Online guest satisfaction scores, such as those found on travel sites and online booking sites contain more valuable information than we realize. They’re not just a summary or description of guests’ opinions of our hotel, or even of their experience in our hotel. They are an encapsulated expression of the market’s valuation of our hotel compared to our competitors. As such they provide accurate insights into exactly what we can charge for our services – the market price for our product. By cross referencing our scores against our competitors and comparing them to ADR we can determine the ADR we can and should achieve.
Measuring guest satisfaction has never been more important, or easier. Thanks to sites like Tripadvisor, Booking.com etc we can collect, study, and action guest feedback more thoroughly and more accurately than ever before. Given the paramount importance of maintaining an excellent online rating it is logical that we spend a significant percentage of our time reading guest comments, responding to as many of them as possible, looking for trends, identifying recurring issues and hopefully correcting them.
But at some point we have to ask ourselves – to what end? Certainly a high guest rating is a business driver. Given a choice between 2 hotels, everything else being equal, a guest will invariably choose a hotel with better reviews and higher satisfaction rating. But how often is everything else equal? Take a look at your comp set. I assume you that you have carefully chosen the hotels in your set. They should be in one respect or another as similar to your hotel as possible. They should be competing for the same business as you on a regular basis. They should generally have equivalent star ratings, comparable F&B facilities, be in your geographic area etc.