Booking.com recently made a change to how it displays a hotel’s final guest score. Previously, the OTA used an algorithm for calculating the final score, based on six sub-scores including location, cleanliness, comfort, value, facilities, and staff. Now, the site will prompt the guest to provide an overall stay score, based on a ten-point scale. Only the overall stay score will count towards the guest review score of the property. In a communication to customers, the company said, “Many partners told us they had concerns about the fairness and accuracy of guest review scores, and lots of partners also had questions about how the final score is calculated.”
In case you missed the update, here are some other things you should know about the change.
- The transition to the new updated system will happen gradually and older review scores will remain intact. As usual, reviews will automatically expire after 24 months.
- Booking.com will be looking into guest behavior and submission patterns to minimize any inconsistencies that it detects around scoring. (For example, if sub-scores are high but overall score is low.)
- Guests won’t be able to write reviews, rate categories, or submit the review form without giving an overall review score.
We know hotels will be pleased with this change because it removes the veil of secrecy around the score and is more detailed, which is important when you are operationalizing guest feedback and trying to improve. Also, scoring a hotel between 1–10, versus selecting between 4 smiley faces, better represents guests’ experiences on your property. Previously, when guests used the saddest face to score you, it was the equivalent of a 2.5 on a 10 point scale. Now they can opt to give you a 1, 2, 3 or 4 as a negative score.
And, in case you’re wondering how this change impacts your scores in Revinate, don’t worry. It doesn’t change anything. We have always collected the review scores from each guest on a 1-10 metric standpoint and will now be capturing the overall review score as well.
We love to see companies act on feedback and become more transparent, especially around reviews, which directly impact hotel bookings. We hope to continue to see OTAs listening to hoteliers’ feedback and making changes that benefit both guests and hotels.