Cornell Study: Hotels Managers Shouldn't Overdo Responses to Online Review

Apr 18, 2016

Contact: Carol Zhe, 607.254.4504, caz9@cornell.edu

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Cornell Study: Hotels Managers Shouldn't Overdo Responses to Online Reviews

Ithaca, NY, April 18, 2016 - A new study from Cornell University suggests that hotel guests appreciate substantive responses to negative reviews, but operators should go easy on review responses. The study found that revenue levels increase as the number of management responses increases, but only to a point. After about a 40-percent response rate, hotels seem to reach a point of diminishing returns. A full description of the study, "Hotel Performance Impact of Socially Engaging with Consumers," by Chris Anderson and Saram Han, is available at no charge from the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research. Anderson is an associate professor at the Cornell School Hotel Administration, where Han is a doctoral student.

"We see that hotel managers generally want to interact with guests who post reviews on line, but the question remains of exactly how to do that," Anderson explained. "We ran several tests of what happens when the hotels respond to reviews posted on TripAdvisor. For one thing, simply encouraging reviews is related to an improvement in a hotel's TripAdvisor ratings, compared to competitors. Our study used Revinate Surveys for this purpose."

Anderson and Han found that the simple fact that managers respond to reviews leads to improved sales and revenue, when consumers click through from TripAdvisor to the hotel's listing at online travel agents. "However, we found a cautionary situation," Anderson added. "It turns out that making too many responses is worse than offering no response at all, in terms of both ratings and revenue. So, managers should focus on making constructive responses to negative reviews rather than simply acknowledging positive comments."

About the Center for Hospitality Research
The purpose of the Center for Hospitality Research is to enable and conduct research of significance to the global hospitality and related service industries. CHR also works to improve the connections between academe and industry, continuing the School of Hotel Administration's long-standing tradition of service to the hospitality industry. Founded in 1992, CHR remains the industry's foremost creator and distributor of timely research, all of which is posted at no charge for all to use. In addition to its industry advisory board, CHR convenes several industry roundtables each year for the purpose of identifying new issues affecting the hospitality industry.

Center Members: Accenture, Access Point Financial, Inc., Barclaycard US, Cvent, Davis & Gilbert LLP, Deloitte & Touche USA LLP, DerbySoft, Duetto, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Fox Rothschild LLP, Hilton Worldwide, Host Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, IDeaS Revenue Solutions, Infosys Limited, InterContinental Hotels Group, Jumeirah Group, Marriott International, NTT DATA, Preferred Hotels & Resorts, priceline.com, PwC, The Rainmaker Group, RateGain, ReviewPro, Sabre Hospitality Solutions, STR, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro EcoEnergy, and Wyndham Hotel Group