A bad reputation – good for rock stars, not for hotels

1980s rock goddess Joan Jett got it: rebelling against old ideas and grabbing new ones by the horns.

NB: This is an analysis by Margaret Ady, vice president of marketing at TrustYou.

Her line about “I don’t give a damn ’bout my bad reputation/You’re living in the past, it’s a new generation” is a classic, a call to arms for female musicians to challenge the patriarchy running the rock’n’roll industry.

It’s less convincing when applied to hoteliers operating in the current business climate. Reputation does matter. And while some hoteliers are changing their approach, for others adapting to new ideas is painfully slow.

This is exemplified in a recent study that showed only 56% of hotels are responding to TripAdvisor reviews and only 17% to Expedia reviews.

This wouldn’t be so surprising if we didn’t know for a fact that management responses to travel reviews improves guests’ perception of a property.

For those needing a reminder, here’s why it’s time to quit living in the past, and make sure you’re taking impeccable care of your hotel’s reputation.

Increasing exposure and increasing bookings

  • According to the European Travel Commission, the way hotel management responds to reviews matters. Appropriate responses to bad reviews improved 84% of users’ impressions of the property. Negative responses from management reduced the visitors likely to visit the hotel by 64%.
  • Properties that respond to more than 50% of their reviews increase their likelihood of receiving a booking inquiry by 24%, compared to properties that do not respond to reviews, according to a 2014 TripAdvisor study.
  • Amazon Local Travel is using travel review ratings to curate their travel collection offerings. They aren’t the only ones, and they won’t be the last. Getting the exposure means getting more bookings.
  • Approximately 90% of travelers report reading travel reviews prior to booking. They read anywhere from 6-12.

Return on Investment

  • Recent TrustYou research showed that when prices are increased for hotels with better review scores, travelers are more likely to book the hotel with the higher score despite the higher rate. In fact, when explicitly asked, 76% of travelers say they are willing to pay more for a hotel with higher review scores.
  • Hotels can locate areas where investment will have the greatest payoff. For instance, bathrooms and beds are mentioned more often than any other issues in a survey of negative travel reviews.

Reputation is vulnerable territory—accepting that the reins are very publicly in others’ hands. By it’s very nature, reputation also is not optional; it’s not a choice.

What is a choice is how you approach it and putting your best, most-authentic foot forward is always meaningful when it comes to the R word.

The stats prove it.

NB: This is an analysis by Margaret Ady, vice president of marketing at TrustYou. It appears here as part of Tnooz’s sponsored content initiative.

NB2: TrustYou searches, analyzes and distills hundreds of millions of opinions scattered across this vast, fragmented market. Our products are extensively used by suppliers – hotels, accommodations, restaurants – to provide travelers with better services and enhanced offerings by monitoring, surveying and acting upon all worldwide guest feedback. Travel intermediaries – OTAs, meta-search, destination marketers – use TrustYou’s Meta-Reviews to help travelers purchase wisely. TrustYou’s Meta-Reviews are based solely on verified travel reviews. They do not include data from TripAdvisor.

– See more at: http://www.tnooz.com/

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