Guest Reviews How Guest Reviews Can Boost Business TJ Mahony Bill Furlong CEO, FlipKey.com CEO, Escapia and Clearstay.com
Presentation Overview <ul><li>Why collect and display reviews? </li></ul><ul><li>Best practices with guest reviews. </li></ul><ul><li>What to expect with ratings and reviews. </li></ul><ul><li>How Escapia and FlipKey do reviews. </li></ul><ul><li>Q&A </li></ul>
When do reviews matter? TRUE Movies Impossible to sample TRUE Restaurants Movies Qualitative decision TRUE eBay sellers Less known brands TRUE Car rentals Airlines Variable quality TRUE Electronics Big commitment Vacation Rentals? Examples
Every major online travel agent features hotel guest reviews Hotels.com Priceline ? Your Website Travelocity Orbitz Expedia Features Guest Reviews Online Lodging Site
Top Reasons to Use Reviews <ul><li>Stand out from the crowd. </li></ul><ul><li>Boost consumer confidence. </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback will help you manage better. </li></ul>$$ Increase Bookings and Conversion Rates!
Stand out from the crowd Which hotel would you be more likely to click on?
Boost confidence Increase conversion Since July 25, 2007, Hayes & Jarvis has displayed the five most recent TripAdvisor reviews and ratings on its hotel pages. The TripAdvisor content is displayed for more than 80% of Hayes & Jarvis’ hotels Online shoppers who look at TripAdvisor reviews on the Hayes & Jarvis site book trips at double the rate of online shoppers who have not seen the TripAdvisor reviews. Case Example Conversion Lift Vacation rentals can yield an equal, if not greater, lift from guest reviews!
Reviews drive bookings 1.13 ratio of bookings to units 0.79 ratio of bookings to units 41% higher booking/unit ratio Source: ClearStay.com.
Be proactive: Ask for their review Responded No Response When asked, Guests respond (Actual response rate from Escapia emails, N=116,045)
More Reviews = Higher Conversion Source: Bazaar Voice, April 2008
Establish Review Authority Escapia Example FlipKey Example
Why would a consumer trust this? <ul><li>Who wrote this? A person or the company? </li></ul><ul><li>What specific property was the guest staying in? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the unit child / elderly friendly? </li></ul><ul><li>All of these reviews are glowing, are they real or fake? </li></ul>Testimonials Fall Short
Have thick skin! <ul><li>You have to show the good and the bad. </li></ul><ul><li>Critical reviews provide credibility to the 90%+ positive reviews. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep focused on the big picture! </li></ul>
Consistently high satisfaction Sources: Escapia “Overall, were you satisfied with your stay”; N=39,518. FlipKey “Rate your overall experience”, N=10,000 Compete “Had you left a review, how would you have rated your experience”. N=300 60% 24% 13% 3% 1%
Consistently high satisfaction <ul><li>Source: Escapia reviews; N=39,518. </li></ul>
Small variance by criteria <ul><li>Source: Escapia reviews; N=39,518. </li></ul>
High and low rated units get booked Low rated units (13%) get 30% of bookings. <ul><li>Source: Escapia reviews; N=39,518. </li></ul>
Easy, fast and affordable <ul><li>Cost = Free </li></ul><ul><li>Set-Up = 100% handled by service provider </li></ul><ul><li>Time required to manage < 1 hour per week </li></ul><ul><li>Business impact = Invaluable </li></ul><ul><li>Who’s doing it = Your competitors </li></ul>
Tangible business results… “ It was easy to get started and we’ve already had guests make reservations based on guest reviews. Our guest review service helps us effectively manage and get the most from guest reviews and feedback.” - Nick Lanza, Owner Big Bear Vacations “ Our properties are already getting increased exposure on the web due to guest reviews. Guest reviews increase the confidence of prospective guests, and provide leverage to improve our owner relationships – the guest reviews are a great way to motivate furnishing upgrades, etc..” - Kristen Askey, Data/Reservations Manager, Ocean Resorts, Myrtle Beach, SC “ We are seeing over 50% conversion rate amongst prospective guests that have read our guest reviews.” - Diane Kaufman, Owner Mermaid Cottages