There used to be a time where in order to find out about your competitors you had to physically visit each and every one of them. However, the dawn of the internet changed that. With the accumulation of online travel agencies (OTAs), social media networks, review websites, blogs and even hotels’ own websites, you can now find out almost anything you’d want to know about your competitors just by searching the internet.With this in mind, your competitors can also find all of this information about you, so you want to be sure that your own hotel’s online reputation is solid.
What sort of information should you be looking for when you’re undertaking a competitor analysis though? Some of this information can include things like:Your overall scores on review sites .How guests rate your rooms .If your cleanliness is up to guests’ standards . How guests feel about your location .What guests think of your service , Whether guests think you provide value for money .If guests are happy with your facilities. How guests rate your food. However, this is a lot of information, so if you spend all of that time trawling through review websites, social media and OTAs, you won’t actually have any time left to interpret this data and act on it – especially, if you want to analyse a large amount of competitors.So, how can you get as much of this information as possible in a short space of time?
There is software in the market that is able to look through review sites automatically and provide overviews of competitors’ scores in different areas. It can even take into account the fact that different review sites measure different aspect of hotels’ offerings on different scales, and that different sites are more reliable than others, and so uses algorithms to analyse and aggregate the data.This is brilliant for showing you in which areas your competitors are performing better than your own hotel – and in which areas they aren’t.
For example, one of your top competitors might offer more amenities, but their customer service may be lacking. This immediately creates an opportunity for your hotel. Customers no longer just want to pay for a hotel room, they want to pay for an experience. And part of that experience is the staff that they interact with during their stay. The majority of guests would actually prefer to know that they are dealing with hotel staff that are polite and willing to go the extra mile to improve their stay than know that they can get their laundry done.
So now that you have the basic information, you can delvep deeper into the online reviews. The one liners saying it was a great stay are lovely, but they don’t give any real feedback. You need to search for those longer reviews that people have really made an effort to write.Whether they’re good or bad, these are the people that are really reviewing their entire stay, and as such are the ones that can really give you an insight into your competitors.
For example, if you see multiple reviews from guests who are raving about the great service they received or the high-quality rooms, then you know that this is an area where your competitors are excelling in.So, what can you really do with the information that is found on review sites? Well, the first thing you need to be sure of is that you’re staying aware. As well as consistently monitoring your competitors, you also want to be monitoring your own online reputation. It’s no good knowing your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses but not your own. You then need to capitalise on your strengths. Your hotel can’t be the best at everything – it’s just that simple.
So consider what your strengths are and compare them with your competitors.If the most popular aspect of a competitor is the special events they put on, then you could look to expand in this area. However, if it’s that the rooms are a foot bigger, then you just have to accept that you can’t change that. Instead, you can boost even further an area that you already excel in and where you see your competitors struggling. Make sure that you’re consistent with your competitors analysis. Don’t just look at it once a year and accept that opinions will stay the same, because they won’t. Try to continually monitor the online reputation of both your own hotel and your top competitors to stay on top of the game and excel.