Rants & Raves: A Hotelís Roadmap to Getting on the Right Track

By Benjamin Jost Co-Founder & CEO, TrustYou | February 23, 2014

In my last article we took a look at the trends evolving in the online review space in terms of review volume, management responses and the like. There were some interesting points drawn from the data and key takeaways for hoteliers on what they might expect moving forward (declining review volume if you sit back without a strategy to collect them, fewer five-star reviews, management responses are on the rise, etc.). This time around we have taken a deeper dive into what comments stand out in reviews; for better or for worse.

These ďRants & Raves,Ē as we call them, can be a rich road mapCompanies (beyond the travel industry) spend countless hours, dollars and dedicate resources to learning more about what their customers want, what they like and what leaves them less than satisfied. From focus groups to surveys, they mine for information they feel will help them improve upon whatever product/service/offering they are selling. While no one ever said hospitality professionals had it easy (great rates, free rooms, fabulous food and upgrades aside), there is a silver lining in this industry that others do not necessarily get to enjoy: FREE FEEDBACK. Thatís right, in the form of online reviews.

Yes, you read them (most of the time). You even respond to them (sometimes). And you pat yourself and your team on the back when those glowing ones come through (if and when you have time). Do you compile the trends? Do you look at what guests love? What they loathe? The common themes? We did in our annual TrustYou Rants & Raves report, representing a global picture from over 250 sites around the world across 23 languages.

Singing your praises or seething mad are typically polar opposites. Yet when it comes to hotel feedback there is a common thread between the two. We scoured over a million sentiments from online reviews and discovered, once again, that travelersí top compliments and complaints are often mirror images of one another. TrustYouís second annual Rants & Raves report covered hundreds of thousands of reviews with over one million sentiments spanning a 12-month period to find out what guests were saying most often about their hotel experiences. Service, food, room size, price, bed, bathroom and cleanliness (or lack thereof), took the place in the top 10 spots on both the positive and negative lists (based on one million randomly selected review comments in a 12-month period).

Hereís a closer look, which will also help to guide hoteliers for what they should be looking at.

Good News: Positivity Wins Out

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Coming up in March 2018...

Human Resources: Value Creation

Businesses must evolve to stay competitive and this is also true of employment positions within those organizations. In the hotel industry, for example, the role that HR professionals perform continues to broaden and expand. Today, they are generally responsible for five key areas - government compliance; payroll and benefits; employee acquisition and retention; training and development; and organizational structure and culture. In this enlarged capacity, HR professionals are no longer seen as part of an administrative cost center, but rather as a member of the leadership team that creates strategic value within their organization. HR professionals help to define company policies and plans; enact and enforce systems of accountability; and utilize definable metrics to measure and justify outcomes. Of course, there are always new issues for HR professionals to address. Though seemingly safe for the moment, will the Affordable Care Act ultimately be repealed and replaced and, if so, what will the ramifications be? There are issues pertaining to Millennials in the workforce and women in leadership roles, as well as determining the appropriate use of social media within the organization. There are new onboarding processes and e-learning training platforms to evaluate, in addition to keeping abreast of political issues like the minimum wage hike movement, or the re-evaluation of overtime rules. Finally, there are genuine immigration and deportation issues that affect HR professionals, especially if they are located in Dreamer Cities, or employ a workforce that could be adversely impacted by federal government policies. The March Hotel Business Review will take a look at some of the issues, strategies and techniques that HR professionals are employing to create and sustain value in their organization.