CARY, N.C. — A recent study from business analytics software firm SAS and Pennsylvania State University shows how business travellers use online reviews to assess value.
Results indicate that, unlike leisure travellers, business travellers are not as sensitive to negative reviews; they won’t necessarily remove a hotel from the choice set if it’s balanced against a favourable brand, price and ratings. Business travellers also consider facts over feelings when looking at online reviews. They prefer detailed descriptions over emotional language.
Business travellers are highly influenced by their loyalty affiliation and may select a property that’s “good enough” if it’s their preferred brand. In addition, price remains a key factor in property selection. For properties that cater primarily to the business set, the study indicates that there’s an opportunity to increase rates, even if the hotel in question doesn’t top the reputation scale. This is particularly true if enough loyalty members are staying at the hotel.
“Of course, the opportunity lessens if your reputation lags behind competitors,” said Breffni Noone, PhD, associate professor at the School of Hospitality Management at Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pa. “In this case, lowering the price might attract a bit of business traveller demand, where it would not bring in leisure travellers. For lesser known brands competing against those with large loyalty programs, a reputation that exceeds the competition paired with a good deal could entice business travellers through your doors.”
To read the complete study, visit blogs.sas.com.