Fewer reviews, marginally higher scores and it is far more difficult to score five stars are the latest findings that compare user-generated hotel reviews over a year-long period. The team at TrustYou, working in conjunction with Donna Quadri-Felitti, Ph.D., at New York University, Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management, has developed its first quarterly report identifying key trends in travelers’ reviews and hotel satisfaction. Based on a sample of more than 250,000 reviews of US-based hotels from across 250-plus sources, the data and insights are segmented by region and major markets versus secondary ones. Review scores are based on TrustScore, TrustYou’s aggregate score out of 100, pulling from all reviews written worldwide.
Quadri-Felitti, an associate professor at NYU specializing in marketing, asserts that “Data, big or not, are only meaningful when managers find actionable insights from the patterns. Working with TrustYou's talented team, this thought leadership series was developed to provide those insights."
Some of the highlights in TrustYou’s findings, which are compared to third quarter of last year, include:
Travelers Writing Less
Travelers have written 9% fewer reviews compared this same time last year. Consumer review fatigue may be setting in, which underscores the importance of each review and management’s thoughtful response to them.
Travelers Are Being (Somewhat) Kinder with Feedback
Guests are being a bit kinder with feedback with a reported 2% increase in overall review scores. The competitive intensity of major hotel markets puts pressure on management to constantly monitor and improve, which ultimately shows through in user-generated feedback. The US markets with the highest TrustScore go to New York (90.50), Orlando (88.98) and Chicago (88.12). The markets with the most improved TrustScores were Tampa-St.Petersburg (+3.6%), New Orleans (+3.2%), and Philadelphia (+2.6%). Good news for besieged Detroit, Michigan with an improved TrustScore for its hotels of 2.5%.
Hoteliers Are Saying “We Hear You”
Management response rates have increased by double-digit percentages, sending travelers a clear sign that they are being heard. In particular hoteliers in the Midwest, led by hotel managers in Chicago and Minneapolis, increased the volume of management responses by over 15 percentage points. This may be one reason TrustScores have improved in the US: engaging guests directly helps build credibility and trust among travelers in the public review environment.
Five-Star Reviews Are Harder to Come By
Remember we said travelers are being somewhat kinder? Despite higher TrustScores, hotels are seeing double-digit declines in five-star reviews. Across all markets and regions, consumers are less likely to rate their hotel experiences as five-stars. Hoteliers have to work harder to exceed expectations, delight and surprise guests and to differentiate their product and service delivery on what are increasingly high traveler expectations.
Pricing is Not a Pain Point for Most
For most major markets, 14 of the 25, pricing is not a sore spot for consumers. Are hotels being priced fairly or are there revenue opportunities in many markets? We will continue to track this in future reports.
The full report, including additional data and insights is available for free download here.
Since 2008, TrustYou has set the standard for reputation management with solutions for hospitality-industry businesses to analyze online reviews, tweets and posts across the social web, to gather trusted reviews directly from its customers, and to use the authentic conversations to successfully market online reputations.
TrustYou’s monitoring dashboards capture sentiment and opinions from millions of comments in one easy-to-view place from sources like TripAdvisor, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Yelp and more across 23 different languages. In addition, TrustYou provides free online customer satisfaction surveys and marketing tools for all hotels. TrustYou’s international team hails from 23 countries and speaks more than 20 different languages. The company already has more than 12,000 customers in 60 countries and monitors over 400,000 hotels, provide an extensive base for competitive analysis. TrustYou’s clients include individual hotels, independent boutique chains, destinations and major global brands such as Accor, Marriott, Starwood, Hard Rock Cafes and Best Western Hotels. The company’s partnerships span an impressive variety of organizations; from tech companies like Google, Trust and Micros, to destination-specific alignment with Germany and Switzerland to improve the countries’ official star-rating systems for hotels. TrustYou’s headquarters are in Dallas, USA and Munich, Germany, with further representatives in the U.K., the Netherlands, France, Central Europe, Asia and Australia. To learn more about TrustYou visit www.trustyou.com.