of your activities.

In addition to using RevPar as a measure of success, you should also employ another, more qualitative indicator. The new measure of quality for hotels is no longer how many stars it has, but instead the ratings and comments which customers can write and submit on all the online sales portals and – especially – ratings portals. The relationship between these two qualitative and quantitative indicators does not merely involve correlating the data. Much the opposite, in fact: RevPar and the average rating calculated on portals are inseparably intertwined. A higher score results in an average 1 percent increase in RevPar. Good ratings, which guests submit based on a hotel‘s quality, result in a direct rise in revenue. The rating system can help you increase your RevPar directly, if you concentrate on the factors your customers emphasise positively in their ratings. A crucial aspect of a rating system is the thresholds used in the online portals‘ search systems. Users can search for certain ranges of ratings (from 7 to 8, from 8 to 9 and so on). Online customers usually display these ratings in descending order, which means the hotels with the best ratings appear at the top. Your rating on these online portals is crucial for customer selection. Due simply to this typical search process, passing the threshold from a rating of 7.9 to 8.0 on the portals increases booking volumes on all platforms, as well as advance bookings. The customers trust in the score you have been given and more open to risk, which motivates them to book earlier. And the most interesting result of passing such a threshold is that RevPar increases by at least 5 percent. This increase is clearly attributable to the higher booking volume which results from the better rating, as well as the higher subjectively perceived

A crucial aspect of a rating system is the thresholds used in the online portals‘ search systems. Users can search for certain ranges of ratings (from 7 to 8, from 8 to 9 and so on). Online customers usually display these ratings in descending order, which means the hotels with the best ratings appear at the top. Your rating on these online portals is crucial for customer selection. Due simply to this typical search process, passing the threshold from a rating of 7.9 to 8.0 on the portals increases booking volumes on all platforms, as well as advance bookings. The customers trust in the score you have been given and more open to risk, which motivates them to book earlier. And the most interesting result of passing such a threshold is that RevPar increases by at least 5 percent. This increase is clearly attributable to the higher booking volume which results from the better rating, as well as the higher subjectively perceived.

Due simply to this typical search process, passing the threshold from a rating of 7.9 to 8.0 on the portals increases booking volumes on all platforms, as well as advance bookings. The customers trust in the score you have been given and more open to risk, which motivates them to book earlier. And the most interesting result of passing such a threshold is that RevPar increases by at least 5 percent. This increase is clearly attributable to the higher booking volume which results from the better rating, as well as the higher subjectively perceived quality of your property. Once you‘ve passed a score of 9.0 on the online portals, you‘re on the safe side. You‘re then in the top score range, which customers are likely to search for, and they will be more willing to risk an advance booking with you. The price is no longer the decisive factor for the search, but instead the actual and perceived level of quality. Buying behaviour changes radically as a result and you gain a sustained advantage from its impact. From now on, you concentrate on doing your best to keep your score above this threshold and consolidate it, to stabilise your long-term RevPar at a high level. This requires regular analysis of the comments and ratings you receive, as well as tracking of internal corrective measures. This will help you maintain your score and avoid dropping back down into lower score ranges. It‘s a long slog, but it might even exceed your expectations in the end. HotelPartner is there to help you succeed with this objective. We offer services which enable you to adapt your yield management strategy to your review score on the various online portals, to maximise your revenues and your RevPar.

Courtesy of our partners – HotelPartner, Source: The Hotel Partner No. 05 Oktober 2015

It’s official, we’ve launched Booked – your hotel booking system!

For us here at Customer Alliance, this year was primarily devoted to our new hotel booking system. After months of developing and testing, we are thrilled to have officially launched Booked.

Our hotel booking system is designed to offer an easy booking and reservation management system to hotels and their guests. With the help of a Booking Widget, hotel guests can book directly on the hotel’s website, quick and easy – and commission free!

Of course, our new hotel booking system also comes with a responsive design. This means that the booking process is compatible with all screens, whether guests come to the hotel website doing a reservation from a mobile, tablet, laptop or PC.

In creating our hotel booking system, we made sure to integrate all those functions that a hotel would particularly need when managing reservations, providing valuable insight into business rates and marketing potential.

hotel booking engine

In line with this, we’ve
  • integrated features to facilitate communications supporting hotels in following up with their guests before, during and after their stay.
  • included a real-time analysis of hotel bookings, providing relevant data about guests’ booking preferences, as well as helping hoteliers find easy solutions concerning availability management, price rates, and marketing strategies.
  • designed convincing ways to drive upsells via the website, helping to increase the overall property revenue.

