How Reviews Help Your Business
Three reasons why reviews help build a successful hospitality business
Many hospitality businesses make the mistake of not actively collecting guest reviews on sites like Tripadvisor. They may have more pressing priorities or concerns about potential negative feedback. But research shows that reviews can provide strong value for hospitality businesses. Here are three reasons why guest reviews are vital to the success of your business:
1. Reviews impact bookings
A recent PhoCusWright study1 revealed the impact reviews have on travellers’ decision-making:
- 83% of respondents indicated that reviews help them pick the right hotel
- 80% read at least 6 – 12 reviews prior to booking
- 53% won’t commit to a booking until they read reviews
Similar trends apply with travellers and attractions and restaurants:
- 68% of respondents say reviews help them know about attractions
- 64% read reviews to find better restaurants
These results demonstrate how reviews can impact sales for all hospitality businesses. If you’re not collecting fresh feedback, and sharing it with travellers, you may be losing business to competitors who do.
2. More reviews over time can lead to higher ratings
The average Tripadvisor review rating is 4.12 / 5.2
Academic research has demonstrated that ratings in reviews usually become higher over time. Why? Early guests often have negative experiences that surprise them, which is reflected in initial reviews. As a property gets more reviews, the average rating tends to increase. The researchers believe this is because additional reviews help set traveller expectations. Eventually, the ratings centralize around a more accurate average.3
Consistently collecting reviews yields a more accurate assessment of your property – which is important to both you and potential guests. With more reviews, the impact of extreme feedback can be limited. Plus, using negative reviews to improve can help ensure future ratings continue to rise.
3. Reviews help businesses evolve
Peter O’Sullivan, Owner of Harington’s Hotel in Bath, England, says:
“We might think we’re doing a brilliant job – but there’s no point in us thinking we’re doing a brilliant job if guests don’t think we are – so we really value that feedback…It gives us a way to improve the service and the quality of product that we offer…In the last three or four years, in particular, we’ve really focussed more on it. We can see the level of repeat bookings we’re getting has increased as well."
In fact, reviews are a free way to assess how your business is performing. They highlight what’s going well and where improvements can be made. Trends in reviews also reveal insights into guest expectations and how to better meet them.
How to collect reviews
80% of surveyed travellers say they focus on the newest reviews.
So, how can your property collect more reviews? Tripadvisor has lots of tools to help. Use Review Express to easily send optimised review request emails. It’s even better than using your own email account because it delivers an automatic reminder and a detailed dashboard that tracks the performance of each campaign.
For even more tools, log in to the Management Centre and visit the "Marketing Tools" tab at the top of the page. Here you will find widgets for your website and promotional tools like Tripadvisor stickers and "write a review" business cards.
- 1. Independent PhoCusWright study prepared for Tripadvisor, December 2013
- 2. Tripadvisor internal data, January 2014
- 3. “Online Customer Reviews of Hotels: As Participation Increases, Better Evaluation Is Obtained.” Cornell Hospitality Quarterly. March 2013.
Last Updated: 1 February 2017