🔌 The New Integrations Experience

Have you run into any of these issues when listing your integrations on Hotel Tech Report before?

  1. "We have a lot of integrations but listing lots of integrations at once takes forever"
  2. "I want to list all of our integrations to get them verified but some of our partners aren't listed on HTR"
  3. "How can I tell how many verified integrations I have and how many I need to meet the category average or most integrated in the category for the HotelTechAwards?"

Well, thanks to Laura @ protel and Thomas @ Revinate--you can sleep easy tonight with the all new redesigned integrations experience 🙌

Now you can...

  • Add dozens of integrations in seconds without leaving the search bar...
  • Easily add integrations even if the partner isn't listed with the new fast add flow...
  • Check your relative integrations counts within your category for the HotelTechAwards
  • Sort by integration status to quickly find unverified integrations and get them verified to get get verified credit
  • (BONUS) 🎸 Watch Jimmy Melt Faces @ Woodstock


I. Add dozens of integrations in seconds without leaving the search bar...


II. Easily add integrations even if the partner isn't listed with the new fast add flow...


III. Check your relative integrations counts within your category for the HotelTechAwards

IV. Sort by integration status to quickly find unverified integrations and get them verified


V. (BONUS) 🎸 Watch Jimmy Melt Faces @ Woodstock


New Review Verification Options for Hoteliers

Hoteliers at small independent properties or vacation rentals can now leave reviews and get verified without needing a hotel email domain using one of our new approved verification options built right into the review flow.

👏 Feature request inspiration shout out: Elena @ Monscierge

New Quality Signal Variables Update

Similar to the way Google is constantly adding new variables to improve the accuracy and usefulness of their search rankings, we are constantly looking for new ways to do improve the HT Score.

At the end of March we will be rolling out several updates centered around building additional quality signals into the HT Score to increase its robustness and accuracy. Most of these variables were introduced into this year's HotelTechAwards (view scoring methodology) and now will be built into the HT Score algorithm as of the end of March.

Below we will cover (1) What are the new variables and (2) How to improve your HT Score/rankings.

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I. How the new bonus variables/quality signals are weighted in the total HT Score calculation

The majority of the HT Score 90%+ is entirely based on customer reviews and always will be. The below Please note that these are relative percentage weights, not raw points in the HT Score.

Verified customer reviews & ratings variables make up 85% weighting of the HT Score algorithm with additional quality signals making up the additional 15%.

  • Customer reviews related variables (85%): Customer reviews (80%, includes quantity, quality and recency of reviews), Customer advocates bonus (2.5%), Global reach bonus (2.5%)
  • Additional quality signals: Partner recommendations bonus (3%), Verified customer support bonus (3%), Integrations bonus (2%), Company staying power (3%), Company resources (3%)

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II. What are the new variables

👏 Customer Advocates Bonus

  • What is it: Top 3 products with the most reviews (aka customer advocates) in the category will receive additional points
  • Why is it important: The current HT Score only looks to identify if company meets the category average number of reviews; however, it doesn't fairly reward top companies with extremely high customer engagement.
  • How to earn points: Most reviews // 2nd most // 3rd most
  • Weight: up to 2.5%

🌏 Global Reach Bonus

  • What is it: Bonus for products who have 5 or more verified reviews from at least 3 countries
  • Why is it important: Scaling to, and maintaining, a global presence is resource intensive and requires strong product market fit, experienced leadership and strong business fundamentals each of which are strong success indicators. Hotel Tech Report's audience is also global and therefore the probability of best-fit matches for users increases for companies with a global presence.
  • How to earn points: >3 countries // >5 countries // >7 countries
  • Weight: up to 2.5%

📞 Certified Support Bonus

  • What is it: Verified customer support certification achieved based on the Global Support Certification Standards
  • Why is it important: Customer support is one of the most critical decision factors when hoteliers are selecting new vendors but is also one of the most difficult to assess in the buying process. Companies who have opened their systems and invested into tools and processes to help their clients succeed and have achieved HTR's GCSC Customer Support Certification earn additional points.
  • How to earn points: Level I // Level II // Level III // Level IV
  • Weight: up to 3%

🤝 Partner Recommendations Bonus

  • What is it: Products who have at least 5 partner recommendations.
  • Why is it important: Partner recommendations are a strong quality indicator and vote of confidence from industry experts that speak to the product, team and company
  • How to earn points: >5 recommendations // >10 recommendations