 

Upselling has been the subject to a number of recent studies. Hotel upsells are critical to increasing business revenue while simultaneously enhancing the guest’s experiences. With this in mind, we’ve spared no effort in designing the upsell features, making them as subtle and efficient as possible.

And finally, we’ve made sure that the integration of the booking system is super easy, with a customizable Booking Widget and general design that can be adapted to the business appearance of your hotel website. And, of course, we can’t forget, Booked comes commission free!

Claim your independence from third party portals – with our hotel booking system.

It’s time to get Booked!



Torsten speaking at ITB

Since Wednesday, ITB, the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show has been taking place in Berlin. Of course, Customer Alliance also opened its doors to welcome you at our stand 162 in hall 6.1 and present our brand new product BOOKED.

Tomorrow, as a special event, our COO Torsten Sabel will speak about the importance and new challenges within the field of Revenue and Review Management. Make sure not to miss his speech at 10.30 @etravel Lab, hall 6.1.

See you at ITB!

How to welcome your guests?

The first impression counts!

Come up with little suprises for your guests. Give them a warm reception.

You don’t like the feeling of failing your guests’ expectations?

For most hotel guests, cleanliness is a very important factor. How to deal with negative reviews? Learn more in our
>> free whitepaper!

Visit us at ITB Berlin and benefit from our special offers.
Make your appointment now! →

The Review Effect

The rise of online reviews has done even more than shift the relation between hoteliers and their guests. Their importance has been growing to a point that they have even been drawing the attention of academic scholars. Dr. Edwin N. Torres and Dr. Dipendra Singh of Central Florida University recently conducted a search with the aim of scientifically analyzing the multifaceted impact of online reviews.

The review study took a sample of 178 hotels from across the U.S., including large, corporate-brand and independent hotels, in order to establish a conditional relation between reviews placed on TripAdvisor, and a hotel’s revenue per transaction. From July to August, 2013, the team collected data concerning the number of online booking transactions, the total revenue derived from online bookings, and the average value of each booking transaction for several hotel companies.

The study provided some interesting results.

While building a positive reputation on TripAdvisor is obviously an important factor, the sheer amount of reviews is even more relevant. This may include the length of stay, price for hotel room, as well as amenities. According to the study, a hotel will generate more revenue per transaction when there are more reviews published about it. Perhaps more reviews offer more opportunities for those reviews to be positive. But whatever the reason, it is clear that it is in a hotel manager’s interest to encourage guests to write about their experiences.
In line with that, the review study also deduced that a hotel’s ranking on TripAdvisor does not have a decisive impact on revenues. The professors could not prove that there is a relationship between a hotel’s ranking and revenues per transaction.
For hotel stars, in contrast, such a correlation was in fact verified. Thus, a five Star hotel will have a higher revenue per transaction than a hotel with less stars.

In conclusion, what we should take away from this study is that having a good reputation alone is not enough. According to the findings of this Central Florida University study, it is at least equally important to be visible to your guest across the relevant hospitality portals and have your good quality validated multiple times.

With that in mind, you should not miss the opportunity to take a look at our services. Customer Alliance not only provides you with more customer reviews, it also helps you increase your visibility by ensuring that they are distributed across the web. Learn more about this in a Free Demo.

Original article

Looking back on 2014 social trends, what’s next?

Another year has passed – again – and as time goes by, new social trends come and go. Do you find it’s getting harder and harder to determine what those social trends are? When and how did they emerge? And why? Am I really already old school because I keep using twitter and facebook? Ok, let’s take a deep old school breath and look back at 2014.

To keep it short, it has been the year of mobile messaging, clouding and videos. As the internet visionary, Fred Wilson, stated on businessinsider, “the social media phase of the internet has ended… messaging is the new social media. In 2014, the mobile became the new tool of enlightenment – “man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity.”

We don’t use facebook groups anymore, we use WhatsApp. Viral communication has become more horizontal because more and more people are turning into multimedia experts.

This development has also substantially boosted youtube, already the king of internet videos. It seems that today, we no longer need to make the effort to describe things in written words. We just show how it works and put it online. And from there, whoever you are and wherever you live, you can see and learn from it, if you so desire.

