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.

Travel Agents

Flight Centre acquires Aussie travel company

Flight Centre is hoping this latest acquisition will give its Australian leisure business a much-needed boost.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Agent wrap: Agents say G’day to LA, win a trip to New York state + MORE!

If you’re not marching in the climate strike today, you may as well make use of your time in the office by checking out the latest famils and events.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Flavour of the Week: Crystalbrook Collection’s new PR, Akaryn Group gets VP of development and operations + MORE!

This week’s wrap of industry appointments is particularly flavoursome, and not just because it includes a man holding a whopping great mud cake.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Industry reacts to shock collapse of Tempo Holidays and Bentours

by Huntley Mitchell

The sudden exit of Tempo Holidays and Bentours from the local market has prompted other travel companies to offer support for affected agents and clients.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

“I didn’t do it”: Watch as sightseeing ship strikes World War II vessel on Hudson River

by Christian Fleetwood

A passenger vessel travelling the Hudson River has collided with a decommissioned war vessel. Watch the chaos unfold here.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Airbnb offers fans the chance to stay at Downton Abbey castle

Do your clients fancy staying in an ultra-luxe castle for the night with 300 rooms? Help them live out all their royal family fantasies with this.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

Road & Rail Wrap: LAX’s historic rental car facility, Rail Adventures’ Sri Lanka commission + MORE!

If this week’s Road & Rail Wrap was a meal, it’d be a family-sized banquet, as opposed to it usually looking like chicken stuffing and sides.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Hotel Wrap: Malaysia’s newest hotel brand, Fairmont’s underwater art installation + MORE!

Looking to cure your post-hump day blues with something other than a bottle of vodka or a block of Cadbury Top Deck? Feel instantly better with our Hotel Wrap!

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Airline puts its crew on a “low-fat” diet after firing several for being overweight

It’s not clear whether the heavily indebted airline made the decision to save money or to get its crew into shape. Either outcome is not ideal.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Royal Caribbean’s biggest challenge “has been the same thing for 50 years”, says vice chairman

by Huntley Mitchell

Travel Weekly recently joined Royal Caribbean’s Adam Goldstein for lunch and conversation. Here’s what we managed to regurgitate… from the chat, that is. Not the ham sandwiches.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Jetstar flight to Bali forced to turn back over windscreen crack

An eight-hour flight to Bali turned into a six-hour flight to Melbourne when pilots noticed something wasn’t quite right with the plane’s windscreen.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Agoda unveils fresh look

Coincidentally, Travel Weekly’s editor is also trialling a new look. However, his cornrows are far less “fresh” than Agoda’s swanky new font and dots with eyes.

Share

CommentComments