The Influence Of Reputation Analytics On Hotel Revenue and Financial Performance

In his landmark study comparing Global Review IndexTM (GRI) scores with ADR, occupancy and RevPAR performance, Cornell’s Chris Anderson proved what intuition told every savvy revenue manager:

A hotel’s online reputation significantly impacts revenue potential.

Join Chris Anderson, Associate Professor at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and RJ Friedlander, CEO of ReviewPro, to learn how hoteliers across all segments of the industry are leveraging online reputation analytics to improve guest satisfaction, revenue and financial performance on 6/19/14 from 10:00 – 10:45AM EDT. If you are unable to attend, you can still register and receive a video and slide deck from the presentation via email.

This fast-paced session will offer a first-time look at Chris’s most recent research project which explores the relationship between review scores and REIT stock performance. You won’t want to miss listening to Chris discuss the results of this study and the potential game-changing impact the Global Review IndexTM could have on identifying under-/over-valued investments.

Chris Anderson is an associate professor at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. His main research focus is on revenue management and service pricing. He actively works with industry, across numerous industry types, in the application and development of RM, having worked with a variety of hotels, airlines, rental car and tour companies as well as numerous consumer packaged goods and financial services firms. At the School of Hotel Administration, he teaches courses in revenue management and service operations management.

RJ Friedlander is the founder and CEO of ReviewPro. The company enables hoteliers and restaurateurs to increase guest satisfaction and grow revenue by proactively managing and improving their online reputation. The company’s suite of web-based tools, including the Revenue Optimizer, Advanced Guest Satisfaction Survey solution and Hotel Analysis Reports, provide the analysis, customer intelligence, competitive benchmarking and reporting needed to help hospitality professionals maximize their organization’s performance.

TripAdvisor & eCornell Launch Free Reputation Management Course

“As travel planning and booking become more dependent on online traveler reviews and opinions, online reputation management is paramount for property owners.” – Brian Payea, Head of Industry Relations, TripAdvisor

Does your business have an online reputation strategy in place? Are you fully capitalizing on its online reputation? If you’re unsure, the Managing your Online Reputation with TripAdvisor course from TripAdvisor and eCornell is for you. This free course was co-developed by TripAdvisor and eCornell and leverages research from Cornell University’s world-renowned School of Hotel Administration and faculty insights.

In the three-hour course, hoteliers will receive guidance and learn best practices from Cornell and TripAdvisor industry leaders on how to monitor and improve their property’s online reputation. The course focuses on building strategies and action plans for reputation management that ultimately drive bookings and revenue. The following topics are addressed in the curriculum:

  • Explain the importance of online reputation management to colleagues and peers
  • Take steps to assess your online reputation
  • Use methods for responding to online customer feedback
  • Understand the correlation between online reputation and revenue
  • Employ helpful tactics for incorporating customer feedback into day-to-day operations
  • Develop an action plan for managing your property’s online reputation based on best practices from Cornell and TripAdvisor

Effective management of online reputation is critical to building and maintaining your hospitality business. Get the reputation management skills you need today to drive occupancy, revenue, and growth. Enroll now for free.

1 comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, December 2013

Optimize Your Revenue with Online Travel Planning

Did you know that the average traveler visits over 20 websites before they make a booking?

How do top digital marketing initiatives like the website (desktop, mobile, tablet), paid search, email marketing, online media, social media and more play a role  in the Online Travel Planning Journey? What can we consider an ‘assist’ to a travel booking and how can hoteliers make that final ‘push’ to get the reservation?

Multichannel campaigns need to leverage initiatives that play a role throughout the entire online purchase funnel. It’s important not to put all your digital marketing eggs in one basket, and to understand how today’s hyper-interactive travel consumer switches channels constantly throughout the day.

Join Mariana Mechoso Safer, Senior Vice President of Marketing at HeBS Digital, and Shalini Jariwala, Strategic Partner Manager of Channel Sales at Google, while they take you through a typical traveler’s journey to their booking.

The webinar will also cover:

  • How to boost revenues in Q2 through multichannel marketing
  • Where and how different marketing channels reach the consumer
  • How many steps it takes a consumer to make a booking
  • The customer perspective (i.e. Mom planning travel, Planning a Family Reunion)
  • Ways to recover abandoned bookings
  • Case studies to support recommendations

 

 

Raise Your Reputation, Raise Your Market Share

Customers have more choice than ever when it comes to choosing products. How do you get them to pick yours?

We sat down with R.J. Friedlander, founder and CEO of ReviewPro, at the HITEC conference last summer to ask him the big questions on reputation management, online education, and talent acquisition. Take a peak at the video above for some quick and applicable advice for applying data over intuition when it comes to online reputation.

