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Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Hotel Staffing Software in the Internet Age

Internet sites that allow users to praise or complain about their visits are becoming a new sort of staffing software for the hotel industry. Visit to learn more.

Today there are several travel sites that give users a forum in which to vocalize their experiences online for other guests to read. The practice has caused many hotel managers to keep track of their businesses' online reputation for fear of losing business.

TripAdvisor, a well-known travel site that has more than 30 million reviews, claims that less than 4 percent of the site's negative reviews receive a response. However, the site saw a 203 percent increase in responses from hotels during 2009.

A recent article from USA Today highlighting this recent practice points out that some experts think hotel managers who ignore customers' reviews may do so at their own peril. Those who do pay attention can find new ways of improving operations and earn goodwill points at a time when every guest counts.

"It's an opportunity to stand apart from your competition," Dean Schmit of Standing Dog, the company that developed the ReviewAnalyst software, said.

Although many hotel companies have long relied on solicited customer surveys from guests, those have mostly been numerical rankings that rarely contain descriptive explanations. The trend toward online review sites is allowing hotels to better improve training, adjust restaurant and staffing hours and add or remove amenities.

Here's what some hotels are doing to respond to this new-age reviewing trend:

Fortunately for hotel managers, the majority of feedback - 70 percent - is positive, according to Maureen Dime of Avalon Report, a firm that compiles online reviews for hotels.

"But if 30 percent is unhappy with you, that's still a large percentage," she notes. "We call it a tidal wave of whispers."


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