If we ask hotels what they want from the day they join HelpHound their answer will invariably be:
- Better rankings and scores all-round; TripAdvisor, Booking.com, Google and all the OTAs and aggregators
- Less negative reviews on all of the above
- More positive reviews on all of the above
- Great reviews on our own website to drive direct bookings
And – in nine cases out of ten – that’s what we deliver. This case history covers the the tenth.
A valuable lesson learned
We will not publish anything here to identify the hotel in question. Suffice to say that it is a modern central London property of more than 100 rooms owned by a major multinational. They joined in 2015. At the time they ranked inside the top 10% of all hotels in London. This is what happened to their TripAdvisor ranking after joining:
After twelve months they resigned from HelpHound (the hotel management, and their guest relations manager in particular, knew HelpHound were adding value by enabling them to address guest issues before the guest posted a publicly visible review, but Head Office were looking to make savings, so the axe fell on HelpHound).
This is what has happened to their TripAdvisor ranking since they resigned:
Sometimes our role is simply to maintain a property’s position. In the time they were clients we enabled the hotel to manage over three figures of negative reviews from guests who might otherwise have been expected to go on to post somewhere – TripAdvisor or Google or any of the other OTAs (and enabled them to get a similar number of extra positive reviews to TripAdvisor). Now – as you can see from the chart above – those ‘less than happy’ guests, lacking any other outlet, have been posting (and the ‘happy’ ones have not).
In the same way, this fall in the number of positive reviews has had a measurable impact on the hotel’s ranking
We would respectfully suggest that a move ostensibly saving the hotel hundreds of pounds a month has resulted not only in lower RevPAR but in an overall weakening of guest relations as well (inviting and managing reviews is a massive aid to guest retention).
Note: Fair to all
HelpHound’s role is not to make a hotel – or any other business – look better than it is. Rather, it is to enable the hotel and its guests to give an even more accurate impression – for the good of everyone concerned.
Cornell School of Hospitality estimates that a guest is nearly fifteen times more likely to post a negative review than a positive one – HelpHound’s role is simply to enable our clients to address that imbalance.
If your property is using a service like ReviewPro or Revinate or any other customer relationship software to improve the guest experience, it should be using HelpHound at the front end – so it looks as good as it is – everywhere.