When Best Western properties worldwide engaged with user reviews across the Internet, they saw their annual occupancy rates grow at double the rate of properties that didn't.
That's according to a study of customer and business data from more than 4,400 independently-owned Best Western properties globally between April 2013 to September of 2014.
The study was done by Medallia, which sells customer experience management software that lets companies like hotels capture and respond to feedback across platforms and channels.
Best Western often uses online tools and resources provided by TripAdvisor to encourage and collect reviews from its guests on the giant user-generated review platform.
In the study, Best Western properties that responded to more than half of social reviews saw occupancy rates lift by 6.4 percentage points, more than twice the rate of properties that largely ignored social media reviews. These properties also outperformed the industry as a whole during the same period.
Even modest engagement had an effect. A 10-30% increase in engaging with reviews coincided with a 2.2 percentage point occupancy growth, on average.
A caveat: Best Western didn't provide occupancy rate data for the study. Occupancy rates were approximated instead from the number of survey invitations sent per quarter, the average number of nights per stay, the property’s (current) number of rooms, and the number of days in the quarter.
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