Examining the Relevance of Online Customer Textual Reviews on Hotels’ Product and Service Attributes

Online reviews left by guests have business value in terms of understanding customers’ perceptions of hotels’ product and service attributes.

Study was made by Xun Xu, within the Department of Management, Operations, and Marketing, College of Business Administration, California State University.

By focusing on customers’ textual reviews through a text-mining approach (specifically, latent semantic analysis) and statistical tests, this study examined and compared the relevance of core attributes with customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction for both chain and independent hotels of various star levels.

They found that the attributes of products and services—including staff, physical setting, value, and location—have different effects on customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction for chain and independent hotels, and for hotels with different star levels.

Based on these findings, they concluded that a given hotel’s status as either an independent or a chain establishment and its star-level play a role in influencing the importance of product and service attributes for customers.

This study helped hotels in different market segments understand customers’ different needs as they relate to each attribute of the hotel’s products and services. Hoteliers can use this information to set priority rules for improving the corresponding attributes and use the generated electronic word-of-mouth effect from online customer reviews to enhance their performance.


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