Research from Macquarie University suggests that most online hotel reviews don't impact potential customers.
The study found positive reviews carry the most weight for potential guests, whereas review readers are more likely to disregard mixed and negative reviews.
On top of this, when hotels offered 100 percent satisfaction guarantees, the mixed reviews became the most trusted.
“In today’s interconnected world, where more bookings are made online than ever before, customer reviews can make or break a business,” said Dr Shahin Sharifi, author and lecturer, Macquarie University Department of Marketing.
“Understanding the impact of positive, negative, and mixed reviews on their business is crucial for a hotel manager, particularly as managers are spending more time than ever responding to online reviews. Our findings suggest much of this time may be in vain.”
The report suggests that a satisfaction guarantee had no effect on whether a customer makes a booking, and hotel managers should instead focus on improving customer experiences.
“Positive reviews influence prospective customers more than any other to drive future bookings it is best to have as many good reviews as possible. Following that, it is important to respond to mixed reviews as quickly as possible. For hoteliers, the most important thing is to focus on providing a good service to customers rather than guaranteeing it."