Text Mining in Hospitality
By Jeff Catlin Co-Founder and CEO, Lexalytics, Inc | August 16, 2015
As true as the idea is, I find this anthem frustrating: what does “listen better” really mean?
It’s not bad advice, but it represents a simplified version of the problem and provides an incomplete solution to an incomplete question. There are three questions that hospitality experts should be asking and answering:
- Who is talking about my services?
- What are they discussing?
- How are they feeling?
These questions — the who, what, and how — represent a more comprehensive understanding of the elements of customer satisfaction, and answering them in full will reveal a more complete picture. But listening to each individual customer is hard when you have thousands of reviews and comments to sort through. Manual analysis is time-consuming and carries many challenges and drawbacks.
To accurately hear your customers’ voices, you need the modern marvel that is automated text analytics. Today, I’ll explain why.
Online Reviews are a Big Deal
Let’s begin by agreeing that the Internet — and the reviews on it — are enormously influential. In 2013, Travel Weekly reported that TripAdvisor and Yelp claimed over 200 million and 39 million unique visitors each month, respectively — and in 2014, TripAdvisor’s TripBarometer survey found that 95% of United States travelers say that reviews influence their choice of hotels. An independent study commissioned by TripAdvisor a year earlier went even further, finding that 80% of travelers read at least 6-12 reviews before they choose a hotel; and still another survey indicated that for 29% of consumers, positive online reviews are the most important factor in their booking decision.
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