    // >15 recommendations

  • Weight: up to 3%

🔌 Integrated Vendor Bonus

  • What is it: Products who have at least the average number of verified integrations relative to other products in their category.
  • Why is it important: Integrations are one of the most critical elements to increase tooling efficiency, time savings and the ability to leverage data while reduce redundancies, manual entry and disparate data.
  • How to earn points: Meets category average // Most integrations in category
  • Weight: up to 2.5%

👬 Company Resource Bonus

  • What is it: Companies with at least 15 employees
  • Why is it important: Having more resources means a company has more to invest in their product, R&D, customer support and growth. Since many companies' funding rounds are not publicly available or they are funded by cashflow, number of employees serves as a proxy for resource availability.
  • How to earn points: Company size
  • Weight: up to 3%

Company Staying Power Bonus

  • What is it: Companies who have been in business for at least 3 years.
  • Why is it important: When choosing technology vendors, hoteliers are looking for a partner that will be around for the long haul. More years in business is a strong indicator of a stable and sustainable company that will be around for more to come.
  • How to earn points: Years in business
  • Weight: up to 3%

💬 Minimum Review Threshold Update

  • What is it: Previously, the category average was calculated based on the average number of reviews for products in the category with >10 reviews but will now only factor in products with >30 reviews.
  • Why is it important: As categories develop and have higher review volumes, products with <30 reviews were given an unfair advantage despite have 1/3 or even less the number of reviews and being able to compete side-by-side. The minimum review threshold will remain in place to ensure a level playing field for smaller companies who don't have as many clients to get reviews from but will also fairly compensate companies who have drastically higher review volumes and customer advocates by increasing the requirements for the category average.
  • How to earn points: Check the minimum review threshold for your products in your vendor dashboard and make sure you are above the category average.


III. How to improve your HT Score/rankings

Below are 6 simple ways to improve your HT Score or you can check out our more in-depth guide in the help center here.

  1. Get more reviews Learn more
  2. Get more partner recommendations Learn more
  3. List and verify your integrations Learn more
  4. Get more reviews from clients in other countries Learn more
  5. Earn the GCSC Customer Support Certification Learn more
  6. Review the bonus variables to identify more opportunities Learn more

Want to get custom recommendations to improve your HT Score?

Write in via the live chat on Hotel Tech Report and we'll send you your current standing and how to improve as shown in the screenshot below.

Aged Reviews Update

Beginning October 1, 2020, reviews more than 18-months old will no longer be factored into average ratings in the HT Score algorithm.

Read the full update  

How will this impact my HT Score?

If you have reviews that are more than 18-months old your score may be impacted.  If you have a few bad old reviews you may see your score increase and if your only good reviews are from a lifetime ago and the only thing keeping your HT Score up you might see the opposite happen.  Lastly, if you have no recent reviews and your only reviews are from more than 18-months ago you will likely see your HT Score drop quite a bit.

How can I prepare for the update?

For most companies there is nothing you will need to do to prepare other than continue with business as usual making sure you have a sustainable review strategy in place to make sure you have fresh review content that is representative of your current product and service offering.  If you have old reviews that you want to make sure continue to count towards your averages you can also use the Premium 1-Click Review Update feature.

_____________

Want more detail?

  1. What problem will this update solve?
  2. How will this impact my HT Score?
  3. How can I prepare for the update?

What problem will this update solve?

Software companies and products are constantly changing with most having rapid update cycles as quickly as 2-week sprints.  Having recent content on profiles ensures that reviews, descriptions and scoring are relevant for the company's current product and service offering.  For this reason, we added the review recency variable to the HT Score.  While this helps give weight to ensure that profile content is recent and relevant, it doesn't factor in the fact that old content is less valuable and relevant.  Therefore a few bad reviews from ages ago can continue to bog down a vendor's HT Score even if their recent reviews and ratings are off the charts positive.  It is for that reason that the HT Score average ratings will no longer include aged reviews (ie. reviews more than 18-months old).  The two main scenarios this update is targeted at improving on are: 

  1. Companies have positive client reviews from years ago but negative reviews ever since and yet are able to inaccurately remain in top positions above companies with outstanding raving feedback from clients for the last year plus
  2. Companies with negative client reviews from a few years ago that are still being disproportionately weighed down by them even though all of their recent reviews from the past year plus are outstanding

How will this impact my HT Score?

If you have reviews that are more than 18-months old your score may be impacted.  If you have a few bad old reviews you may see your score increase and if your only good reviews are from a lifetime ago and the only thing keeping your HT Score up you might see the opposite happen.  Lastly, if you have no recent reviews and your only reviews are from more than 18-months ago you will likely see your HT Score drop quite a bit.