Think you’ve got your online reputation where it should be? Why not try for 100% occupancy in our Fill Your Hotel game from Dr. Sheryl Kimes’s certificate in Hotel Revenue Management.

Segment Customers to Increase Leads, Sales, and Satisfaction

Global Hospitality Group Partners with Cornell for Scalable, Ivy League Professional Development

eCornell announced today that it has been selected by the acclaimed Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group (B&BHG), an industry leader in hospitality, to provide an online professional development program for employees working at each of the group’s 26 restaurants . The one-year contract begins July 1, 2013.

“We’re thrilled to partner with B&BHG to help prepare their staff and operations for continued growth and success,” said Chris Proulx, eCornell’s Chief Executive Officer. “The restaurant business isn’t an easy one, but B&BHG’s focus on continuous education and improvement is one way to ensure the group remains innovative and one step ahead.”

B&BHG’s learning and development program will support its business strategy and the eCornell partnership is just one of these initiatives. Selected staff members will be invited to take one course from a hand-picked survey of eCornell courses across multiple disciplines.

“At B&B, our primary focus continues to be growth. We’re rapidly expanding and to move forward, we need a learning and development solution that we can implement quickly and scale up easily. For us, eCornell was the only choice — it combines Cornell’s high-caliber content and industry thought leadership with a flexible, scalable online platform,” said Rajan Lai, Vice President of Human Resources for B&BHG.

To continue to be a leader in the hospitality industry, B&BHG is diversifying its concepts geographically and striving to meet the demand for high quality, affordable, and unique dining experiences. Partnering with B&BHG allows eCornell to assist with improving the group’s operational quality and service.

eCornell’s approach to e-learning combines the experience and insight of Cornell University’s world-class faculty members with the flexibility of a self-paced, instructor-facilitated online learning environment. Classes of 20 to 30 participants per course gain critical knowledge and practice through videos, lectures, case studies, and applied exercises. Students also build their professional networks and collaborative skills using eCornell’s interactive online platform.

Guest Post on Infusionsoft: Big Ideas Blog

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About eCornell

eCornell, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cornell University, provides many of the world’s leading organizations with online professional and executive development in the areas of leadership and management; human resource management; financial management; healthcare; marketing; and hospitality and foodservice management. eCornell’s proven course development model and asynchronous instructor-led course delivery provide students with an engaging, rigorous, and interactive learning experience. eCornell has delivered online courses to more than 50,000 students across more than 200 countries. For more information, visit ecornell.cornell.edu.

 

About the Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group

Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group (B&BHG) is a premier (restaurant) group that owns and operates 26 restaurants in the United States, Singapore and Hong Kong. B&BHG is owned in partnership by Mario Batali, chef, restaurateur, cookbook author, and television personality; Joe Bastianich, restaurateur, wine maker, and author; and Lidia Bastianich, chef, best-selling cookbook author, restaurateur, and owner of a flourishing food and entertainment business. B&BHG’s restaurants include Babbo Ristorante & Enoteca, Bar Jamón, Becco, Casa Mono, Del Posto, Esca, Felidia, Lupa Osteria Romana, Otto Enoteca & Pizzeria, and Tarry Lodge in New York; Tarry Lodge Enoteca & Pizzeria in Westport, Connecticut; Lidia’s in Pittsburgh and Kansas City; B&B Ristorante, Carnevino, and Otto Enoteca & Pizzeria in Las Vegas; Pizzeria Mozza, Osteria Mozza and Mozza2Go in Los Angeles; Pizzeria Mozza in Newport Beach, California; and Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza in collaboration with Nancy Silverton in Singapore and Carnevino and Lupa in Hong Kong. B&BHG is also an industry leader in sustainability, with fourteen certified Green Restaurants and counting. For more information, visit http://bandbhg.com.

eCornell Bolsters Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group’s Growth with Online Training

Global Hospitality Group Partners with Cornell for Scalable, Ivy League Professional Development

eCornell announced today that it has been selected by the acclaimed Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group (B&BHG), an industry leader in hospitality, to provide an online professional development program for employees working at each of the group’s 26 restaurants . The one-year contract begins July 1, 2013.

“We’re thrilled to partner with B&BHG to help prepare their staff and operations for continued growth and success,” said Chris Proulx, eCornell’s Chief Executive Officer. “The restaurant business isn’t an easy one, but B&BHG’s focus on continuous education and improvement is one way to ensure the group remains innovative and one step ahead.”

B&BHG’s learning and development program will support its business strategy and the eCornell partnership is just one of these initiatives. Selected staff members will be invited to take one course from a hand-picked survey of eCornell courses across multiple disciplines.

“At B&B, our primary focus continues to be growth. We’re rapidly expanding and to move forward, we need a learning and development solution that we can implement quickly and scale up easily. For us, eCornell was the only choice — it combines Cornell’s high-caliber content and industry thought leadership with a flexible, scalable online platform,” said Rajan Lai, Vice President of Human Resources for B&BHG.

