Thursday, April 16, 2015

The impact of guest review on Hotel Business - Part II

In my first article (see it here) I've discussed about how to understand guest's emotional journey and hidden story behind guest reviews. Here is the second part of the article.

More positive reviews, more bookings and more revenue

According to a TripBarometer report by TripAdvisor, 90% travelers choose an accommodation based on ratings on a review site and 88% travellers are guided by online reviews and posts on TripAdvisor. Reviews with a rating on 4 - 5 generate more than double the conversion compared to a review with 1.0 – 2.9 rating on Expedia. Hotels that have a higher guest score typically will have better placement on the travel sites.  A better placement on the travel site means more bookings and more bookings mean a higher room rate, and eventually higher revenue for the hotel.  Identify what emotions your guests’ value at the key touch points in their journey with you and also those they want to avoid. No matter how difficult it is if you are not taking care of your guests’ emotion then you are doing a terrible mistake.




Go for Reputation Management Tool

As a hotelier, keeping track of who is saying what on which channel can be a nightmare.. Hence, it is essential to take an analytical approach to understand your strengths and weaknesses as per your guests and take a cohesive approach to address these issues. Guests share feedback on various review and travel sites – all this valuable information lay scattered and unstructured. Online reputation management tools play a big role in consolidating these guest reviews and presenting them to hotels in structured report formats. Usually, these tools pull guest feedback from various review websites including Qype, Holidaycheck, Yelp, Expedia, Facebook, Twitter etc. Data is then compiled together into review reports which include guest details (as it appears on the site) along with their feedback and the rating they provide to the hotel. A strong visible position on guest review websites indicate that your Price Quality Index is working well, that will enable you to make the right pricing decisions based on RevPAR performance.  This will allow the hotel to flex their rates based on a number of pricing strategies depending on booking levels. However, there are no short cuts. It is an evolving process that has to start today! As we move towards the age of consumer controlled brand conversations, hotels need to integrate customer feedback into their business approach and strategy planning.




















Contrary to popular belief, the greatest pitfall to customer reviews isn’t negative feedback. If all reviews are positive, or considered too similar, then the validity of the reviews can be called into question and the credibility of the brand put into doubt. The greatest mistake is actually not responding at all to your negative reviews, leaving your brand exposed and your customers find alternatives who give more attention to their needs.

So what’s the next step? Here are some suggestions for you to optimise the benefit of customer reviews:

- Encourage feedback, both on the brand website and third party platforms.
- Respond to comments quickly, outlining any action planned to address concerns.
- Ensure all reviews are genuine and never consider creating feedback artificially.

- Monitor brand noise across the entire web with regular online searches to ensure all channels are managed.


Francesca Stagi is Sales Manager at eRevMax.  She can be reached at francescas@erevmax.com
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