How can I prepare for the update?

For most companies there is nothing you will need to do to prepare other than continue with business as usual making sure you have a sustainable review strategy in place to make sure you have fresh review content that is representative of your current product and service offering.  If you have old reviews that you want to make sure continue to count towards your averages you can also use the Premium 1-Click Review Update feature.

Still have questions?

Reach out anytime via the 24/7 livechat on Hotel Tech Report, we're here to help!

🔄 1-click review refresh to improve HT Score

Want any easy way to make the content on your profiles more relevant while also boosting your review recency to improve your HT Score and get prep'd for this year's 2020 HotelTechAwards? We've got great news for you, now you can! With a single click you send a request to clients to confirm and refresh their review.  If you like this feature you can thank your fellow Premium Member Leif @ Atomize for requesting it

See how it works

Binary to gradual + recency cap + minimum review threshold increase updates

Google updates it's search algorithm an estimated 500-600 times per year.  Each of these updates is designed to create the best user experience possible and improve based upon new data and market developments.  In a similar fashion, Hotel Tech Report updates it's HT Score algorithm to improve recommendations and create a better user experience on the site for hoteliers seeking technology vendor information.

The next update will deploy onFriday February 22nd at 12:00 A.M. PST and will include 3 updates outlined in more detail below: 

  • Update #1: Increase in category minimum review threshold
  • Update #2: Shift from binary to gradual adjustments
  • Update #3: Ceiling put on review recency requirement
  • Update #4: Market leader badge

For the next update, we will be crowd sourcing recommendations and getting the community's opinion on the best way to serve our global user base of hotel tech buyers.  If you would like to be a part of the decision making process for the next HT Score update--please sign-up here.

Want to calculate your score before the new update? 

Try the HT Score Calculator

Update #1: Increase in category minimum review threshold

At Hotel Tech Report we believe that size is not an indicator of quality. There are many smaller companies with wonderful products that can often be superior to those created by larger companies.  In fact, that's why part of our mission has always been to level the playing field and in many cases we have already seen this come to life as startups with great products and client relationships upset major industry incumbents taking the top rated spot in their respective categories.  

The mechanism we first implemented to create this 'leveling of the playing field' was the "minimum review threshold" (aka avg. # of reviews in the category) which creates a fair environment for all companies who have proven viability and market traction (i.e. can be trusted by hoteliers).  Previously, we calculated this variable by taking the average # of reviews for any company with >1 review in a category to create that fairness.  (Not sure how to see where your products stand in terms of meeting the minimum review threshold? Learn more)

Example of Update #1: 

Let's consider a category with 30 vendors in it.  18 of those vendors have more than 1 review (and the average of them is 5 reviews).  The other 12 vendors have more than 10 reviews (and their avg. is 15 reviews).  And let's take the perspective of Brain Software, a fictional company in the category with 5 reviews.

  • Before the update: Since Brain Software has 5 reviews, and the category minimum review threshold (aka average of products with more >1 review) is 5 reviews, they receive full credit on this metric.
  • After the update: Since the new average is 15 reviews te average calculated when factoring in only companies with >10 reviews), Brain Software is now below the category average and will not receive full credit on this criteria.

Running extensive tests on our data set we have found that this variable would produce better recommendations by moving the requirement to >10 reviews which at a high level is because companies with fewer than 10 reviews don't have a large enough sample size to be relevant.  This update helps provide more trusted recommendations to hoteliers and ultimately benefits both sides of the marketplace.

Update #2: Shift from binary to gradual adjustments

The second area we've improved the 'minimum review threshold' is by removing the binary element of that calculation to eliminate scoring volatility.  Several vendors experienced wide swings in scoring as they hovered around the category average (aka minimum review threshold) and this will no longer be the case with this new update. 

  • Before the update: ​Binary, you are either above or below the average and if you are below, your score is discounted a full 20%.
  • After the update: Sliding scale that gradually adjusts based on variance from the mean.

