The Landmark London is a five star hotel in the Marylebone district in London, set in a beautiful Victorian building that was originally opened in 1899 as The Grand Central Hotel and served as convalescent home during the Second World War. In 1995, the building returned to its former grandeur and reopened as The Landmark London hotel.
The Landmark London is considered by many to be the premier independent luxury hotel in London. The hotel offers 300 guest rooms that are amongst the largest in London with an average room size of 55sqm (592sqf). Its stunning eight-storey glass roof atrium offers a beautiful backdrop for a memorable dining experience or to enjoy the regular live music. The hotel also offers professional meeting facilities and a spa & health club.
Getting the Full Picture of Online Reviews
Located in one of the most competitive hotel markets in the world, The Landmark London strives to differentiate itself with an excellent level of service. Sally Beck, Director of Marketing at The Landmark London, says it is important for the hotel to know what guests are saying about the hotel online. “Our guests are sharing their experiences on sites like TripAdvisor, Booking.com or Expedia whether we like it or not. We started looking at TripAdvisor a few years ago, but it was not feasible for us to manually track the dozens of other relevant sites where clients were talking about us online.“ The hotel was looking for a solution to automatically aggregate and analyze the review data. “We needed someone to do the hard work for us”, Sally explains, “We evaluated several other potential providers, but most were either too generic for us or did not offer the possibility to increase direct bookings on our website. We had trial accounts with two other companies, but then a colleague recommended ReviewPro to us.“ She was very happy with the results ReviewPro provided her hotel, as they were very specific to her needs and ReviewPro was able to give her exactly the information she needed to manage her property more effectively.
ReviewPro helped The Landmark London to better understand and navigate the world of online reviews, aggregating data from more than 55 online travel agencies (OTAs) and review sites. ReviewPro revealed that while TripAdvisor is the single largest source of reviews for the hotel, less than 30% of the hotel’s over 420 total online reviews in the last 12 months are on TripAdvisor. ReviewPro’s tracking capabilities allow Sally and her team to see the latest individual reviews across all review sites, along with the guest satisfaction rating for all reviews and the source they came from. Having all this info in one tool allows her to gain an instant overview of how the hotel is being rated by guests. The team also receives daily email alerts delivered directly to their inboxes, showing them the new review activity and enabling them to react immediately where needed. Joi Chuku, Marketing Manager at The Landmark London, says “ReviewPro is an invaluable product that enables us to rapidly respond to issues that previously we would not have even known about.”
Increasing Social Proof on The Landmark London’s Website
The Landmark London believes that today, consumers are very reluctant to book a room directly on a hotel’s website without first reading reviews or consulting other user generated content. Research supports their theory: 25-40% of users that abandon hotel websites leave to search for consumer feedback on the property. As a response to this important new trend in consumer behavior, The Landmark London decided to embed ReviewPro’s Quality Seal on its website and publish online reviews from a number of review sites and OTAs alongside it. The Quality Seal is a widget that shows the hotel’s Global Review IndexTM (GRI), a score based on a proprietary algorithm ReviewPro developed as an independent assessment of a hotel’s quality rating based upon consumer reviews from around the Internet. The GRI can be displayed either as a grade, in The Landmark London’s case currently “Very Good”, or as a point score on a scale from 0 to 100.
The Landmark London now publishes reviews to the hotel’s website with a single click from ReviewPro’s tool, helping to increase the conversion rate for direct bookings in their own website. While the tool gives The Landmark London the option to only publish the reviews they want to publish, Joi says she also posts reviews that do not always rate the hotel perfectly, as this adds to the authenticity and transparency online reviews provide to potential guests.
On the subject of negative reviews, Joi adds that people will look at a large number of reviews before making a decision on a hotel. “That’s why it’s important to have a high volume of reviews across as many OTAs as possible.” The hotel does not attempt to hide or ignore negative reviews. Rather, they choose to post a management response where possible. This gives the hotel the chance to explain their view of things. “People see that we take the time to respond and are aware of any issues”, Joi adds.
Improving Internal Operations
In addition to responding to reviews directly in review sites, Joi also recognizes them as an opportunity to identify issues that the hotel should react to internally. Typically, a review will mention a one-time issue that the hotel is already aware of because the guest brought it to their attention directly. If she sees a particular service issue come up in reviews repeatedly, the hotel provides additional training to its staff. Joi also noticed through ReviewPro’s semantic analysis that some guests consider the TV sets in the rooms to be outdated, and the hotel is now looking into changing those. “With the semantic analysis, you can really drill down and get more meaningful insight into your reviews. This is the first time we have really been able to know what consumers are saying about our hotel with regards to our key attributes”, she adds. She particularly likes that the data is presented in a way that allows her to see which concepts get mentioned the most and what related sub-concepts people talk about.
Joi also explains that the hotel is a member of Leading Hotels of the World, a prestigious luxury hospitality organization representing the world’s finest hotels and resorts. As such, the hotel has to meet a number of standards and go through regular inspections by the organization. “The analysis we get through ReviewPro helps us prepare for these operational reviews with Leading Hotels of the World.”
Sharing Insights with The Landmark London Team
While Sally, Joi and their team log onto ReviewPro on a regular basis and are therefore fully aware of what is being said about the hotel in online reviews and social media, Joi feels it is also important for other members of The Landmark London’s team to be aware of the hotel’s online reputation. “I know our shortcomings, but it’s important for senior management to be fully aware of what our clients consider to be our strengths and weaknesses”. “Our senior management team appreciates the fact that you can just export graphs and easily create reports”, says Joi. She currently prints out graphs and reports from ReviewPro and shares them in monthly review sessions with the senior management team. On the topic of marketing for example, she explains, “We need to make sure our key messages are coming through to our customers. And if we are not getting through, we need to figure out how to do things differently to get the messages through or change our strategy. Thanks to ReviewPro, we can find out if our messages reach our customers.”