1859 Historic Hotels - The power of word of mouth

HOTELIERS' VOICE S2E11

Josh Henegar, Corporate Revenue Director at 1859 Historic Hotels, which has 10 hotels in three US states and emphasises the history and traditions of its locations, tells us how to analyse guest feedback in order to improve performance.

Josh uses the tools available on ReviewPro to carry out a lot of the data analysis. The site allows the hotel group to assess the strengths and weaknesses of specific hotel departments. It can locate problem areas that need to be addressed and identify the strengths that can be promoted with guests.

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The processes is essential because understanding how to take the best care of guests has a major impact on hotel profits, he explains. “We look a lot at perceived value because ReviewPro’s own analysis shows that every additional point of guest satisfaction on the Global Review Index (GRI) correlates directly with driving higher average daily rates (ADR) and RevPAR.”

An equally important factor in achieving higher ratings from guests is the operational side of the business on the ground at the hotels. “The teams taking care of guests, ‘shaking hands and kissing babies’ as we say, are making sure we exceed our guests’ expectations. And that then allows us to use all the digital tools we have and apply those lessons on site with all the general managers and their teams at the frontline,” he says.

Feedback is provided to the hotel managers from ReviewPro analysis about precisely what the guests said about every aspect of their stay, from food and beverages to the comfort of the bed and the bathroom.

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We’re able to break it down in a very granular way and understand the trends. A lot of the time the managers are right in their assessments even before seeing the data as they know the properties better than anyone


The data from ReviewPro is integrated with the hotel CRM in order to create more detailed and accurate profiles of the guests. This helps not only to relate better to the guests, but also to improve marketing communications in the future. “We have a lot more information about them digitally before they arrive, or after they leave, than ever before,” Josh says.

The hotels communicate positively with guests after their stays and attempts to trigger responses on social media, or review websites. “We say things like ‘hey we’re glad you enjoyed your stay. Let’s spread the word, celebrate and leave a review’,” he says.

The hotel emphasis the power of word of mouth, which he believes is stronger than ever. “Reviews and star ratings are one of the most powerful decision-making components for all travellers. All the review channels multiple the word-of-mouth effect exponentially.

Josh also praises the hospitality industry’s resilience and ability to bounce back after the pandemic lockdowns.

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What we’ve seen is the wonderful strength that hospitality people have in the midst of adversity to put a smile on their faces and welcome guests and try to deliver those great experiences.