Despite all the money and effort hotels put into selecting comfortable beds and soft pillows, a new study suggests that hotel guests are more likely to choose a hotel based on the water pressure in the shower.
A Boston marketing and public relations company has analyzed what people say about hotels by studying more than 18,000 online conversations for a six-month period on various social websites, blogs and forums.
For the first time, the company, Brodeur Partners, used what it calls "conversational relevance" to measure how much people talk about a hotel and how much of it is positive.
What do they say?
When it came to positive overall comments, the Hilton, Marriott and Four Seasons hotel chains got the highest scores in the study.
Conversations about the rooms centered on size, followed by discussions about connectivity and technology, the study found. When guests had conversations about what they like to see or feel in the room, most of the talk was about the shower, specifically the water pressure, surpassing talk about the bed or the sheets.
Jerry Johnson, head of planning for Brodeur Partners, said the advantage of analyzing online conversations is that "you are measuring behavior. You are hearing real honest conversations."
Hotels, he said, may respond to the study by improving whatever hotel feature guests are saying is lacking, perhaps even installing new shower heads.