From Beds to Being on Top of Guest Reviews, Starwood is Brilliant
Global Hotel Company Gets What Matters Most to Guests: Listening To Guest Reviews & Responding
When Westin Hotels and Resorts unveiled the Heavenly Bed hoteliers around the world could be heard saying, “Why didn’t we think of that?” From that point on brands started to focus on what many have since argued should be the focal point in a business where you are paying for a good night’s sleep: the hotel bed. Since its debut in 1999 the Heavenly Bed has been awarded for industry-leading innovation and delivering a great night’s sleep to the more than 75 million guests who have enjoyed its comfort in Westin Hotels & Resorts worldwide.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., the most global high-end hotel company in the world, has proven success by focusing on the obvious. Another example of its innovation around the obvious was the early attention paid to online guest reviews. Starwood monitors reviews and user-generated content written about the hotels in its portfolio, which today number 1,146 properties across nine distinct lifestyle brands in nearly 100 countries.
Guests want to be listened to; they want to be heard. And responded to. By keeping a finger on the pulse of what is being said, and staying on top of management responses, brand loyalty -- and brand advocates -- are born. Globally Starwood has captured nearly 528,930 new reviews this year (through mid September 2013) and responded to as many as 48% of reviews in some months, significantly higher than the industry average of around 25%.
Let’s not forget that reviews, directly and indirectly, translate into revenue. Here’s a look at some of the numbers:
- Hotels that respond to online guest reviews, whether positive or negative, average 6% higher review scores than those who don’t.
- Higher-ranking hotels earn better visibility on review sites, which lends itself to a greater appeal amongst travelers, which in turn results in more bookings and revenue.
- TripAdvisor studies have shown that 71% of travelers think that management responses are important. Hotels that respond to guests average 147% more reviews than those who don’t. (No surprise that Starwood gets hundreds of thousands of reviews in a few months!)
We’ve got our eye on you, Starwood, and your brilliantly focused attention to the obvious that isn’t so obvious to all.
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