With the increase in social media we are becoming used to commenting about everything these days and businesses are coming under increasing pressure to publish customer reviews on their websites. However this does pose a problem as the recent case against Tripadvisor showed it is impossible to police how genuine these reviews are although Tripadvisor say that if the reviews are inaccurate or too favourable this is quickly picked up by the community and will be balanced out. Olery have recently done some research into online reviews and they have come up with some interesting results.
81% of the general population find on-line reviews important and 49% of people would not book into a hotel if they couldn’t find a review of it. The satisfaction expressed by the customers broadly followed the star rating system so a 5 star hotel received more favourable reviews than a 3 star overall.
Women are slightly more likely to write a review than men at 53% compared to 47% and are more likely to give a higher rating, the average score awarded by women is 8.5 whereas for men it’s 7.8.
Currently the use of social media is most prevalent in the 25-34 age group but this isn’t mirrored in review writing. The largest group were the 35- 49 year olds who left 45% of the reviews and the 50-64 age group left 22% of reviews which was also higher than predicted.
Those with smart phones were fairly likely to use their phones to read reviews at 22% but this figure was also lower than originally expected in the survey.
Tripadvisor topped the chart of top ten review sites by number of reviews with a huge 60 million customer reviews, with the second place going to Booking.com with only 14.3 million customer reviews.
So it definitely is in an individual hotel’s interest to get their property reviewed on either there own website or a generic one like Tripadvisor. It’s also a good idea to make sure that if the comment contains a specific complaint that that is addressed by one of the hotel management team to mitigate the impact.
So if you have had a good time at a hotel, be it the overall standard of cleanliness, the customer service or the quality of the food then it is important to leave them a review on a website like Trip advisor because certainly for a significant number of potential guests it might just be your appraisal that tips their choice in favour of your hotel. In future, decisions on where to stay may well depend on the number of reviews a hotel has received so it is no wonder they are starting to actively court your reviews. With so much competition around and some really attractive offers around it is comforting to read the views of other guests so you can make sure that you are getting more than you’re paying for in terms of services and locations. Ultimately this may also drive up customer service which is often undervalued in this country the attitude of staff and how they deal with a problem if it occurs could make a crisis out of a drama for a hotel who cuts corners and doesn’t look after their staff.