This is also true for files in general. We tend not to save things on our hard disk; we put them in the cloud. Dropbox, google/one drive, Spotify, Netflix and so on have overcome filenames and the necessity to possess programs to open a .doc, .mp3 or .mov!

In a nutshell, we are constantly online and on cloud. People are socially evolving to teach themselves by using shared knowledge. We would rather connect with other individuals than absorb things that are put in front of us. Validated and shared experiences have become the Holy Grail of decision-making. We can see these social trends … everywhere.

Find out how shared experience affects your business and why we are your perfect partner:

>> Here are 10 reasons for Review Analytics

This post is based on an article published at www.businessinsider.com

Yelp Reviews meet Michelin Stars – Reviews as relevant as official star ratings?

Imagine you are going to take your beloved partner out for an exquisite dinner. The only problem is that you are not all that experienced with these fancy restaurants. So what would be your source of choice to obtain the necessary information? Would you rather listen to the average opinion based on hundreds, even thousands of Yelp reviews? Maybe you’d prefer to purchase a copy of the famous Michelin Guide, which looks back on 114 years of high-class culinary experience.

Either way, you might come to the same conclusion! As the American online magazine FiveThirtyEight found out and recently published, there is a strong correlation between Michelin classification and yelp ratings – at least within the city of New York.

Nate Silver, founder and CEO of FiveThirtyEight uses statistical evidence in order to prove this co-relationship. According to his analysis, the average New York restaurant has about 3,8 Yelp Stars. “Each additional Michelin star translates to about 0.2 additional Yelp stars. The one-starred Michelin restaurants have an average Yelp rating of 4.02 stars. The Michelin two-star restaurants have a Yelp rating of 4.25. The Michelin three-star restaurants average 4.47 Yelp stars.”

>> Read full orginal article

So what do we learn from this? User reviews are as accurate as super elaborate gourmet judgements? What is true for New York restaurants may apply to your hotel as well. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of user reviews! Get more accurate reviews with Customer Alliance. You won’t regret it!

 

Find out more in a free demo!



Image source: fivethirtyeight.com

Your pool? – Stories from the worst hotel

Last week, I experienced a very weird hotel story. Seeking to escape the -10° at home, I booked a hotel somewhere in the South Seas at a bargain price. Landing on this beautiful peninsula, I was well received by pleasant weather and a lot of sunshine. Eager and happy anticipation was written all over my face at this very moment.

It was at this point that good news ceased abruptly. I was kind of confused by the location of my hotel, which – after an endless journey – turned out to be lost in the countryside very far from the beach area. “This is not a hotel, this is a tin shack on barren soil” was the first thing that came into my mind when I discovered this most desolate place, miserably built up in the middle of nowhere. Talking to the woman at the reception asking her about the nearby beach, as mentioned on the website, she seriously just replied: “I am sorry, that’s a mistake. We’ve wanted to change it for a long time.”

Meeting her with disbelief while lost for words, she at least tried to save the day when bringing up the hotel pool at the backyard. However, take a look at what she tried to sell as a “pool”. There was barely any water in it andit seemed they hadn’t refreshed it for years, if not decades. Sun loungers were as old and dirty as everything else at this degrading place.

That’s outrageous! I was so shocked I left demanding my money back and swearing to myself to never again be so dumb as to book a hotel without reading any reviews first! However, I will help others not to do the same mistake. Wait and see my reviews you guys… You’ll reap what you sow.

Tired of dealing with unsatisfied customers? Cheer up, for sure you’re doing better than the worst hotel. It can’t hurt to take a look on our knowledge materials, as, for instance, our Whitepaper on
>> Complaint Management!

Start to improve your customer satisfaction by using our professional review management solutions! Learn more in a free demo:
Make your appointment now!



 

Photographer: ono-ludwig.de

Break fast at the worst hotel’s breakfast

I know this feeling all too well! Where am I? Right, being on holidays, waking up in this strange small hotel somewhere far far away from home. Night was long. Sleep was poor. I definitely need to recharge my batteries!

What could one think of other than a nice breakfast? Bacon and eggs would be nice, maybe fresh orange juice, fruit and some sweets… I long for it, fighting my way out of the bed, taking a quick shower before heading straight to the dining area.

