If you have 60 seconds, I have 300 words that might help at the net operating income (NOI) line on the spreadsheet.
NB: This is a guest viewpoint by John Smallwood, owner of the Travel Outlook call center.
You probably have seen the studies showing that TripAdvisor scores impact hotel rates. The correlation may seem obvious and intuitive, yet some of the findings are quite startling.
1. TrustYou study: 95% of travelers report using travel reviews regularly to make booking decisions.
2. Cornell study: a one-point increase in reputation may result in a hotel’s ability to raise room rates up to 11.2%.
3. TrustYou study: given equal prices, travelers are 3.9 times more likely to choose a hotel with a higher review score. (Four times more likely!)
And here is the most interesting statistic: Even when hotel prices are increased for hotels with better review scores, travelers are still more likely to book the hotel with the higher score despite the higher rate.
A survey found that 76% of travelers said they would be willing to pay more for a hotel with higher review scores.
A hotel that has to lower rates to overcome poor TripAdvisor scores is fighting a losing battle. Even price-conscious travelers will be willing to open their pocketbook a little more to be ensured of nice accommodations.
Hotels can use this information to their advantage. When the phone rings, the reservations team can set the table for a positive guest review by consistently demonstrating politeness and professionalism.
To make a great first impression, calls must be answered within 20 seconds and rarely put on hold, and the agent should follow a planned sales process such as Kennedy Training Network’s system.
It’s critical to talk with your reservations team and central reservations office (CRO) about how the guest’s first impression of the property may lead to a more critical review.
If the call is answered correctly and courteously, the guest will be prepared to see a well-organized, alert hotel staff upon arrival, and the hotel will have made the right first impression.
NB: This is a guest viewpoint by John Smallwood, owner of Travel Outlook call center.
Related, from TrustYou: Proof: Travel reviews have significant effect on hotel conversion rates and pricing
NB: Image of hotel concierge via Shutterstock