The hotel industry today has fundamentally changed, especially when it comes to both demand patterns and customer purchase behavior. This is the reason that most existing Hotel Revenue Management approaches seem to be outdated in the present time.
When we talk of Hotel Revenue Management, we must understand that it is a complex field. Consumer demands today have become highly specific today. This is why if hotels have any weaknesses, and they are exposed, news is easily shared worldwide.
By using professional review analytic solutions, hoteliers can gather feedback that can assist them in determining the appropriate price for their entire range of services, and that too for different customer groups. Let’s go ahead and understand the importance of review Analytics and its role in driving hotel bookings.
About Hotel Review Analytics
With online hotel review analytics, hoteliers have the opportunity to know virtually anything about any hotel, in any part of the world, from a guest’s perspective. Review analytics can help to independently verify the story of how well you have done in the hospitality sector, after which an overview of the market can be analyzed.
Review analytics helps in getting an insight of the competitor market at a macro-level, from the perspective of real hotel guests in a neighborhood, a city, or any other destination level. This analysis includes-
- Market supply of existing hotels
- Global guest satisfaction levels or Global Review Index (GRI)
- The ongoing and upcoming trends among hotels
- Review sites and distribution channels popular in an area
- Demography of guests for these hotels
How does it help?
In the hotel industry, the effective use of analytics can effectively change the way a business operates. Over 93% of customers consider hotel reviews as an important factor for booking hotels.
A study by the Cornell University’s Center for Hospitality Research, reflects that a 1-point increase in a hotel’s 100-point GRI leads to up to a 0.89% rise in the price (ADR), a 0.54% increase in occupancy, and an increase of 1.42% in Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR).
During the process of searching and shopping for hotels, travelers usually consider and prioritize different hotel profile elements, however, there are certain aspects that frequently make the list. These are key elements of a hotel’s profile like the price, location, traveler reviews, and the comfort of making bookings.
Review analytics helps in focusing on the right guests in the process increasing profitability across the enterprise. These factors typically influence the final hotel booking decision of a traveler. This information can also be used to drive hotel bookings. Here are three which you can use to your advantage.
The location of your hotel plays a significant part in driving bookings, whether a guest is traveling for business or leisure. Hence, hotels should start focusing more on attracting and retaining repeat guests within your market niche. Undoubtedly, hotels which are already established cannot change their address, however, they can change their strategy to work with means available to them.
When nothing can be done about the location, hoteliers should instead work on improving convenience instead. One such service can be the delivery of meals to travelers so that they do not have to head downtown or a shuttle can be offered so that it becomes easier for them to go out.
Unlike leisure travelers, business travelers are less sensitive to pricing. Yet both categories of travelers take pricing as a factor to book a hotel. Hotels need to be competitive and must provide value for a traveler’s money, more than just providing the cheapest option.
Amadeus states that, 60% of leisure and 41% of business travelers usually make their own travel preparations, and that too via the Internet.
The focus for hotels that attract both types of travelers, should be on adding value to the leisure traveler by offering stay packages that include freebies like a bottle of wine or tickets to the local entertainment. This can lower the total price in a leisure traveler’s budget. A business traveler can still be charged the complete price as they usually do not need to search for or book a package.
Make bookings easy
Make it easy for travelers to find information and book a reservation at your hotel an easy process. Travelers today, are not patient and refuse to wait for anything anymore. Ensure that the hotel facts are readily accessible so that customers do not jump to another website.
Last but not the least, create upgrades and add-ons that are easy to purchase during the booking process. Do not miss out on the opportunity to up-sell guests who want additional amenities anyway. Observe the factors that results an upgraded room or package to give extra value to encourage quick traveler decisions.
Other Important factors that lead to a hotel booking
According to findings from recent studies by TrustYou and Donna Quadri-Felitti, clinical associate professor at New York University’s Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism, reviews have a crucial impact on hotel conversion rates and how much travelers are willing to pay for a room.
It was seen that if customers are given equal pricing, then the chances that they would choose a hotel with higher reviews increased by 3.9 times. Additionally, even though the same hotel with good reviews has higher pricing, travelers would still be willing to book there.
Hotels can maximize reviews using automated review collection tools that can assist them in accumulating up to 30% more reviews. Independent hotels need to realize that technology is a strategic way to drive business rather than just a tool.
- Specific comments in the reviews
- Percent or star rating
- Ranking relative to other hotels
- Photographs submitted by past guests
Long-lasting satisfaction is much difficult to achieve when the market of potential guests is unlimited. However, online review portals and review analytic software offer new and cheap ways to effectively measure customer satisfaction.
For analytics to truly be a game changer, hospitality organizations need to the understand the contrast between reactive and proactive decision making by a traveler.
In conclusion, TrustYou’s research also states that travel reviews have a significant impact both on conversion rates as well as pricing. It is hoteliers that effectively manage and improve their online reputations that have the opportunity to increase revenue, both with more bookings and higher prices.