|Photo Credit: Alex E. Proimos via Flickr Creative Commons|
Online reviews are having a huge impact on service businesses says an article in the latest edition of the excellent Attractions Handbook. Although few attraction operators have embraced them to the degree seen in the hotel and restaurant sectors, the opportunity is there to increase business by encouraging and managing reviews across all areas of leisure, including attractions.
A study by economists at the
University of California,
a variance of just half a star rating can determine whether a service business
grows and thrives or goes bust. Researchers focused on restaurant reviews on
Yelp.com and found that the difference between 3 and 3.5 stars increased the
chance of a business reaching capacity at peak times from 13 per cent to as
much as 34 per cent. Berkeley
Further reinforcement of the impact comes from a TripAdvisor study which found that properties with 11 reviews or more on the website see a 28 per cent rise in user engagement when compared to those with 10 or fewer.
Dealing well with complaints relating to online reviews is also important, according to a report from PhoCusWright the travel research and analysis company. They found that 84 per cent of TripAdvisor users said an appropriate management response to a bad review improves their impression of a hotel or restaurant.
In the attractions industry, monitoring reviews can act as a feedback loop for complaints, while managing them helps to neutralise the impact of bad reviews which have been shared by consumers. As more attractions build hotels, spas and restaurants, managing these reviews also becomes an important part of the reputation management of the operation.
Source: Attractions Handbook