Tuesday 13 August 2013

You don't need to know you're great!

There's not a hotelier on the planet who looks at a five star review of their business and doesn't feel that special glow; but this post focuses on the value of negative reviews

We all know that the cost of acquiring a new customer as opposed to the value of retaining an existing one is massive. And that's where negative reviews become critical: they give you the opportunity to repair your relationship with your customer. And that's where a major part of Dialogue's value lies.

You know that far more guests than just those who post to TripAdvisor won't be choosing your hotel again (for any one of many reasons). The statistics bear closer examination. Let's use one top ranked London hotel as an example:
  • 0.1% of their guests have written reviews to TripAdvisor in the last 12 months - let's call the headline figure 500
  • Less than 5% of those reviews are negative - let's call that 25
We calculate (and that calculation is based on our experience of moderating thousands of private negative reviews) that every negative review posted to TripAdvisor represents the tip of a very large iceberg indeed: every negative posted to TripAdvisor represents up to 100 guests who have no intention of staying in that hotel again; they just couldn't be bothered to write a review to TripAdvisor. That would mean 2500 (out of 40,000) guests not returning.

If the hotel could find a mechanism that would ensure that a large proportion of those guests could communicate the reason why they wouldn't want to stay again, and, more importantly, what the hotel would need to do to change their minds, then there is a big incentive to use it.

Dialogue enables just that kind of guest to communicate with the hotel, and the hotel to do whatever it takes to retain their custom. And they do, unseen by anyone except the hotel management and our moderators at HelpHound. 

Here are two excerpts from the private interaction between one of our clients and one of their guests, a great example of a negative review turned round by the hotel: 

Hotel name redacted
Dialogue - winning back guests

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