Hotels

Do negative hotel reviews make a difference?

Are you in the middle of writing a terrible hotel review? New research shows it probably won’t change anyone’s mind.

Yep, really. In fact, most online hotel reviews mean nothing to future hotel customers.

New research from Macquarie University, published in the Journal of Hospitality Marketing and Management, found that review readers basically ignore mixed and negative reviews, placing greater importance on positive reviews.

Author and lecturer at Macquarie’s Department of Marketing, Dr Shahin Sharifi, looked into the influence of positive, negative, and mixed reviews on prospective hotel customers, finding that people struggle to interpret and evaluate mixed reviews. As a result, people tend to place greater weight on purely positive or negative reviews, and the positive reviews always win out – and have the most influence.

However, when a hotel offered a “100 per cent satisfaction guarantee”, mixed reviews became the most trusted, as customers considered the guarantee a signal that positive pieces in a mixed review should be weighed more heavily than negative pieces.

“In today’s interconnected world, where more bookings are made online than ever before, customer reviews can make or break a business,” said Dr Sharifi.

“Understanding the impact of positive, negative, and mixed reviews on their business is crucial for a hotel manager, particularly as managers are spending more time than ever responding to online reviews. Our findings suggest much of this time may be in vain.”

For hotel managers, these findings show that a satisfaction guarantee has no effect on whether a potential customer makes a booking; so instead of expending resources on a satisfaction guarantee, managers should focus primarily on improving the customer experiences. If not offering a satisfaction guarantee, managers should prioritise responding to mixed reviews over others.

“For hoteliers, the most important thing is to focus on providing a good service to customers rather than guaranteeing it,” added Dr Sharifi.

“Positive reviews influence prospective customers more than any other so, as you would expect, to drive future bookings it is best to have as many good reviews as possible. Following that, it is important to respond to mixed reviews as quickly as possible.

“This research provides a solid, analytical foundation from which hotel managers can look to attract more customers from online booking services going forward. Understanding your customer is the key to success!”

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

One response to “Do negative hotel reviews make a difference?”

  1. ….boy, was I sooooo right all along.. that’s why we don’t answer reviews… because answering them is just a stupid waste of time… hotels feel threatened when they receive bad reviews.. truth is people just ignore them…only those who are difficult and hard to please people take bad reviews seriously… the very same people you don’t want to stay in your property… so always welcome bad reviews as they really help getting rid of those demanding guests….

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Destinations

Bali rocked by off-shore earthquake

by Christian Fleetwood

An off-shore earthquake has struck the south of the Indonesian tourist hotspot, with reports of damaged and evacuated hotels.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Brisbane lands Flight Centre’s Global Gathering in 2020 + pics from this year’s big event!

Do you wish you could’ve attended Flight Centre’s recent Global Gathering? Live vicariously through this collection of candid pics.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Boeing ‘renames’ Ryanair’s 737 MAX

by Christian Fleetwood

If images posted on social media are anything to go by, in the era of deepfakes, it looks like the embroiled 737 MAX brand is getting a cosmetic touch-up.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Two Australians gored by bulls at controversial San Fermin festival

by Christian Fleetwood

Two Aussies who have obviously read too much Hemingway have been gored by a bull on the final day of the controversial San Fermin Festival.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Aussie model avoids 21-year jail sentence for assaulting flight attendant

A former Miss Universe Australia finalist has broken down crying in a US court after avoiding a 21-year jail sentence for assaulting a flight attendant.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Aviation wrap: Emirates’ global sale, Royal Brunei Airlines’ new Brisbane flights + more

We do hope that you’re so wrapped about this week’s aviation wrap that you write a rap about it.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Hundreds of protesters storm famous Paris monument

Police on the scene said 200 to 300 protesters entered the well-known landmark where French national heroes including Voltaire and Victor Hugo are buried.

Share

CommentComments

Events

How to win at The Travel Awards

Planning to enter The Travel Awards this year? Consider this a very handy cheat sheet of sorts.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Thomas Cook rescue deal could do more harm than good, says expert

by Huntley Mitchell

Were you under the assumption that Thomas Cook was extinct? Well, as this story proves, the dinosaur of the travel industry is still clinging on – but only just.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Wild winds and IT outage wreak havoc at Sydney Airport

by Christian Fleetwood

Travellers flying from Sydney Airport have been met with massive delays due to an Australian Border Force outage and gale force winds.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Wholesaler wrap: Viva Holidays says hello to Harry Potter, Wendy Wu’s early bird specials + more!

It’s Monday, folks, and that means two things: it’s time for our weekly wholesaler wrap, and for some hair-of-the-dog treatment for Travel Weekly’s editor at the local pub.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

“How ridiculous”: Pauline Hanson likens Uluru climbing ban to closing Bondi Beach

by Huntley Mitchell

In an interview that is sure to have many an Aussie giving themselves a face palm, outspoken One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has provided her take on the Uluru climbing ban.

Share

CommentComments