It should be no surprise in today’s world of marketing how important reviews are for your hotel. For a little refresher: 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and 95% of consumers say that online reviews influence their buying decisions.
NB: This is an article from GCommerce
Your hotel has reviews, so you are golden, right? Not so fast. There is probably more that you should be doing to ensure your maximizing benefits from guest reviews. Uberall did a study from analyzing 64,000 GMB (Google My Business) profiles in 4 countries to find out what turns consumers into customers.
We all want the best reviews possible and a perfect score is the ultimate goal. What people don’t realize is that even a review star rating increase of just 0.1 could increase the conversion rates of a business location by 25%, one study finds. The sweet spot for star ratings is 4.4 (Growth Jump 3 in the diagram below). The study found that there is less competition at this mark and is where the conversion rates start to dramatically increase.
Conversion rates peak when they have attained a 4.9-star rating, but when businesses improved from 3.5 stars one year to 3.7 stars the following, they saw an almost 120% increase in conversions, which is the highest percentage growth jump from any star rating.
The chart below shows growth across SMBs (small to medium size businesses), enterprise locations and global brands. As you can see, across the board, conversion growth peaked between the 3.5 to 3.7-star mark.
Reviews Across Industries
Reviews are allowing SMBs to compete with enterprise businesses and global brands and they should definitely take note. SMBs across the board are achieving higher star ratings allowing them to achieve higher conversion rates up until the 4.4-star rating mark.
Replying to Your Hotel’s Reviews Is Just as Important
So, your hotel has a substantial number of reviews and a great star rating, now what? Reply! Enterprise businesses are hovering around a 10% reply rate. Understandably, they have more locations and thousands of reviews and it can be time-consuming. It is also estimated that 75% of small businesses don’t respond to their reviews at all, though they do reply more on average than enterprise businesses.
Looking at the chart, you will find that SMB and enterprise conversion rates intersect at just about the same point. When the reply rate starts to increase to the 20-30% range, you will start to see the conversion rate really climb for enterprise companies.
“According to this data, enterprise locations that reply to an average of 32% of reviews will have an 80% higher conversion rate than enterprise and SMB locations that reply to 10% of reviews and 40% higher than SMBs that also reply to 32%” the study finds.
While enterprise locations will outperform SMBs at certain review star ratings and reply rates, most brands are not currently adapting to the reputation management revolution to achieve growth rates that they are capable of.
Next time you think you can’t compete against your local small competition, let alone the big brands in the hotel market, think again. Early adaption is key to get ahead and to maintain market share and position once you get there.