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The extent to which guests are satisfied affects the success of your business.

So just how important is guest satisfaction? And how can businesses measure guest satisfaction to understand how guests feel about their experiences?

  • “Customer Experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by the year 2020,” according to Walker.
  • $75 billion is lost because of poor customer service, according to NewVoiceMedia.

Businesses can use information about them that is already online to measure guest satisfaction because of today’s widespread online review culture.

There are different ways to measure guest satisfaction by using online customer feedback. It’s important that you incorporate all of them to truly understand how satisfied guests are with their experience at your business.

Measure Star Rating to Understand Guest Satisfaction

One way to measure guest satisfaction with online reviews is to look at the star rating of all your locations, then compare each star rating to the average star rating for your industry. The industry star rating average for restaurants is 4.14, according to the 2018 ReviewTrackers Online Review Survey. The industry star rating average for hospitality is 4.17.

When looking at star rating, also look at the amount of reviews your business locations have. If you have a 4.7-star rating with only 5 reviews, that is not a good indicator of guest satisfaction. However, if you have a 4.7-star rating with 500 reviews, then that is a great measurement of guest satisfaction.

Measure Sentiment to Understand Guest Satisfaction 

Unstructured customer data comes in the form of online reviews and social media. It’s up to brands to take that customer data and bring it to life.

You can find trends and patterns within customer reviews by using text analytics to understand an online review’s sentiment analysis. Text analytics is the method used to understand sentiment – how customers feel about their experience – in online customer reviews, in this case.

For example, a customer who writes a review on Google might describe the bed in a hotel as being “soft.” But what does that mean? Is that good or bad? Measuring sentiment in a review will help determine how the customer feels about the bed (which can be difficult to determine without sentiment analysis).

Measure Your Competition to Understand Guest Satisfaction 

To measure guest satisfaction, see how you’re doing against your competitors. To measure competition, you first need to make a list of competitors within a 2-mile radius.

Once you have created that list, ask yourself some questions about the competitors:

  • What do those competitors sell?
  • What’s their atmosphere like? How about the food? What makes them unique?
  • What do customers think of their business?
  • What potential threats do your competitors show?

Now it’s time to see how your locations compare in star rating and sentiment to your reviews.

How does your star rating compare to that of your competitors?

If you look through both the positive and negative reviews, you’ll see what you might want to add to your business. For the latter, the negative reviews, you’ll see what you definitely do not want to do for your business. If you provide a positive experience for guests, then positive reviews will follow. You should ask for reviews to generate online reviews on a consistent basis, but whether or not those reviews will be positive depends on the type of experience you provide your guests.

Megan Wenzl

Megan is the Associate Editor for ReviewTrackers. She's a writer who is committed to finding useful information to help your business succeed. Megan holds an M.A. in journalism from Columbia College Chicago.


  1. Laura Mackenzie

    Great post Megan Wenzl.
    I would talk to my customers with special needs to determine specifically what barriers they are facing and how I can help them overcome the barriers.
    It is critical that I do not assume I know what their barriers are and how they would like for me to overcome them.
    It is presumptuous for me to think I know what their needs are without talking to them first.