Better managing customer feedback in the hospitality industry could add £3.2b to the economy over the next decade, according to a new report.
The Barclays Feedback Economy report has found that 59% of the 2,000 consumers polled use online feedback to decide where they will visit, while 45% are more likely to leave a review than they were 18 months ago.
It suggested that businesses need to take a long term view with regard to customer feedback and put solid structures in place to manage online engagement.
Barclays predicts that if businesses become more responsive to online feedback the hospitality and leisure sector can add £2b to the UK economy with the impact on the supply chain contributing a further £1.2b.
Mike Saul, head of hospitality and leisure at Barclays, explained: "What we're seeing at the moment is lots of people taking the feedback but not acting on it. They deal with it in the moment, but they don't create data and they don't go back for repeat business, upsell and offers.
"We all know it costs a lot of money to get a new customer but do you get the most out of that customer. Do you go back to them and encourage them to spend more next time, or bring family and friends along?"
Of the 541 operators quizzed, 82% said feedback had been beneficial to their business, with 63% saying that it delivered repeat business. However, 63% said they weren't managing feedback strategically using a customer relationship management system.
Millennials were found to be more likely to engage with reviews, with 29% of 18-24 year olds and 27% of 25-44 year olds citing reviews as one of the most important factors in their decision making.
"One thing is certain is that in terms of the demographic there is an age element, and as another generation comes through they expect to give feedback," added Saul.
Saul said: "The rise of feedback sites has been a disruptive force within the hospitality industry over the past decade. Our research reveals that those working in the UK hospitality and leisure industry feel that these faster, easier and simpler feedback mechanisms are a good thing for the industry - resulting in more agile businesses better able to serve the evolving needs of consumers."
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