Innisfree is a hotel company, but we are in the hospitality business. What’s the difference, you ask? A hotel company sells rooms. A hospitality business transforms this simple financial transaction into an experience. Innisfree’s reputation management program is a robust tool our operations, marketing and development teams use to improve guest experiences and live up to our corporate tagline of ‘creating fun and memorable experiences’ every day.
Guest satisfaction has been at the forefront of successful hotel operations since the first hotel opened its doors. However, in the last decade, the popularity of review sites, social media and online travel agencies such as Hotels.com and Expedia has skyrocketed. These websites have made large numbers of guest opinions publicly visible. It is not surprising that research has proven the link between guest reviews and revenue.
According to a 2012 Cornell University study, a one-point increase in a property’s average positive online review scores can lead to a possible:
- 0.89% increase in price (ADR).
- 0.54% increase in occupancy.
- 1.42% increase in RevPAR.
Online content created by our guests about our properties is called User Generated Content (UGC). Today, UGC makes up the large majority of the information available to consumers about our hotels. The volume of UGC on the Internet increases every day.
In 2014, our prospective guests looked at an average of 27 review and social media websites before choosing a hotel. According to TripAdvisor, 93 percent of travelers consult online reviews before booking a hotel.
At Innisfree, property managers use reviews to create training scenarios and to exemplify and reward team members for customer service excellence. Corporate managers use guest sentiments to quickly identify departments in need of improvement and to prioritize capital improvement investments. Our development team uses it to design hotels we know our guests will love.
The goals of Innisfree reputation management program are to:
- Use online sentiment data to improve guest experiences
- Encouraging guests to leave more online reviews
- Having managers respond to reviews in a timely and appropriate manner; and
- Extracting actionable data from guest feedback and to improve operations and physical attributes of our properties.
The volume of reviews we need to read, analyze and respond to is overwhelming. Hotel managers work hard to juggle multiple departments and guest concerns every moment of every day. From reservations to check-ins, housekeeping, revenue management and the well-being of guests, they are under a lot of pressure to ensure the property is performing at peak service levels. Maintaining a consistent focus on smooth hotel operations makes it difficult to spend time identifying where you are excelling or falling short.
At Innisfree, we use a cloud-based platform called Revinate to efficiently glean insights from the massive number of online reviews. Revinate aggregates data generated from many online guest reviews into an easy-to-use digital dashboard. It makes it fast and simple for our managers to dive in to ‘Guest Intelligence’ data and identify opportunities to improve guest experiences.
It also gives us the ability to isolate and interpret data in the numerous topics being addressed in a hotel’s reviews, such as front desk, elevators, restaurant, bathrooms, noise and so on. Our digital team produces monthly reputation reports for all properties so we can track our progress enterprise-wide and identify trends.
While it’s important to get as much guest feedback as possible, at Innisfree we think it is much more important to listen to our guests and incorporate their feedback into our day-to-day operations. Improving guest experience by inserting the ‘voice of our customers’ into our hotels is the ultimate goal of our reputation management program.
That’s why when our guests choose an Innisfree Hotel, they can rest assured – on a great pillow, to boot – they’ll have a fun and memorable stay.