Anticipating Expectations

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Tuscany, we heard so many nice stories about it! So we decided to spend our vacation there, starting in a cheap hotel in Naples. Did you know that hotels without showers exist? Quite a surprise, but not as big as the one we had at the airport; our luggage arrived two days later. It was so hot in the city that that we were glad to visit the underground caves where it was nice and cool!

We had reserved a number of places for our trip. The Airbnb in Rome was pretty cool but the hotel near the highway was just average. So after that we did a more thorough search and discovered our next place by using Tripadvisor. It was a nice quaint hotel in Monte Carlo (yes, Italy!) that had the highest possible rating. The rating was in fact so high that I didn’t really trust it, but we went anyway. And yes, it was a real cool place to stay with a super hospitable couple.

So, who cares about my vacation? Or my expectations of rooms and hotels? Well at Market Vision we measure customer satisfaction for hotel chains and I would like to share with you one of our most peculiar findings.

The chain we measured owned amongst others, two hotels which were refurbished over a period of several weeks.  Subsequently, the ratings we saw at one hotel were pretty awful. Not surprising because it is not so nice to be woken up by the sound of a drill in the morning! The other hotel however, had the same drill, but its guest-ratings stayed up all the time. So we wondered, what’s going on? Is anybody trying to tamper with the guest-ratings?

When we investigated this further we found that the hotel with the low ratings had not forewarned its guests about the refurbishing, but the hotel did. The hotel with the high ratings!

The morale, do not be afraid to lose a booking because of a refurbishment, or any other inconvenience, but be sure to inform your guests in advance. Manage expectations!


Jan Mulder, Market Researcher and founder at Market Vision

Jan Mulder leads research activities at Market Vision. Jan he founded Market Vision in 1996 after gaining marketing experience at one of the first Personal Computer companies (Kaypro) and legal experience at Fokker Aerospace and Fokker Space.  His current experience is based on a more than 15 years of research in the hotel industry with hotelchains like Radisson and Novotel. Jan also taught research at Windesheim Flevoland for five years. Jan lives and works in Amstelveen, near Amsterdam, Netherlands. Jan holds a B.A. from the University of Puget Sound and a M.Sc. from the University of Oregon.