As you know, it can be frustrating seeing bad reviews pile up on your hotel’s TripAdvisor page. You know that nearly every guest has a great stay- so why don’t the reviews reflect that?

At Zenya, we’ve done an analysis and determined, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you’re not alone. Most hotels have a far higher proportion of poor reviews than they have unsatisfied guests; there’s a disconnect between reality and your public image.

On average, unsatisfied guests are about 4X as likely to post a review than are satisfied guests.

It’s safe to say you already know just how important your hotel’s online reviews really are. Over 80% of potential guests read them, and roughly half make their decision to book based on a hotel’s review scores and ranking. With that in mind, here’s why your satisfied guests don’t bother to write good reviews:

No Motivation: Only guests who have a very emotional experience, either positive or negative, will be highly motivated to go out and actually write a review.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Once the guest has left the hotel, there’s little incentive for them to bother to write a review.

Inconvenient: The guest has to be the one to initiate the review process. They have to go to the site or app, create an account or log in, and share their experience all on their own.

So, what can you do about it?

As a hotelier, it’s your responsibility to make the guest review process as easy as possible. Of course you could send a link to every guest after the stay, but without knowing which were satisfied, the problem of unsatisfied guests writing a disproportionate amount of reviews would remain.

You need a solution that accounts for both satisfied and unsatisfied guests. It’s important to intercept an unsatisfied guest’s issue while they’re at the hotel. Consider the statistic from earlier: unsatisfied guests are about 4X as likely to post a review. It goes without saying, but it’s especially apparent with that in mind, that the fewer unresolved bad experiences the better. Asking guests to review a hotel isn’t uncommon, but encouraging specifically happy guests to post positive reviews is. Traditional methods of doing this like distributing cards with your TripAdvisor link or asking guests nicely for reviews don’t work. Giving your TripAdvisor link only to guests who you know are satisfied can help tip the scales in your favor.

As a hotelier, you know that if you try to solve a problem by putting an extra workload on your staff, nothing will get done. Your solution has to work on its own, with no human input or labor required. You need to make the solution worthwhile from both ends- your guests and staff. Hotels that stick with the status quo will undoubtedly continue to have poor guest experiences go undiscovered while continuing to spend an great deal of effort on positive review encouragement with little success.