To continue to be a leader in the hospitality industry, B&BHG is diversifying its concepts geographically and striving to meet the demand for high quality, affordable, and unique dining experiences. Partnering with B&BHG allows eCornell to assist with improving the group’s operational quality and service.

eCornell’s approach to e-learning combines the experience and insight of Cornell University’s world-class faculty members with the flexibility of a self-paced, instructor-facilitated online learning environment. Classes of 20 to 30 participants per course gain critical knowledge and practice through videos, lectures, case studies, and applied exercises. Students also build their professional networks and collaborative skills using eCornell’s interactive online platform.

About eCornell

eCornell, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cornell University, provides many of the world’s leading organizations with online professional and executive development in the areas of leadership and management; human resource management; financial management; healthcare; marketing; and hospitality and foodservice management. eCornell’s proven course development model and asynchronous instructor-led course delivery provide students with an engaging, rigorous, and interactive learning experience. eCornell has delivered online courses to more than 50,000 students across more than 200 countries. For more information, visit ecornell.cornell.edu.

 

About the Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group

Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group (B&BHG) is a premier (restaurant) group that owns and operates 26 restaurants in the United States, Singapore and Hong Kong. B&BHG is owned in partnership by Mario Batali, chef, restaurateur, cookbook author, and television personality; Joe Bastianich, restaurateur, wine maker, and author; and Lidia Bastianich, chef, best-selling cookbook author, restaurateur, and owner of a flourishing food and entertainment business. B&BHG’s restaurants include Babbo Ristorante & Enoteca, Bar Jamón, Becco, Casa Mono, Del Posto, Esca, Felidia, Lupa Osteria Romana, Otto Enoteca & Pizzeria, and Tarry Lodge in New York; Tarry Lodge Enoteca & Pizzeria in Westport, Connecticut; Lidia’s in Pittsburgh and Kansas City; B&B Ristorante, Carnevino, and Otto Enoteca & Pizzeria in Las Vegas; Pizzeria Mozza, Osteria Mozza and Mozza2Go in Los Angeles; Pizzeria Mozza in Newport Beach, California; and Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza in collaboration with Nancy Silverton in Singapore and Carnevino and Lupa in Hong Kong. B&BHG is also an industry leader in sustainability, with fourteen certified Green Restaurants and counting. For more information, visit http://bandbhg.com.

Rethinking Traditional Guest Satisfaction

Historically, hotels have relied on extensive post-stay surveys and mystery shoppers to ascertain service levels, customer satisfaction, and areas for improvement. Today, online reviews are providing hoteliers with rich data about guest satisfaction to help them please customers. In addition, online reviews provide a social currency that drives new bookings and trust in hotels.

We can learn a lot from the growth of online reviews to determine better ways to administer and use survey data. First, and perhaps most obvious, online reviews are useful to both hoteliers and consumers because of their free-form structure that allows guests to talk only about the services and amenities that impacted their stays. With traditional surveys, primarily closed-ended questions such as “please rate your satisfaction with your room from 1 to 10” will not yield rich data about what a customer liked or disliked about, for example, his room, or who at the hotel made his hotel special. Rather, traditional surveys are formulated by hotels to focus on areas that they feel need to be measured, rather than what is most important and top of mind to customers.

The highly structured nature of traditional surveys used to be critical for accurately measuring and reporting on guest satisfaction but today new sentiment analysis technology makes it possible to easily analyze and report on unstructured data in just as reliable a way, with a much richer data-set. Through reports that show which topics, from ontology specific to hospitality, are trending positively or negatively, management doesn’t have to know what to ask in advance to find hot-button issues or get detailed feedback about any service or amenity on property.With reliable reporting comes the ability to fully operationalize the data, even basing compensation plans on the results. Equally important, it allows you to bring voice of the customer data into your discussions around capital improvements, training programs and operational changes.

The second reason why many hoteliers are rethinking traditional guest satisfaction survey methods is because they recognize the value that public guest feedback has on new bookings. The TripBarometer Survey states that 93% of travellers worldwide say online reviews have an impact on their booking decisions. This trend, in addition to SEO benefits and the fact that TripAdvisor’s Popularity Index takes review frequency in mind, makes it clear that hoteliers should focus on driving guests to share feedback publicly, through social channels, to reap the best rewards.

For hoteliers that worry what will happen when survey feedback can be shared publicly, it’s time to accept the reality that your guests are already writing and reading online reviews, tweets and posts about your hotel at an increasing rate. Embrace the transparency as it drives consumer trust, allows you to connect with guests and access data not only about your hotel, but your competition. This competitive data can be easily mined to understand where you are winning and losing in guests’ eyes.

