Revinate gives hotels and restaurants the chance to find out exactly what their customers think by collecting and analysing their online comments. The hospitality providers can then set about improving their service.
Tourism provides 8% of employment worldwide and accounts for 9% of world GDP*. In 2012, the number of international tourists passed the billion mark, up 4% compared to 2011, according to UNWTO World Tourism Barometer figures. E-tourism is now booming. In 2012, revenue from online sales of trips reached $120 billion in the United States, according to an e-Marketer study. So tourist industry professionals are not only striving to provide a top-quality product but are also looking for high-quality business management solutions. The customer is the pivotal element in their strategy and customer presence on social media and the many online opinion sites gives them a great deal of influence – also providing extensive opportunities for restaurants, hotels and inns to gather customer opinions and feedback. Revinate, a San Francisco-based social media solution specialising in the hospitality industry, offers hotels and restaurants a means of managing their e-reputation. The company carries out a sentiment analysis of customer views expressed online to provide a basis for hoteliers to sharpen up their act.
Sentiment analysis of online customer views
Revinate provides e-reputation management solutionsto the hospitality industry – a specific segment of the wider tourism sector – focusing mainly on hotels but also serving some restaurants. The company aggregates feedback from over 100 online tourism sites such as Tripadvisor, Yelp, and Expedia, plus smaller local sites in places such as China and Latin America. The majority of Revinate’s customers are in the United States, where it currently serves around 200,000 establishments. Revinate collects online opinions posted by customers and analyses their sentiment content. Comments are classified into approximately 180 categories – e.g. the bathroom, the bell-service and other individual areas and aspects of the hotel service. Based on the adjectives that customers use, the software classifies remarks as positive or negative. This gives hotels a much better idea of guests’ views on the services they provide and on overall guest experience during their stay than a traditional hotel questionnaire with its 1-10 marking system.
Helping hotels to improve their act
“We’ve moved from mass production to mass personalisation,” Martin Pannier, Product Manager at Revinate, told l’Atelier, explaining that: “Big Data helps us aggregate the huge quantities of personal information that are now available to us.” With the opinions that are gathered, hotels now have very precise indicators of their e-reputation and pointers to how they can improve their product and enhance the customer experience. Some establishments use the information to encourage staff to modify their behaviour. Some, for example, pay special commission to those personnel who manage to improve their marks in previously ‘poor’ categories. The growth of e-tourism makes it especially vital to pay close attention to customer views, which are out there influencing other potential guests. Revinate provides software – and staff training with the software – to enable hotels and restaurants to get in touch with customers on the social networks and take part in the online conversation.
* Source: French Ministry of the Environment, Sustainable Development and Energy