Worst Hotel

Hotel has not been all that convincing so far. Fairly cheap, rooms too dirty and humbly fitted – I am not so choosy, though. An average breakfast could make up for a lot right here. However, halfway there, my nose starts wrinkling due to the smell. I just can’t believe it, look at what is waiting for me:

Worst Hotel

I mean, are you serious? That’s not breakfast; that’s a criminal assault! Rotten bacon on nonexistent plastic plates? I am done; this is the worst hotel ever! Zero-point rating guaranteed!

We´re sure your hotel is better than the worst hotel, which you will read more about within our new blogpost-series. Still, it would not hurt to take a look at our knowledge materials, if you’ve ever suffered from a bad review!

As, for instance: >> our free Whitepaper on complaint management!

Start to improve your customer satisfaction by using our professional review management solutions! Learn more in a Free Demo



Google Maps App adds restaurant reservations

You want to know a quick route to the restaurant where you arranged a promising date? You are on holidays don’t have a clue how to get to this superfamous monument? You just want to check if there is a better way to your office saving you some minutes every morning? Whatever the purpose might be, all of us are using google maps permanently and everywhere.

This is why we want to inform you about some upcoming changes that Google announced last week for its navigation tool app on Android and iOS.
First, the Google Maps app will appear in a very new and attractive look focussing on lively animations, bright colors and surfaces that are designed, as Google states, “to echo the real world”.

Next, the info sheet was upgraded making it much easier for the user to get photos, reviews or anything you need about everything you want. This will also work more fluently in concert with the “more to Explore” layer at the bottom of the screen.

As these are nice visual improvements, the major upgrade is yet to come. You will even be able to do a restaurant table reservation right from Google Maps. This new function works in conjunction with OpenTable and emphasizes on Google’s strategy to integrate commerce as directly as possible within their apps. Though, this service is limited to the U.S for the moment.

However, that’s not yet the end of the story. Google also enabled the use and interplay of Maps and the car-hailing service Uber. Instead only providing a link to Uber’s mobile app, the user will now see information regarding prices and driving time, given you have installed the Uber app.

Doing so, Google tried its utmost to set the path for you to arrange a promising date in your favorite restaurant and even to be there in time.

Read full article on venturebeat.com>>

What else is possible within the universe of Google. Download our >> Free Whitepaper

How to act more like Google and start to get a comprehensive solution for your reviews? Learn more in a Free Demo



Merge Online Guest Reviews and Hotel Classification Systems – A hotel assessment revolution?

Recently, the World Tourism Organization (UNTWO) published a report on the quite complex topic “Online Guest Reviews and Hotel Classification Systems – An Integrated Approach”. They picked up an interesting question how to merge the two most relevant quality indicators for accommodations, traditional hotel classification and online guest reviews.

The report, jointly prepared by UNWTO and Norwegian Accreditation, opens by raising the claim to further reduce the gap between guests’ expectations and experiences. To achieve this sophisticated goal, a modification to existing hotel classification systems is proposed including guest review data.

The report bears in mind that user-generated content exploded during the past years at the same time greatly influencing consumers purchase behaviour. In this regard, data provides that before meeting a final booking decision, consumers visit on average 14 different travel-related websites and carry out nine travel-related searches on search engines. However, traditional hotel classifications are still very important as they are used in order to help filtering hotels. Guest reviews, on the other side, assist in selecting the final hotel from a smaller range of acceptable options. As a result, both approaches to consumer guidance are valid and used – yet in different ways.

So this is exactly what UNTWO seeks to change. According to the report, the classification process has to enter the digital and social sphere taking online guests reviews into consideration. By doing so, positive outcomes regarding financial aspects as well as consumer satisfaction are expected.

By offering an integrated approach, the report closes with the assumption that guests reviews would add a concerted subjective dimension to the objective hotel classification process. The new system proposed could use review data from existing guest review websites in order to update hotel classification, which could effectively help to further reduce the gap between guests’ expectations and experiences.

Read the full report here >>

What do your guests expect of you? Get more online reviews and manage them professionally! Sign up for a free online demonstration:



Customer Alliance at the HSMA Hotelcamp 2014

Last weekend, the Hotelcamp 2014 took place in the little town Bendorf/ Koblenz within the German state Rhineland-Palatinate. As a premium sponsor of the event, it was self-explanatory for Customer Alliance to join the event being represented by Katharina (Senior Sales Manager) and Leonie (Account Manager).

Arriving friday afternoon, we got together in the Hotel Friends Mittelrhein. With about 110 participants, the 6th Hotel Camp was the biggest of all times, but still provided the relaxed atmosphere for which it is well known.

