How Data Science Improves A Hotel’s Operations And Reputation With TrustYou’s Impact Scores
Your hotel’s reputation is based on a number of different features that travelers notice, experience, and then rate. As we continue to emphasize the importance and value of guest feedback, it’s essential to take a moment and focus on Impact Scores, which direct the attention to the categories that are most relevant when improving your reputation.
Through more than 10 years of experience in the guest feedback sector, we’ve managed to identify and pinpoint the relevant categories that affect a hotel’s’ reputation, and allow you to see where you are doing great, or possibly not so well. But which of the over 100 categories and subcategories that we analyze are most worthy of your attention? Enter the Impact Scores, which, as their name implies, describe how much impact each category has on a hotel’s online reputation.
Before unveiling the global and regional hotel categories which have the biggest impact, let’s take a step back and thoroughly analyze what Impact Scores really are, what benefits they bring to your business, and how they are calculated and analyzed.
The Overview of Impact Scores
Impact Scores are fueled by TrustYou’s semantic analysis of online reviews, which measures your performance in different predefined semantic categories (management, housekeeping, WiFi, bathrooms, friendliness, etc.). This is the foundation for estimating the impact that, for example, good housekeeping has on the overall performance score in a particular time range to which all scores in all categories contribute.
Each category can either have a Negative or Positive Impact Score, and the purpose of these is to express to what extent your overall score is influenced by each individual category. Plainly spoken, they say what you should keep up because it gives you an edge over your competition, but also where there is room for improvement. Once you understand how they work, you will notice how intuitively the TrustYou Impact Scores help you improve your business, as they add context and value to the analyzed hotel features.
The Benefits of Impact Scores
So what are the exact benefits that your hotel can get with the proper use of Impact Scores? First of all, as we are always emphasizing, the first step towards a more successful future is the thorough analysis of past performance. The Reputation Management solution of our guest feedback platform includes Impact Scores with the goal of providing hoteliers with an overview of the exact features and services that impact their reputation the most. It’s crucial for any business, and especially for a hotel, to acknowledge what works, what doesn’t, and what needs to be improved. Impact Scores give a comprehensive view of the factors that contribute to the hotel’s overall score and online reputation and they also enable you to focus on the features which weigh heavier than others.
Once you understand what features and services are most relevant to travelers, you can put together a strategy and determine the next steps towards improvement. If the cleanliness of the bathrooms, for example, is something your hotel is struggling with, the Impact Scores will point this out to you and in this way provide a concrete guideline towards specific investments that need to be made; plainly spoken, you will learn what guests would like to have changed. Therefore, future investments can be made for those exact features in order to achieve better scores and higher satisfaction rates. The outcome of those directed investments can then be quickly be noticed in your overall score, as upcoming reviews might not only have less complaints about that particular topic, but also mention the improvement in that area, which would boost your scores even more.
Moreover, there is also the other side of the coin, i.e. Positive Impact Scores. These point out in which areas you are doing exceptionally well, and they are also worth paying attention to, as these are the features which put you ahead of your competition. Any strategy for investments and marketing plan should take these into account as well, in order to emphasize your unique selling points and give potential guests the confidence that you can provide them with an excellent experience in a certain area.
All in all, there are many benefits to reap from paying close attention to Impact Scores. As a hotelier, they will make you more aware of what works well, what needs to be improved, and how to do that in the best possible way, in order in increase your hotel’s overall score and boost the guest satisfaction rates.
The Calculation of Impact Scores
Our comprehensive feedback platform calculates Impact Scores through a complex set of algorithms which assess category scores for every single hotel business in context, with the goal of truthfully reflecting the individual situation they find themselves in. We will now discuss the most important factors that influence these scores, in order to help you better understand what they express:
- As mentioned before, Impact Scores are calculated based on both positive and negative mentions for a particular category, and one of the most important features is their frequency. Put into context, this means that a certain feature that is mentioned very often should intuitively have a higher impact on the overall score than something that is mentioned only a few times. In this way, very specific cases are tuned down in order to not affect the overall score too much. For example, if a guest is extremely particular about the quality of the mattress, while the vast majority of guests have no issue with it, the score of that particular guest’s review will not weigh heavily.
- A similar idea applies when it comes to the total number of reviews for a particular category. If, let’s say, a hotel has just opened a new pool, one or two reviews mentioning this new feature will not be highly impactful either way. There need to be more reviews regarding the pool amenity in order to contribute to a noticeable impact.
- Impact Scores are also based on the sentiment for individual categories. Thanks to the sophisticated semantic analysis of the TrustYou Reputation Management solution, we can precisely determine what sentiment score is attributed to each feature, i.e. how clients feel about certain aspects of your hotel. The most important part here is that the Impact Score for each category is calculated individually, since applying the same calculation model to every type of category would not do them justice, due to different biases in the data. For example, air conditioning or cleanliness are usually only mentioned when they are less than satisfactory – when leaving a positive review, most travelers don’t mention things that just work or meet their basic expectation anyway. On the other hand, service has a more positive bias, as exceptional service is apparently not to be expected everywhere. This means that two different categories should not be calculated through the same model since the expressed sentiments are not directly comparable.
- The algorithms used to calculate Impact Scores also take into account the location of any given hotel, by considering a “peer group” of competing hotels in that particular area. The location is especially important since one cannot use the same criteria for comparing hotels with wildly different surroundings. As an example, think of the noise level in a city such as New York and the noise heard at a secluded resort. While noise is expected in the heart of a big city (and most of your competitors have to struggle with it), this should not be an issue on the proverbial desert island. Here, your clients would be much more sensitive to it, which needs to be accounted for.
- The scores of the competitors in your “cluster” of hotels also influence your hotel’s Impact Scores in additional ways. Let’s say in the area of Munich the overall service score is pretty high. This means that when comparing your hotel to the competition, excellent service might not have as much of an impact as the other categories, just because offering great service is normal in that area – as a matter of fact, you should keep an eye on maintaining your quality in that regard, because falling behind might lead to a strong negative impact on your ratings!
Now that we have all the necessary insights into the concept of Impact Scores, let’s take a look at the top 3 categories which have the greatest impact in your specific region so you can acknowledge their true importance and work towards making adjustments accordingly. In this way, your hotel’s reputation can improve, leading to more future bookings and revenue!
While analyzing these Impact Scores, certain similarities and standards can be easily noticed. When it comes to positive scores, the majority of regions appreciate the service and the friendliness of the staff, the rooms, and the management. In APAC (Asia, Pacific, and China) guests frequently discuss dietary variety, and especially vegetarian- and vegan-friendliness are differentiating factors for highly-rated hotels. Also, this region values the Beach Hotel category, and how well your hotel is rated on this front. This simply means that hotels close to attractive beaches have a competitive advantage, and guests are fine with making compromises in other areas as long as they get their quality time in the sun. In the United States, on the other hand, the quality of the hotel food and the location have a higher impact on the performance score – if your hotel is in an attractive spot and provides an excellent restaurant, the convenience of not having to go anywhere else during your vacation might just tip the scales in your favor.
On the other side of the spectrum, the most hurtful negative factors are the rooms, maintenance, and cleanliness, as well as categories related to bathrooms – if you don’t pay attention to these, clients will most likely steer clear of your hotel. Interestingly enough, in Japan the existence of a well-equipped mini-bar is also important, but at a global level, the quality of the hotel rooms and bathrooms are what mostly stands out in negative situations.
In general, it’s interesting to see how scores vary across regions and countries, proving once more that cultural differences need to be addressed and taken into consideration when planning for a hotel marketing strategy.