Thursday 28 March 2013

TripAdvisor rankings - some research

We conduct a lot of research on behalf of our clients. This week we're focusing on TripAdvisor rankings - the inner workings of which are something of a mystery to most people outside TripAdvisor we suspect. One factor you would expect, and this is partially borne out by our research, is 'the better the average review, the higher the ranking'. Let's look at some figures:

We took London, partly because it's our home city and we know the hotels well, and partly because, with over 1000 hotels listed on TripAdvisor, it gives us statistically meaningful figures. 

We examined the hotels ranked at 1, 10, 25, 50, 100*, 150 and so on up (or down!) to 1000. We then took the number of votes for Excellent and Very Good and divided these by the Poor and Terrible votes. What did this show us?

The bare figures: The top hotel has been voted 'poor' or 'terrible' by less than 0.1% of the number of guests who voted it 'excellent' or 'very good'. The number for the hotel ranked 25 was 0.2%, at 50 it was 0.7%. By the time we get to 200 it's just over 10% and at 500 it climbs to 35%.

So - the conclusion seems to be pretty obvious - and some of you may say it was already! - maximise the great votes and minimise the negatives. But then why are so few hotels managing to do just that? Is it bad customer service, or is it simpler than that - a lack of accurate focus and a mechanism to manage negatives before the less satisfied guest** is left with no option to post on TripAdvisor? 

With a little effort in-house and some help from Dialogue any well-run hotel - large or small - ought to be able to address one end of this see-saw: the negative end. And by simply reducing the negatives you can see from this pretty basic maths that your TripAdvisor ranking will improve.

(Oh - by the way, for those of you thinking 'volume': 6 of the top 25 hotels in London have less than 300 reviews).

*There was an anomaly at number 100 - a hotel with no 'poor' or 'terrible' scores at all. Maybe someone at TripAdvisor might like to enlighten us? Feel free to use the comment button below.

** while many positive (excellent/very good) reviews are posted by hard-core reviewers who write reviews wherever and whenever they stay (and whatever their experience), a vastly higher proportion of negative (poor/terrible) reviews are posted by people who don't write reviews at all unless they are unhappy - we estimate this proportion at roughly 15:1. Look after your unhappy guest and you look after your online reputation.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this research - it clearly shows how even a small improvement in managing negative reviews can increase a hotel's ranking dramatically.


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