As it is common for a BarCamp, we met saturday morning to collect the topics we wanted to discuss during the weekend. In four parallel meeting rooms everyone was invited to join the different sessions and exchange information, know-how, opinions and to give advice.

Of course, we followed the first rule of the HotelCamp “speak about it, post and tweet about it”. It was nice to follow the live-tweets of the sessions that took place in the rooms next door.

Obviously, the focus of our interest was on those topics which are relevant for online hotel management. Thus, we attended discussions about:

  • booking.com as a potential partner for hotels
  • the necessity of internal and external reviews and its optimal handling
  • how to get a better website conversion/ direct bookings
  • conversion through Social Media
  • optimization of OTAs
  • new ways for effective monitoring
  • the use of Google Ananlytics for hotels
  • strategies to raise consumer acceptance regarding cold calls

 

Take a brief look on the key findings we could pick up on the Hotelcamp:

Review management

  • Note: Asking guests in the hotel or offer goodies for writing a review decreases the quality of reviews.
  • As a hotelier, you have to explain your employees why they have to ask guests for mail-adresses/reviews and make sure that they understand why & how to do that.
  • In order to influence guests to rate positively in general, your wording should not be: „please review us“, but rather: „please recommend us“.
  • Furthermore, your mailing text should include an explanation on why to write a review (e.g. „your review helps us to motivate the team“ and even more important „your review helps future guests to make a decision for their stay“

Learn more in our >> free Whitepaper “Review Management”

Social Media

  • Define the purpose of your Facebook fan page! Is it guest communication, employer branding or an upselling plattform?
  • Idea: You can push offers to the facebook community if you have only few rooms left

Learn more in our>> free Whitepaper “Like, Share & Tag”

Hotel Website

  • Make sure, that the content on website is clearly structured and understandable
  • Pictures are important and can have an effect on conversion!
  • Update and change pictures more than 4 times a year according to the season
  • Guests want to see pictures of bathrooms and flat screens

Learn more in our >> free Whitepaper “Hotel Website Secrets”

hotelcamp

The HotelCamp 2014 was a big success, praised and complimented by all attendees at the feedback meeting on Sunday .
We want to give a big thanks to the HSMA organizer team and the great staff of the Hotel Friends Mittelrhein, who made the event such a great experience for all of us.
We are looking forward to use the new input and have marked the date for the Hotel Camp 2015!

Google+ for hoteliers, what’s new?

Dear hoteliers out there!

As all of us know: Google is the big boss and everyone has to follow it’s rules! You can try to revolt, however you will have a tough time to sell your stuff if you decide to do so.
That’s why – from a realist perspective – you should learn what Google has to offer and how you can use it for you in the most efficient way. Don’t get confused with Google places and Google + Business Pages. In the end, Google + Local Pages is what emerged out of those and what you need to use.

Google + is the base for everything you need. From here you can start to build up your Google+ Local Page for your hotel. It is important for you to design a very nice Google+ Local Page since this is what will appear to the user when he is using Google Hotel Finder – which is a great way to improve your visibilty. Next to that, you will also be able to collect reviews with your Google+ Local Page.

Yet, in order to achieve your final goal, which is maximizing your online bookings, you will not only need to present nice pictures and a well designed page. You also need to offer useful written content with practical information that is part of your SEO strategy. For this purpose, it is essential to identify the most significant keywords for you and publish some texts about those topics.
From the structural perspective, Google values a good information hierarchy, the internal link architecture, external links that leads to your page (and backs up your online reputation), a clear code and if the web has a responsive design.

Having those things combined on your beautiful Google+ Local Page you can be proud … for a very short spell. You need to keep up with official google announcements, since they are constantly changing the rules and remember: Google is the big boss, so follow it’s rules!

How to act more like Google and start to get a comprehensive solution for your reviews? Learn more in a Free Demo:



Sources

www.washingtonpost.com/news
www.buuteeq.com/blog

Further Reading

googleblog.blogspot.de
thinkwithgoogle.com

Customer Alliance @ “Tourism in Halkidiki” / Greece

Last Week, I visited the workshop “Tourism in Halkidiki” in the small greek city Nea Moudiana, seated on the peninsula Chalkidiki. The Halkidki Hotel Association invited us to join the event and to share our knowledge and experience about Review & Reputation Management in social media.

