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BizReport : Internet : February 16, 2016

Numerical hotel ratings do not tell the whole story

New research from the Center for Hospitality Research reveals that numerical ratings and text comments left by hotel guests do not always match up.

by Helen Leggatt

In their analysis of almost 6,000 TripAdvisor reviews for 57 hotels in Moscow, along with sorting 18,000 keywords relating to five specific hotel topics (amenities, experience, location, transactions, and value) the Center for Hospitality Research found that hotel owners relying just on numerical ratings are not necessarily getting the right message.

Negative comments were found to have a heavier weight on the guests' rating than positive, a find that the researchers say "points to the importance of consistency in hotel service".

In a nutshell, sophisticated text analytics can give hotel managers specific information about how to improve their guests' experience--and that information is not available from numerical ratings.

Specifically, the research found that negative reviews tend to be relatively long and focused tightly on a limited number of hotel attributes. Unhappy guests focused on elements relating to the value provided by the hotel and its transactions while guests who wrote relatively briefer reviews that took a wider view of their hotel stay generally gave higher ratings.

"Text analytics of guest reviews provide insights about the reasons for customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction that often are not apparent by just examining the numerical scores," says one of the researchers, Rohit Verma. "Given that customers of hospitality and healthcare and other industries are increasing providing comments in addition to numerical ratings, it is essential that managers use text analytics to understand the underlying customer sentiments. Such an approach will provide better insights for quality and process improvement."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: hotel, ratings, reviews, travel

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