Expert en feedback management - Spécialiste dans la mise en place de baromètre de satisfaction et d'enquête de satisfaction
Expert en feedback management - Spécialiste dans la mise en place de baromètre et d’enquête de satisfaction
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LE BLOG BY SATISFACTORY

16 April 2012
Analyses

Study of online tourism reviews


I’ve just got back from the ITB, (International Tourism Fair in Berlin), which is the world’s biggest event in the tourism sector: over 10,000 exhibitors, 170,000 visitors … where 4 hours of wandering around are not enough to explore all the exhibits.

Various countries and major hotel chains such as Hilton, Accor and Best Western exhibit to promote their tourist attractions, along with a myriad of service providers.

Before embarking on our subject, you will note that it might seem hard to do better in terms of organisation and quality of hospitality, even though the place (160,000 m2 over 4 floors) resembles a maze with no exit.

The most discussed subjects this year revolved around social media and online customer reviews. Here are some highlights of a very interesting conference I attended.

Online reviews in the German hospitality sector


Context reminder

- Growing influence of guest reviews on purchasing behaviour
- Increased number of online review sites …
- Estimated 18% to 35 % of reviews posted online are fake
- 48% of Germans read reviews before booking their stay (Bitkom 2010 study): this is slightly lower than for the French and the British, where recent studies indicate rates of between 70% and 90%
- However, 95% of Germans found them reliable (compared with 51% in the US (source e-tailing group)
- Influence of traveller reviews go beyond the Internet: what about the Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence displayed in restaurants and hotels ?
- People generally consult online review sites rather than hotel websites
- The majority of reviews are positive
- Detecting fake online reviews, whether human or computer, is very difficult, whereas buying fake reviews from web agencies is very easy

The main results of the study of 330 hotel managers (groups and independents)

- 97% of them have been evaluated in the last 12 months on online review sites
- Top 5 review sites in Germany: Holidaycheck, Booking, HRS, Hotel.de, Tripadvisor
- 93% of them regularly read reviews of their hotels and those of their competitors on the main portals. They spend an average of 2 hours per week doing this
- 81% use the reviews as a way of dealing with complaints
- 70% encourage customers to write a review
- …

Among the key recommendations made to hotels are to :

- Regularly follow reviews for your hotel and those of competitors
- Set up a system for collecting and posting reviews, with the help of market solutions
- Exploit the reviews to improve conversion rates
- …

The study clearly highlights that business issues have become too important – referrals, higher conversion rate of customers after reading guest reviews – to leave review management to third parties.

The study clearly highlights that business issues have become too important – referrals, higher conversion rate of customers after reading guest reviews – to leave review management to third parties.

This is a huge opportunity to emerge as a trusted third party. It will necessitate being transparent and facing negative reviews. But if these are handled carefully with appropriate online communication, it would be a big step towards the greater transparency demanded by today’s consumers and a definite move in the direction of continuous improvement of the services offered.

See the study results

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bertrand CHRISTOPHE
Head of Development, Associate

Do you need more information ? Contact the author : feedback@satisfactory.co.uk


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