In April, 2012, the largest hospitality company in the world, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts replaced their traditional guest survey system with a solution that collects review style feedback directly from guests. The decision was based on extensive research and testing, and this bold move has successfully unleashed the power of feedback to drive marketing exposure and bookings, in addition to providing even richer intelligence. As a result, the hotels are benefiting from powerful insights about their guests that they can easily analyze with sentiment analysis technology, along with more public reviews, which is helping drive awareness of the hotels, in addition to popularity index scores.

For hotels and brands that believe in customer-centric approaches and aren’t afraid to rethink conventional solutions, Revinate, eCornell and Cornell University invite you to learn more about inGuest Surveys, Revinate’s 360° approach to guest feedback. Join us on June 11th at 11am EST for a free Webinar with Cornell University’s Bill Carroll, PhD. Space is limited. Sign up here.

SoLoMo: A Balancing Act Built on Trust

Social, local, mobile: SoLoMo is today’s marketing rallying call for businesses. The ability to target receptive consumers in place — near or in your property, in real-time — with relevant offerings or services has huge potential. That potential, however, isn’t absolute. Note the word “receptive” in my description of SoLoMo’s potential. This is a key factor in striking the balance between enhancing the guest experience and increasing your share of their wallet, versus being a consumer stalker.

Many hotels and brands have already jumped on the SoLoMo train. Most are optimizing their websites for mobile, as well as adding “location aware capabilities” to these sites, like Loews Hotels has done. These capabilities, like those of a number of new native and web-based applications, enable the hotel to know the location of potential and current customers, and which local deals and services they prefer. Such applications give hotels an edge in offering guests relevant ‘push’ marketing offers, and a better chance at increasing their wallet share.

Checkins, whether using Foursquare, Facebook, or the hotel’s own mobile site, are a prime time for targeted offers. These could be an invitation to enjoy a free drink in the hotel bar after checking in, a customized guest greeting on arrival, or a special discount for spa services ‘pushed’ to a guest who checks in at the hotel gym.

On one hand, this kind of highly localized, personalized marketing could enhance the service you’re providing guests. But, if you don’t pay enough attention to receptivity, there’s a good chance guests could also view it as a creepy invasion of privacy.

The hospitality and travel industries continue to explore the balance between privacy and customized service in new media marketing. Take this example, which I use in my course, Marketing the Hospitality Brand through New Media: Social, Mobile, and Search: KLM Royal Dutch Airline’s Meet & Seat program.

Would you use this capability? If you answered ‘no,’ you’re not alone. A 2011 survey by Amadeus showed that a slight majority of respondents across ten countries would be happy to give up more personal information in order to get better, more efficient travel services. But in the U.S., that number dropped to less than 34 percent. In a recent PhoCusWright study, nearly 90 percent of respondents said they were comfortable receiving general information or promotional offers, but more than half were uncomfortable sharing their location with social media networks.

A key factor that determines customers’ receptivity to your targeted offers is choice: Customers who want customized service, and are willing to provide personal information to get it, need to choose — or opt-in — to this system.

This permission-based approach is not new, but it’s powerful. Asking permission is not only smart business practice, it’s the nice thing to do. Customers want to trust and like your brand. Make it easier for them by allowing them to opt-in when they step onto your property, visit your website, or ‘Like’ your Facebook page. If you want to be more proactive, reach out to your email lists specifically to offer them this choice.

By giving your guests a choice about how they engage with your property, and segmenting your targeted offers, you’ll be better able to reap the rewards of SoLoMo marketing and strike the balance between privacy and customized service. Over time, if you consistently demonstrate your commitment to choice and relevance, more guests may become receptive to getting personal with your property or brand.

 

Hotel Revenue and Online Feedback

In January 2010, a Hotel & Motel Management/Market Metrix study showed that online reviews had become the biggest factor in potential customers’ hotel choices.

Chris Anderson, Ph.D., associate professor at Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration, called this moment a “tipping point” when he spoke to Travel Weekly last year about his landmark study on the impact of social media on lodging performance.

Today, this impact is increasing exponentially as more travelers book online and flock to social media. Still, most hotels can only address online guest feedback after the fact.

Some innovative hotels and brands see a better solution, one that combines online reviews, social media feedback, and modern surveying techniques to build customer awareness, deliver better service, and drive revenue.

To learn more, join eCornell and Revinate for a free webinar on Tuesday, June 11, 2013, where Cornell University’s Bill Carroll, Ph.D., and Michelle Wohl, Revinate’s Vice President of Marketing, will discuss:

  • Guest Sentiment Scoring (GSS) versus Sentiment Analysis

  • Embracing Transparency to Drive Sales

  • Using Feedback to Improve Operations in Real-Time

  • Changing Trends in Compensation

Register for the webinar today. We look forward to the conversation!