Industry Update
Opinion Article13 December 2016

What drives guests to be promoters of your brand?

By Nicki Graham, Director of Marketing, EMEA & APAC at Cendyn

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In previous research conducted, we've seen that the Net Promoter Score has a positive correlation to a hotel's TripAdvisor rating. Of course that makes sense, a positive review would hopefully tie in with someone willing to recommend your hotel to a friend or colleague but following from that, we decided to delve a bit further – what exactly is driving your guests to be promoters or detractors? Our analytics team looked into a huge number of responses and analysed their outcome to find some fascinating conclusions.


Firstly, how do we find out if a guest is a promoter, neutral or a detractor?

Using the famous Net Promoter Score, hoteliers are able to ask guests "How likely are you to recommend [hotel name] to a friend or colleague?" guests can answer this question using an 11-point scale (0-10 – see below) and are then asked a follow-up question, depending on the score given:

If scored between 10-9:

"Thanks for your feedback, we're glad to hear you're happy! If you were recommending [hotel name] to a friend, what one reason would you give them?"

If scored between 8-7:

"If one aspect of your experience with [hotel name] could've been better, what would it be?"

If scored between 6-0:

"What was missing or disappointing in your experience with [hotel name]?"

Using the score and answers combined from over 5,000 responses, we were able to analyse every response and determine what factors impacted the scores that were given. These findings provide hotel managers with an understanding of the main reasons hotel guests recommend, stay passive, or recommend against staying at a property:

What do promoters look for?

Through an analysis of what guests have explicitly stated while completing their surveys, we were able to identify why guests might recommend a hotel and therefore become a promoter. We found the following:

  • Great location was confirmed as the top reason why guests would recommend a hotel.
  • Great staff was also identified as an important factor when recommending a hotel. Furthermore, both friendly and helpful stood out as ways that guests would determine if staff were 'great' or not.
  • Room cleanliness and comfort, or spaciousness stood out amongst promoters as an important factor in a promoters eyes.

While location is difficult for a hotel manager to affect, staff and rooms are certainly areas a Hotel Manager can look to improve and really drive an impact in reviews/scores.

Why do guests stay as neutrals?

A neutral guest can be seen as a guest that mostly had a pleasant experience however would not be seen as an active promoter of the property or the brand. By identifying the areas that neutrals saw as issues, we can hopefully help improve the number of promoters and therefore online reviews/ratings and word-of-mouth recommendations. Our analysis of neutrals found the following:

  • The guests' room stood out as the most common factor requiring improvement from the perspective of a neutral guest. Cleanliness and room quality stood out as fundamental elements that had to be addressed in order for a guest to become a promoter.
  • Front desk also stood out overwhelmingly as a barrier for neutrals becoming promoters, specifically interactions, professionalism and timeliness. This shows how important a seamless check-in and check-out process can be when helping to promote a brand or experience.
  • Interestingly, the availability of dining options and the delivery of these options could prevent guests from becoming promoters. Of note, dining amongst neutral guests did not seem to have a big impact, moreso that if issues were addressed, the guest would likely alter their views and become a promoter.

Why do guests become detractors?

Of course we want to avoid this at all costs, if possible, but being aware of the issues at a property and then addressing them is all part of managing the guest experience. From this analysis we found some key issues that guests seemed to focus on in their comments if they were identified as detractors:

  • Again, the guest room was found to be the most common factor requiring improvement from both neutrals and detractors. Fundamental elements that contribute to the guest experience, such as cleanliness (e.g. garbage) or comforts (e.g. room temperature) should be addressed foremost in these cases. Specifically, the guest bed was identified as a sticking point for detractors and that a clean and comfortable bed and bedding were priority.
  • Also identified as an area for improvement was the front desk. Similarly to the neutrals, check-in and check-out here could be identified as needing improvement.


These findings help us identify that the following key aspects of every hotel can be instrumental in determining how a guest will review, score the property and if they will become the highly sought-after promoter:

  • Room and bed quality
  • Hotel operations such as front desk interactions, timeliness and professionalism
  • Dining facilities

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Nicki Graham

Nicki Graham is the Director of Marketing, EMEA & APAC at Cendyn. She currently leads on all marketing and communication efforts for Cendyn within these growing regions, heads up our marketing strategy for all our global partners, leads on all product marketing efforts and is our brand ambassador.

    More from Nicki Graham

    About Cendyn

    Cendyn is the leading innovative cloud software and services provider for the hospitality industry. With a focus on integrated hotel CRM, hotel sales, and revenue strategy technology platforms, Cendyn drives sales, marketing and revenue performance for tens of thousands of hotels across the globe. The Cendyn Hospitality Cloud offers a complete set of software services for the industry, aligning marketing, sales and revenue teams to optimize their strategies and drive performance and loyalty across their business units. With offices in Boca Raton, Atlanta, Boston, San Diego, London, Munich, Singapore, Sydney, Bangkok and Tokyo, Cendyn proudly serves clients in 143 countries, delivering over 1.5 billion data-driven, personalized communications on behalf of their customers every year. For more information on Cendyn, visit

    Nicola Graham
    Director of Marketing, International
    Phone: +442080683195
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