Cornell Study: Hotel Performance and Social Engagement

April 21st 2016

Is There a Correct Way to Respond to Reviews Online?

A recent study conducted by Cornell's Center for Hospitality Research examines the popular travel site, TripAdvisor, in correlation with a hotel's customer satisfaction, revenue, and social media performance. Chris Anderson and Saram Han have made the full study, "Hotel Performance Impact of Socially Engaging with Consumers" available for free as downloadable content.

Examining Three Aspects of Interaction with Customer Reviews

1. The study found that simply encouraging reviews was associated with an increase in a hotel's ratings. 2. Responding to reviews lead to improved sales and revenue, measured by gathering click through data to a hotel's listing on Online Travel Agent sites.
The study reconfirmed an earlier estimate that an increase in a hotel's TripAdvisor rating is reflected in an increase in revenue. Most interesting, the study found that revenue improvements based on review responses are limited in two ways. After a 40 percent response rate, hotels seem to reach a point of diminishing returns, and making too many responses is worse than offering no response at all."
3. The study found that guests appreciate responses to negative reviews more than positive. When prospective customers are looking through TripAdvisor comments they pay close attention to how the hotel responds to negative feedback. This helps to eliminate any uncertainty around the quality of their stay. What's the best way to respond to negative reviews? Read "How to Respond to Negative Reviews" by Marketing Specialist, Carolyn Murphy.

The Value of Customer Engagement

Learning the Dos and Don'ts of reviews is important as a Hotelier. Customer engagement has a direct effect on RevPar, sales, brand image, and social media performance. Anderson adds, "It's important to let your consumers know you want their opinion (through encouraging reviews via post stay surveys) improves the volume and quality of reviews, and additionally showing them that you are listening by responding to reviews (particularly negative reviews) has a favorable effect on review scores and revenue." Full study contains graphs, charts, comparisons, and in-depth explanation!

Read Full Study Here


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