Many hospitality professionals I speak to today have a love-hate relationship with reviews. When they’re positive, we’re raving all about them, holding them up to other guests and featuring them on our website. When they’re negative, we sometimes struggle with how to learn from the feedback and turn it into an opportunity.
There’s nothing surprising about this because reviews have a tremendous influence on what we buy, where we go and in the hospitality world, where we stay.
Consumers have spoken – 89% of travelers say online reviews are influential when choosing accommodations and 96% of hoteliers say reviews are influential in generating bookings, according to a study by TripAdvisor.
That’s why we devoted our webinar last week to understanding the power of online reviews and how they can be used to discover your property’s story and drive bookings.
Here’s a recap of some of the important points that TripAdvisor’s Head of Industry Relations, Brian Payea, shared:
- TripAdvisor ranks properties based on a few factors including the quantity and quality of online reviews as well as how recent they are
- The factors that drive the most traveler engagement are: the number of photos, total number of reviews, management responses in the past year and the number of reviews in the past year
- Photos are essential: Adding photos on a TripAdvisor property page results in 138% more engagement from travelers. Properties with at least one photo see a 225% increase in the likelihood of a booking inquiry
- Increase revenue from positive reviews: If a property increases its review score by one point on a five-point scale, it could increase prices by 11.2% while still maintaining the same occupancy rates
- Management responses matter: 87% of respondents say an appropriate management response to a bad review improves their impression of the hotel
These are incredible statistics that speak to the importance of visual storytelling and the power of positive reviews. Next, Adele put these numbers into practice by sharing how she uses reviews at the Library Hotel Collection:
- Use photos to set expectations and avoid disappointment upon arrival like Adele’s staff who provide a visual explanation of the room and bed dimensions which transcend all languages and terminology
- Look to reviews for training and insights: Negative or positive, learn what a traveler liked or didn’t like so you can keep doing the good stuff and improve where necessary
- Think of negative reviews as an opportunity to sit down with your staff and determine how you could’ve done better
Stay tuned to my follow-up blog series diving into the power of using online reviews in your storytelling efforts along with a recap of the most popular questions asked during the event.