At Revinate, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to work with professionals from all walks of hospitality life. I have noticed that whether you work at a hotel or for a brand, at an asset management company or for an ownership group, everyone is seeking a different spin on the same thing – – reliable, actionable data on guest satisfaction and hotel performance. Thanks to the breath and depth of social media channels and new technology aimed at the hospitality industry, information on both is easily available for the entire hospitality value chain.
At the highest level, properties are most concerned with driving more bookings. The web has made hotel marketing infinitely easier as properties no longer need to rely on their destination sites to produce bookings. In addition to online travel agents, there are dozens of travel sites that are more than happy to advertise and market your property for a cut of the sale.
Many of these sites also include user reviews. The rise of user generated content means guests can share their hotel experiences with the public. For better or worse, prospective guests now know what they can expect before they step foot on your property.
For boutique and independent hotels, the visibility on social networks means that they can now compete with the big brands. Before the rise of online reviews, there was greater risk for guests when booking a room at a boutique or independent hotel because they didn’t know what to expect. When you booked at a Starwood or a Hilton, by comparison, there were no surprises. Now, online reviews level the playing field.
Given these new channels and a property’s bookings objective, it’s imperative that hotels stay on top of their online reputation. Revinate allows hotels to monitor what is being said about the property not only on review sites and OTAs, but also across Twitter, Facebook, video sites, photo sites, news sources, forums, blogs and comments.
While it is possible to do these searches manually, it would take an entire team of people working around the clock to do the searches and produce the results and another team to analyze and display the results in a way that unearths trends. The amount of time that properties save by using Revinate dramatically reduces their costs associated with competitive research and social media monitoring. The properties that we work with have also found that when they focus on social media and engage with customers by responding to reviews and tweets, for example, they are able to drive sales and loyalty.
Hoteliers have long judged their success by quantitative measures. They look at metrics such as profit, RevPAR, ADR, Occupancy, Marketshare etc. They are often asked to track their performance against prior periods and against their comp set. Understanding the importance of metrics reporting, Revinate provides a now-critical qualitative benchmark; how people feel about your hotel versus the competition. It allows properties to track their social media success and online customer satisfaction over time and benchmark how they are doing against their comp set. All reports and dashboards are portable, meaning they can be emailed, printed or exported to Microsoft Excel or Adobe Acrobat.
At the highest level, hotel brands are most concerned with protecting and improving their brand and increasing its worth to drive shareholder value. This means creating service and technology standards and guidelines that all properties must follow. The reason why my parents knew that they would always be happy in a Four Seasons or a Hyatt is because they knew what the brand represented and believed in the consistency of the experience.
Maintaining a brand in the digital age is difficult because the advent of user generated content means that it’s hard to control the messages around your brand. Online review sites and social media allow people to virally spread their experiences with friends. Whereas the brand used to control the message with advertisements and slick Web sites, today, more people learn about hotels via friend networks than from destination sites or advertisements.
As a result, brands must pay attention to how they are being represented online. They must ensure that feedback is inline with their standards and, when it falls below standard levels, make changes. Revinate works with many brands that are using its software platform to monitor their properties and ensure their granular ratings are inline with operational expectations. Revinate Corporate Reports allows brands to see which properties are meeting expectations and which properties are falling behind by brand, by region, by owner, or any other segmentation. Corporate Reports also allow brands to dip into their virtual customer satisfaction surveys, at any time, by reading their online reviews and even sorting them by hotel function.
Finally, because brands are accountable and interact closely with owners, asset managers and management companies, they must have good ways to market their brands’ performance. The Social Media Scorecards and other reports available within Revinate enable brands to easily report on their performance for any given time period. The data has already been collected and sorted, saving an incredible amount of time and resources.
Asset Management Companies:
Like brands, asset management companies are concerned with driving the maximum asset value for the owners. Owners demand and expect asset performance and asset management companies help oversee performance. To show performance, asset managers deal with quantitative as well as qualitative operating metrics. On the quantitative side they are measuring profits, RevPAR, ADR, occupancy and comp set comparisons, to name a few. On the qualitative side they look at customer satisfaction and market sentiment.
Revinate works with many asset management companies who are looking to simplify the reporting process for their owners. With Revinate, they are able to quickly and easily deliver reports with current new business intelligence about their assets over time, customer satisfaction trends and more. Being about to quickly identify operational areas of improvement by individual property or across a portfolio of assets is key and now possible with Revinate.
Owners are most concerned with their portfolios’ financial performance and value. They look for the perfect opportunities to buy new hotels, renovate old ones, build and sell. Because timing is everything, it is critical for them to have immediate access to the market data they need upon which to base multi-million dollar investment decisions.
Owners who have the very best market intelligence on any asset are in the strongest position to make excellent asset investment decisions. Revinate provides owners with over-arching online guest satisfaction trending and visibility into all their current assets, with deep property drill-down capabilities. And Revinate can be utilized to analyze new assets Owners are considering to invest in.
In fact, a client recently told us that she used Revinate to help an owners group make a decision to renovate the rooms in one of their properties. She did a keyword search across all review sites to find mentions of stained or worn carpets, saggy beds and old furniture. She was easily able to aggregate the dozens of reviews into a single PDF document that was shared at the owner’s meeting.
When it comes to deciding which properties to buy and sell, Revinate’s Corporate Reports can be a powerful resource, allowing owners to see which properties are receiving high marks from customers writing reviews on social media sites and which ones are not meeting customer expectations. This data can be incredibly helpful as owners decide what to sell off or where to focus efforts.
In summary, online guest satisfaction data is critically important to everyone in the hospitality value chain, and the folks that have the best data have the best opportunity to win at all levels. Whether it’s staff at the property level interacting with guests posting comments, management companies streamlining operations, brands designing standard operating procedures, or owners making optimal investment choices, Revinate is a major advantage to all in a highly competitive environment.
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