Reviews do matter. A report by SAS noted that positive reviews (less so TripAdvisor-based rank and brand), followed by lower price were the most important influencers of choice.
And lower price or higher ratings don’t overcome the impact of negative reviews.
But even in America, it’s possible that more isn’t better.
Writing reviews is almost a national pastime. Writing reviews on everything and saying pretty much what we want and being rewarded by some sort of badge or other “atta boy” recognition is the zeitgeist.
I review therefore I am.
• The reviews are giving marginally higher scores
• It is significantly more difficult to score five stars than a year ago
• Review fatigue is definitely setting in based on a sample of 250,000 reviews of US-based hotels across 25-plus sources
What this means, apparently, is that with fewer and fewer review, each becomes a bit more important pressuring management to be ever more thoughtful in its responses. They are on notice to “constantly monitor and improve, which shows through in user-generated feedback.”
It seems management is listening: their response rates have increased by double-digit percentages, the report says, “sending travelers a clear sign they are being heard.”
The markets with the highest “TrustScores,” (“TrustYou’s aggregate score out of 100 from all reviews written worldwide”) gives New York (90.50), Orlando (88.98) and Chicago (88.12) the highest TrustScores.
The most improved markets are Tampa-St.Petersburg (+ 3.6%), New Orleans (+ 3.2%) and Pholadelphia (+ 2.6%).
Overall, hoteliers have to work harder to “exceed expectations, delight and surprise guests” with a differentiated product and exceptional service.
Those hotels looking for five-star ratings are finding the coveted ranking less and less available.
We think that’s how it should be. Ratings Inflation has been around too long and is too deceptive.