It's difficult to think of an industry more tied to the power of customer feedback than the hospitality sector. Reports of bed bugs, or shoddy room service can wreak havoc on a hotel's reputation.
Naturally, that has sent hoteliers and hotel managers to social media in droves – so they can keep a pulse both on what guests are saying (positive or negative) about their own properties as well as what might be helping or hurting competitors.
But that isn't exactly an easy task, given how quickly someone can gripe using Twitter, social networks and travel booking sites such as Trip Advisor.
Enter Revinate, a company founded with the idea of helping hotel companies get better about listening to what's being said about them. The service aggregates feedback from multiple sites and analyzes what is being said, offering signals that managers can use to address problems or play up strengths.
"It canvasses anywhere online where people are leaving feedback that is relevant for hotels," said Revinate CEO Jay Ashton. "A lot of that data is very dispersed."
Small hotels can use Revinate for very specific tasks, such as altering reservations specials or those responsible for customer service is a certain type of review is found. So, for example, a manager could request information about bed comfort or business amenities. The screen shot shows a view of reviews collected by the service:
Revinate is being used by 15,000 hotels worldwide (many of them boutique or independent properties).
San Francisco-based Joie de Vivre hotels has been using the Revinate service for close to two years with a specific aim of improving its ranking on Trip Advisor, said James Lim, regional managing director. Properties can only achieve this by taking action that helps increase the amount of positive feedback.
In Joie de Vivre's cast, that means looking for criticisms that can be turned into strengths – which are disseminated freely with anyone on staff who can influence a more positive outcome. "I send it to everybody that I think it can effect," Lim said.
Prior to using Revinate, the hotel had a rather average sentiment rating among the 230 properties that Joie de Vivre uses to benchmark its performance but now it is close to breaking into the Top 10, he said.