After landing in Thessaloniki, I found my way to the Pomegranate Wellness Spa Hotel where the event took place. Heading there, I still had the opportunity to enjoy the fascinating scenery of Central Macedonia, the most popular vacation destination within Greece.

The Pomegranate Hotel just recently opened it’s doors offering a great and appropriate location to hold an international tourism wokshop. As a special feature, this hotel presents a spectacular watershow to their guests every evening, accompanied by lights, colours and music.

Besides my presentation about Hotel Online Reputation Management, various topics concerning (Greek) hospitality industry were subject to the event. In this regard, interesting presentations were hold on how to increase direct bookings, service quality improvements, marketing promotions or how to implement financial solutions issued by the European Union.

I enjoyed my stay a lot as it was both convenient and informative at the same time. Some bottles of exquisite regional whine I took to Germany as a souvenir will remind me of my wonderful stay at Greece.

Tourism in Halkidiki
Tourism in Halkidiki

New restaurant and conference questionnaire

Customer Alliance hotel clients sum up to more than 2.500 by now gaining the benefits for their daily work routine due to our review management solutions. Now we take a step forward and expand our product towards gastronomy and more!

Our two new questionnaires allows you to also gather and manage reviews from both restaurant and conference guests.

The Certificate, together with the related Quality Seal (Widget) (displaying the Customer Satisfaction Index), can be implemented on your website – just like on the hotel websites.

For restaurant guests

Our restaurant questionnaire offers certain categories to give feedback on. These are service, pricing, dish quality, housekeeping, atmosphere and courteousness of employees. Of course, you can add individual categories on your questionnaire as for example: range of dishes, quality of drinks or waiting time.

For conference guests

We created a new and individual questionnaire with categories corresponding to the demands of conference guests. This includes technical equipment, atmosphere of the conference room, choice and quality of food, courteousness and flexibility of employees as well as cost-performance ratio.

By expanding our services, we aim at further closing gaps between vendors and their guests within the hospitality industry. To do so, we provide customers with an honest and authentic impression of the establishment while we support the managers to optimize their quality management.

Review Analytics Product

More information:
Take a look at “Review Analytics”
Check services and prices
“Review Analytics” at a glance (PDF)

If you feel like handing over your restaurant reviews to our professional hands, make an appointment for a free demo now:



California legally ensures “Yelp Bill” – the right to criticize

Imagine you are just about to marry your beloved partner. You have found a nice hotel in New York to celebrate this special day with your family and friends… and then get badly disappointed by the service, food or general quality offered.

In consequence, you and your hotel guests write negative reviews on Yelp or TripAdvisor to warn future couples not to do the same mistake you did. You would expect to have every right to express your frustration, wouldn’t you? You wouldn’t expect to pay thousands of dollars to do this, would you?

There are a lot of companies all over the U.S. that, just like this New York Hotel, penalizing people for publishing negative reviews. In this case, the bridal pair had to pay $500 for each single negative review posted online! Don’t tell me you did not read the small print…

Since this is not fair at all and totally not in line with any freedom of speech, the most populated U.S. state, California, issued a law forbidding to integrate such provisions within consumer contracts. Companies ignoring this law could face fines up to $5,000. The maximum penalty is $10,000 for “willful, intentional, or reckless” violations.

“California’s new law is an important recognition that corporations should not be allowed to use the law’s coercive power to suppress valuable speech about how businesses serve consumers,” says David Gans, civil rights director for the Constitutional Accountability Center.

This is the first U.S. legal act of this kind underlining once again the growing importance of written reviews as the major indicator for consumer decisions.

This post is based on an article published on Inc.com: Read the full story

Don`t hesitate but leave your reviews to our hands providing you with professional review management. Learn more in a free demo.



Google and its search

Talking about Google in general means talking about classical Google search. Searching things via Google has become a very influential factor throughout our lives. Most dictionaries implemented the term “to google” years ago.

SEO remains important

The search and research for information is one of the first steps in the process of booking a hotel room. Therefore, SEO is and will be a key factor. However, rules and practices have shifted. Many changes regarding its algorithm have been taking place throughout the past years making Google “(more) intelligent.” Whether it is about entire sentences or spoken language – Google more and more gets our intentions and interrelations. SEO-rules that used to be valid the past decade do not provide with the desired effect anymore. Not only does Google use signals from social networks, but it also regularly cleans up keywords linked with websites to customize search results depending on the user.

