Guest Reviews by a Few Influence the Choices of Many
New research results show 20% of hotel guests say online reviews are the biggest decision factor in choosing where to stay while only 6% post reviews
Boston, MA April 14, 2010- A recent study by Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB), a Honomichl Top 50 strategic market research firm, found that one in five people say online hotel guest reviews are the biggest influencer in their decision of where to stay, yet the research also shows only 6% of guests have posted a review of their hotel stay online. That’s a relatively small percentage of guests that are impacting the choices of 20% of the consumers researching a hotel. In addition, the online study of over 1,500 US consumers demonstrates that the impact of a bad review on booking decisions is severe. Whether traveling for business or leisure, around two-thirds are less likely to book a hotel if it is rated 1 star. Leisure guests are more influenced by top ratings; 92% of them (vs. 83% of business travelers) are more likely to book a hotel if it receives a 5 star rating.
“There’s no doubt social media, online communities and customer review sites are giving travelers a platform to share their opinions and experiences, and these reviews, both positive and negative have a direct impact on the choices of consumers and the bottom line of hotels,” states Judy Melanson, vice president of Chadwick Martin Bailey’s Travel and Entertainment practice. “Individual hotels and corporate hotel brands need to keep a pulse on customer reviews, while recognizing they are powerful, online reviews are just one part of a larger overall online and offline customer engagement strategy.”
While it is clear that online guest reviews and opinions are making an impact and the rise of social media is only increasing the voice of the customer, the study found that for the most part customer recommendations are still happening the old fashioned way, in person. Findings show that since their last hotel stay, close to half (49%) of consumers have recommended that hotel to a friend or colleague, and 88% have made those recommendations through in person conversation.
Chadwick Martin Bailey also recently released a study on using social media as an engagement strategy. The free report entitled Why Social Media Matters To Your Business is available at www.cmbinfo.com
About the Study
Data was collected from 1,504 adults (aged 18 and over) via a nationally representative online questionnaire within the United States by Chadwick Martin Bailey between February 8, 2010 and February 9, 2010.
About Chadwick Martin Bailey
Chadwick Martin Bailey is a Honomichl Top 50 ranked custom market research and consulting firm working with many of the most successful companies and best known brands in the world to help them acquire, maintain, and grow their customer base. Founded in 1984 by John Martin and Anne Bailey Berman, the company has corporate headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts, serving clients in more than 30 countries around the globe. Chadwick Martin Bailey focuses on using leading-edge research techniques to collect and translate the data into simple, business decision-focused deliverables. www.cmbinfo.com