Unlocking Hotel Success: Insights and Strategies for Exceptional Guest Experiences

Press release - August 2023

TrustYou has conducted a comprehensive analysis of semantic data collected from its global partners, aiming to identify the categories that have the most significant impact on hotel performance. Through this analysis, TrustYou has recognised the positive and negative factors that greatly influence hotels, providing valuable insights for improving service and reputation. Having explored the key findings and implications of TrustYou’s research, this highlights the importance of factors such as service, location, Wi-Fi, price, and room quality.

When examining the data, it is no surprise to find that service emerges as the most impactful positive category. Reviews consistently emphasise keywords like friendliness and helpfulness, underscoring the importance of staff traits and behaviours in shaping positive guest experiences. Collaborating with Harrison Assessments, Heyward Group affirms the significance of traits such as helpfulness, empathy, organisation, diplomacy, initiative, outgoing nature, and optimism in successful guest-facing service agents. Therefore, it is essential to align organisational values and incentives to prioritise and reward these traits, while also evaluating and hiring team members based on these desired behaviours. By doing so, hotels can ensure their teams understand and embody the qualities that guests most appreciate, ultimately leading to enhanced service and reputation performance.

The impact of a hotel’s reputation on its success is widely acknowledged, as demonstrated by a study conducted by Cornell University. The study reveals that even a 1% increase in a hotel’s online reputation score corresponds to substantial improvements in key performance indicators. Specifically, a 0.89% increase in average daily rate (ADR), a 0.54% increase in occupancy, and a remarkable 1.42% increase in revenue per available room (RevPAR). These findings emphasise the tangible benefits of prioritising reputation management and the continued importance of delivering exceptional service, particularly in the post-pandemic landscape.

In addition to service, the analysis highlights location as the third most impactful positive category. While the location itself may be fixed, hotels can leverage their website and marketing efforts to emphasise the proximity to significant points of interest and the convenience of their location, attracting guests seeking convenient accessibility.

Conversely, poor Wi-Fi, including instances where hotels charge for Wi-Fi, emerges as the most detrimental factor affecting a hotel’s performance score. In the digital era, with the accelerated pace of digitalisation post-pandemic, reliable and complimentary Wi-Fi has become a fundamental expectation for guests. Hotels still charging for Wi-Fi are advised to incorporate it into their rates, while those providing poor complimentary Wi-Fi alongside paid premium options should be cautious, as this practice is likely to frustrate guests and lead to negative reviews. Seamless connectivity is also crucial, as even fast Wi-Fi becomes a source of inconvenience if guests encounter difficulties connecting or require assistance from the front desk.

Another negative influence is price or value perception. In an uncertain economic climate, travellers increasingly seek value for their money. Hotels should collaborate with their teams to enhance the perceived value by offering convenient services that give guests more time to enjoy themselves or be productive. Additionally, providing complimentary extras like breakfast or upgrades, as well as creating a sense of exclusivity unique to the property, can enhance the perception of value. Personalising guests’ stays through well-trained teams and leveraging customer relationship management systems further contribute to enhancing the perceived value.

In the APAC region value was also linked to food price. Given the prevalent culture of dining out in Asia, hotel restaurants are often either perceived to be overpriced, or very upmarket and for occasion dining. Ensure your restaurant is positioned appropriately, if you were staying at your property, would you dine in-house?

The impact of the Room category is primarily driven by issues related to maintenance and cleanliness, particularly in the USA and APAC regions. This observation may be attributed to the recent relaxation measures implemented in key countries in 2022. To address this, hotels in these regions should prioritise cleanliness and hygiene measures, ensuring they remain at the forefront of guest experiences.

Two other points of interest to highlight are the positive impact of Wellness in APAC and the huge positive impact of Food in the USA. APAC guests, in particular, valued spas and wellness services, and US guests valued and highly rated experiential dining experiences. Do you market and push these services to guests from these regions accordingly? Doing so is likely to have a large positive impact on your hotel’s performance.

TrustYou’s analysis of semantic data provides valuable insights into the factors that significantly impact hotel performance. Service, reputation management, location, Wi-Fi, price, and room quality emerge as key areas requiring attention and improvement. By focusing on enhancing service based on guest preferences, managing reputation effectively, highlighting location advantages, providing reliable and complimentary Wi-Fi, offering perceived value, and prioritising cleanliness, hotels can optimise their performance, exceed guest expectations, and achieve sustained success in the current climate.