hotels social media reviews negative tripadvisor market metrix tnooz
526 days ago
 

Hotels call it online reputation management, but Market Metrix calls it too little, too late

It’s hardly a surprise when a company that provides guest survey solutions for hotels says that guest surveys are the best way for hotels to protect their reputations.

That said, hospitality feedback firm Market Metrix uses some interesting statistics to bolster its criticism of online reputation management.

Market Metrix’s white paper, “For Hospitality, Social Media Is Too Little Too Late,” hauls out a truckload of statistics to support its claim that guest surveys and similar on-site feedback tools are a more effective investment for hotels than social media reputation management services.

Its numbers might give some hotel owners a zoomed out, powers-of-ten jolt to the system. In a nutshell, its message to hotel owners is: If you do guest surveys effectively, your TripAdvisor reviews will improve as a side effect. Or, in the company’s own words:

“When it comes to your reputation, social media can’t create it, it can only perpetuate it. Trying to mend your reputation after someone has posted a negative review is missing the point…. By the time a negative review is posted you’re doing damage control, not reputation management.”

Social media hotel reviews are distorted

Market Metrix has determined that ”reputation, recommendations and online reviews” are now driving more bookings than even location or price.

But these user reviews are often deeply flawed. Exhibit A: Reviews from TripAdvisor are skewed toward the negative, with nearly 300% more one- and two-star ratings than guest survey research done by hotels internally using Market Metrix tools. Five-star ratings were under-represented by a third. hotels social media reviews negative tripadvisor market metrix tnoozHere’s one reason to explain the discrepancy between TripAdvisor reviews and hotels’ own guest surveys:

“Surveys can guide the respondent to consider the entire experience, not just the one thing that stood out…. When it comes to social media sites instead, Market Metrix Hospitality Index data [representing 134,261 respondents] says that guests who have a problem write a review about it 22% of the time. Guests without a problem write reviews just 9% of the time.”

Another way in which Market Metrix claims that user-generated review sites distort the truth is through demographic bias.

Social media platforms tend to overrepresent young people, who disproportionately use them, and therefore tend to underrepresent the biggest spenders on travel, who are usually the over-50 crowd.

In short, hoteliers shouldn’t make product or service decisions based on social media feedback alone. social media misses the travel spend market metrix guest survey twitter facebook tnooz How to use guest surveys to pre-empt social media problems

Market Metrix encourages hotel owners to invite every guest to complete a survey and be ready to respond immediately to any important complaints, such as about a rude clerk or a long wait to check in.

Says the company:

Most surveys can be completed online. But the important thing is that everyone can be accommodated – send a simple text survey to their phone, hand them an iPad with an open link, you can even give them a paper comment card if you have to….

Unresolved problems have a dramatic impact on guest loyalty, driving it down by more than half on average. That means more than half those customers don’t come back. What’s worse, guests who experience a problem are nearly three times more likely to write a review about it online.

It’s only one side of the discussion, presented by a single, self-interested company. But it raises some interesting points. Over-reliance on any one tool, such as online reputation management, seems intuitively risky.

 
 
Sean O'Neill

About the Writer :: Sean O'Neill

Sean O’Neill is a London-based reporter for Tnooz. He's also a regular contributor to BBC Travel.

Follow him on Twitter, Google+, and his personal site .

 

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  1. Rajiv Angural

    An interesting article sean, i completely agree that online reputation monitoring is considered to be a too little too late scenario. I mean monitoring is 1 thing but taking action is a whole different ball game. Plainly observing over the web and monitoring how hotels are viewed in the eyes of others limits the ability for ‘action’ and its not gonna increase guest satisfaction for hotels.

    What is required is real time guest feedback provided by tools like Geteco ( http://www.geteco.com ) that allows the guest to leave a comment (Speak into a phone ) and for managers to directly respond to that in real time. It all goes into a database and we can analyze feedback given on site.

    That way what this does is it prevent guests from leaving the hotel unhappy in the first place and with happier guests the chances of positive reviews outweighing the negative reviews on the web will increase. Just sharing my experience, Cheers :)

     
    • Sean

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Rajiv!

       
    • Linda Ranielli

      Hi Rajiv, i like your comment and what you had to say. I agree that observing and just monitoring is not going to do much good for the business in terms of hotel guest satisfaction. Hotel management should look into acting and listening on site to guests and solving their queries almost immediately. I am part of a hotel’s management team myself and i took a look at the Geteco tool you mentioned and thier website. I agree that It is definitely something that hotels within the industry can and should start looking at as being a way to enhance guest satisfaction. Thanks

       
  2. Taoufik Haraketi

    Sean thank you very much for your insights.

    I don’t think you really got the true meaning of the message that Market Metrix wanted to convey through its white paper.
    What Market Matrix was saying is, in terms of online reputation management, hotels really need to focus their energy into preventing bad customer’s review and to fix problems when they occurs by deploying the hotel’s own guest surveys; ‘’most online review sites don’t post guest reviews for four or more days, long after the customer has left”.

    Furthermore, I personally also will not argue about the fact that hotel negative experiences are more motivating to share than positive ones – ‘’opinions shared through social media and online review sites are often extreme points of view and don’t represent the complete spectrum.’’ In my experience, I’ve seen lots of patrons who are extremely satisfied about their stay but did not share a single word about our property on social media. ‘’Guests who have a problem write a review about it 22% of the time. Guests without a problem write reviews just 9% of the time.’’

    I wrote an reponse article about the subject which you can review here http://www.taoufikharaketi.com/2012/11/online-reputation-management-or-damage.html

    Thanks again and all the best
    Taoufik

     
 
 

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