That is why it became extremely hard for privately managed small or medium-sized hotels to remain within the first Google results displayed.- and, of course, the omnipresent “competitor” Google.There are still ways leading to the desirable first page, just keep on reading and look out for the keyword “Google+ Local.”

Google AdWords for small and medium-sized hotel?

There is an important question, often asked by hoteliers: Is it worth to use Google AdWords? The answer is yes … and no! The most prominent and contested keywords, such as “hotel + [city]” are in large part occupied by booking and rating sites. Large OTAs have sufficient resources to pay sky-high prices per click, therefore, claiming the first places for themselves. Consequently, it became impossible for small and medium-sized hotels to compete with them on this field.

However, anyone that has carved out a niche and devotes himself to the use of the so-called longtail-keywords has a chance to catch good positions even with a small budget. A general advice for hoteliers would be: Do not get yourself into the “Google AdWords Jungle” without previous knowledge. A better call would be to consult an agency that is competent and experienced in this field. Otherwise, it’s likely that you will just throw money out of the window.

How to act more like Google and start to get a comprehensive solution for your reviews? Learn more in a Free Demo:



Guest blog Series: Google features related to tourism

Google is more than just a search bar

Google is our primary source for doing online search and research. In January 2014, Google’s dominant position within Germany was underlined by having a market share of about 91,2%. The Microsoft competitor “Bing” came in second place, far behind though with only 3,4% market share. Thus, it is no surprise nearly everyone thinks of Google when talking about Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

That being said, it is important to see Google as much more than a search bar. There is a variety of Google tools which take part in our daily life – think of Gmail, Google Maps or Android, which is the operational system for 80% of all mobile devices. In addition, Google became a key factor in the field of marketing.Two out of three advertisings take place on Google. It is impossible to imagine online marketing without Google AdWords. Even small and medium-sized companies hold budgets for AdWords campaigns.

Google’s almighty position, its increasing diversification and the disappearance of its competitors are often considered and judged very critically. Nevertheless, there are a lot of tools that can take a lot of weight off the hotels’ shoulders regarding daily workload. The social network Google+ has exceeded the number of 500 million user profiles by now, which builds up a huge audience for Google Reviews or Google Hotel finder – a new metasearch. Numerous Google tools are important in the whole course of travel preparations: Flight Search, Maps, Google+ Local (formerly Google Places), Hotel Finder and so on. So let’s take a closer look on Google tools especially on the ones relevant in the hotel business.
Google und seine Features

Google Tools related to tourism

Taking both software and hardware into account, there are more than 80 Google tools. Google search obviously remains the most prominent one, while there are also tools like “Google Public Data Explorer” or “Virus Total”, that have hardly ever been heard about.

This Blog series is designed to present Google tools that are related to tourism and hotel business and to explain them briefly one after another:

  1. Google and its search
  2. Google and images
  3. Google and data organisation
  4. Google and communication
  5. Google and information
  6. Customer Journey or: A Guest travel “through” Google

 

How to act more like Google and start to get a comprehensive solution for your reviews? Learn more in a Free Demo:



5 years Customer Alliance

In 2014, Customer Alliance celebrates its five years of existence!
That is a good reason to pop the corks and to review an exciting time shaped by some ups and downs! And we shall go on writing a success story…

At summer temperatures, our team, which has grown up to 55 people by now, celebrated Customer Alliance’s five years existence with great pomp. Of course, there was a nice barbecue as well as a lot of drinks…

Customer Alliance
Customer Alliance
Customer Alliance
Customer Alliance
See more pictures of our party on Instagram!

Milestones on the path of Customer Alliance

2009: Founding of the company as CAM Customer Alliance Management UG by Moritz Klussmann, Torsten Sabel and Chanyu Xu.

2010: First prototype, first pilot customers and first 3 Team members hired.

2011: Mountain Super Angel and High-Tech-Gründerfonds invest into Customer Alliance.

2012: Customer Alliance becomes official Partner of the German Hotel Association (IHA) and expands throughout Germany.

2013: Customer Alliance becomes market leader in Germany and expands to France.

2014: Expansion to Benelux. First month that French team overtakes German team in terms of new signed customers (almost becoming market leader on the French market).

Further goals for this year:
Enlarge our team from 50 people (at the start of 2014) up to 70!

Vision:
Become market leader on a european scale concerning Hotel Reputation Management and Online Marketing.