Study: Replying to Customer Reviews Results in Better Ratings

Posted by @audreylaine, Thu, Feb 15 9:05am

Two HBR writers examined tens of thousands of hotel reviews and responses from TripAdvisor, which uses a review scale from 1 (terrible) to 5 (excellent). On TripAdvisor, management responses are common: Roughly one-third of reviews receive a response, and nearly half of all hotels respond to reviews. By analyzing these responses, we found that when hotels start responding, they receive 12% more reviews and their ratings increase, on average, by 0.12 stars. While these gains may seem modest, TripAdvisor rounds average ratings to the nearest half star: A hotel with a rating of 4.26 stars will be rounded up to a 4.5, while a hotel with 4.24 stars will be rounded down to a 4. Therefore, even small changes can have a significant impact on consumers’ perceptions. Approximately one-third of the hotels we studied increased their rounded ratings by half a star or more within six months of their first management response.

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