New research has found that while more than a third (38%) of people always read reviews before making a holiday booking, trust in them remains low, with just 8% trusting reviews on accommodation providers’ websites and 16% trusting them on third party booking sites.
The research of 2,000 UK consumers by Hop Software found that the top reasons for leaving a positive review were good customer service and excellent communication, with half of people saying that this would encourage them to write a good review.
Following closely behind was a great location (41%) and personal touches, with over a third (38%) saying that small extras such as such as hampers or maps of local areas would encourage them to write kind words about a provider.
Conversely, there were several reasons why a holidaymaker would leave a bad review following their stay. Nearly half (45%) said that bad customer service would be the top reason for leaving a negative review, while a further 40% said that the accommodation not being as described would impact their decision. A further third (33%) were concerned about their evening meals and leisure time, citing that bad food at the hotel’s restaurant or bar would make them consider leaving a bad review online.
Differences between demographics were apparent in the research, with 54-54-year-olds most likely to read reviews before booking (45%) and older people more likely to worry about fake reviews online, with one in five over 55’s stating this, compared to just 7% of 25–34-year-olds. The research also found that females are far more likely (45%) than males (30%) to read a review before making a booking.
Commenting on the findings, Richard Drummond, COO of Hop, said: “Good customer service is, and always has been key. Simple fixes and small personal touches are evidently the best way to make sure that guests are talking about their stay positively. However, it’s quite shocking that while customers still rely heavily on reviews, most holidaymakers say that they don’t trust them. So, hoteliers and accommodation providers must not only continue to strive to receive great reviews from guests, but also to build their trust in these reviews. For example, the way reviews and testimonials are displayed on a website can have a huge impact on consumer trust, with video and image-led testimonials tending to work really well, as customers are able to put a face to a name.”
All of these findings are available in ‘The 2021 holiday boom: what Britons are looking for’ report, which can be downloaded in full here.