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The Rise of Customer Reviews and the Benefits they Provide

Thursday 30 January 2014

I’m going to take a guess that everybody reading this blog has been on trip advisor or another consumer review website at some point in their lives and if you haven’t, it would seem you are in the minority.

The Tripadvisor site features more than 125 million reviews from travellers around the world and more than 80 new contributions are posted every minute, this is one of many examples of the big data explosion and how consumers and businesses are creating increasing amounts of data every day.

Most of us Brits love our holidays, whether we’re travelling to exotic destinations on the other side of the world, going on an all-inclusive trip in Europe or staying closer to home with a British seaside getaway, what these different types of holidays all have in common is they tend to cost a significant amount of money (some more than others!) and when we’re spending money it’s natural that we want to ensure the product or experience will satisfy our needs.

Due to our ever increasing reliance and use of the internet, one way of trying to ensure our requirements are met, is by gaining instantaneous access to an astronomical amount of reviews, opinions, photos and information on any potential holiday destinations, accommodation, attractions and restaurants. All of which guide us in the right direction of where to stay, where to eat, where to visit and what to expect. Many people, would make their decision wholly based on other peoples reviews and opinions.

So since us consumers are benefitting so much from this data, what are the benefits for the businesses we are judging? We are in the generation of Big Data, now is the time for those in the hospitality and leisure industries to leverage all this data they receive in the form of reviews and use it in a variety of beneficial ways.

No doubt, hotels and restaurants etc. keep a close eye on their reviews and what consumers may be saying about them on social media, but this is not sufficient practice if you wish to create high quality marketing by targeting the right customers, tailoring marketing campaigns or identifying your most profitable and loyal customers.

If you utilise your customer review data sooner rather than later will be able to provide an offering based around the exact requirements that your customers made it clear they seek in a venue. Not only does this data offer areas for improvement but also identifies where your businesses strengths lay so these can be maintained and exploited to their full potential.

Traditional business analytic solutions would only operate with structured data however next generation solutions such as CXAIR, are able to analyse and filter unstructured data meaning you can take full advantage of those reviews and social media messages, whether they’re good or bad!

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