The Bottom Line:
Companies below the category average will be incremental dinged for the variance between their review count and the average review count of other products in their category.  To get full credit for this variable, make sure your company hits the category average.  If you are below it, you will see this notification both on your profile as well as in your dashboard showing how many reviews you need to reach the category minimum review threshold and earn full credit:

(Note: This part of the update will be rolled out in mid-March) 

Update #3: Cap put on review recency requirement

In November 2018 we rolled out the addition of the Review Recency variable.  This variable served to take into account the fact that software (SaaS) products evolve rapidly and many companies deploy code on a bi-weekly basis.  Therefore, a software product today may barely resemble the software product 1, 2 or 3 years from now and consequently, and this variable helped:

  1. Incentivize new/fresh content that increases relevancy and accuracy: Reviews are needed to paint an accurate picture of what it's like to work with a given company at the time when the prospect is considering said company so more recent reviews serves to paint a more real time and accurate picture. 
  2. Signal product adoption rate to buyers: Install base expansion (aka. growth/adoption) is an indicator of product-market fit, this allows fast growing companies to stand out more by signaling their growth via customer reviews helping indicate to buyers which companies are growing.  For these reasons we implemented the Review Recency variable in our last HT Score update.

The Problem:We found that when companies first sign-up with Hotel Tech Report and get a surge of reviews, it makes the competition unfair for those who have have recent reviews but may not have a recent surge since relatively speaking they have a larger base to begin with.  Therefore have decided to cap the requirement to get full credit for theShare of Voice variable to 10 reviews for the trailing-90 days.  So as long as you have 10 reviews in the last 90-days, your company checks the box and will receive full credit for review recency.  We believe that this is a very fair and reasonable target to demonstrate client growth (grow up to 40 clients per year and often less) and a sound cross-section of current market sentiment. 

The Bottomline: As long as you hit the minimum requirement for fresh content (at least 10 reviews in the trailing 90-days), you are covered and will get full credit for recency.

Update #4: Market leader badge

Each year Hotel Tech Report hosts our annual People's Choice Award honoring the company with the most customer advocates across 60+ categories on Hotel Tech Report.  Now this will be built into the UX of the platform and each category will have their own version of the People's Choice Award- they will consequently receive a badge that indicates they are the "market leader"

Review recency update

What is the Review Recency variable?

Review recency is a variable in the HT Score (albiet a small one) to ensure that products have at least some recent reviews for buyers to get an accurate picture of the vendor's current product and service offering.

How do I make sure that I earn full points for review recency?

Make sure you have at least 10 reviews in the trailing 6-months. While its a low bar, it at least provides some current feedback for buyers doing their research, its also an easy goal for vendors (~1-2 reviews per month on average).
  

Why is Review Recency important?

85% of consumers believe that reviews older than 3-months are not relevant anymore and don’t consider these in their decision making.  Recency is an important signal of quality, relevancy and trust.

(SaaS) products evolve rapidly and many companies deploy code on a bi-weekly basis.  Therefore, a software product today may barely resemble the company's product from 6-months or a year ago and consequently, and this variable helps:

  1. Incentivize new/fresh content that increases relevancy and accuracy: Reviews are needed to paint an accurate picture of what it's like to work with a given company at the time when the prospect is considering said company so more recent reviews serves to paint a more real time and accurate picture. 
  2. Signal product adoption rate to buyers: Install base expansion (aka. growth/adoption) is an indicator of product-market fit, this allows fast growing companies to stand out more by signaling their growth via customer reviews helping indicate to buyers which companies are growing.  

How do I know if my company has enough recent reviews to maximize our HT Score?

If you see the alert below on your profiles, it means your product doesn't have 10 reviews in the last 6-months. To get rid of the alert, run an automated review campaign or send a few 1-click review requests.

 

Can past reviewers update their review to make it current?

Yes.  Hoteliers can simply write another review and it will update and replace their old review (see: How Hoteliers Can Update a Review) or Premium Members can leverage the 1-click Review Refresh feature in the Automated Review Manager to keep profile content fresh and relevant.

Want to improve your HotelTechScore and Ranking?

Learn how

Still have questions?

Reach out anytime via the 24/7 on-site live chat to speak with an HTR representative.

Removal of profile completion update

Remember in the HotelTechAwards when companies across 6 categories made a mad dash for the finish line and ended up creating ties? The reason for this is that like Google's algorithm, the HT Score evolves over time.  The ways it evolves over time are either (a) old variables become bad or less relevant signals of quality or (b) new more relevant variables are introduced to make the rankings better (aka. make it easier for users to find what they are looking for).

In this case, the improvement to the HT Score is coming in the form of removing an old variable that is no longer relevant and is inflating scores (equally across the board for all vendors) and making the HT Score less helpful to users.  This variable is profile completeness, and profile completeness is what caused the multi-way ties across six categories.

In the early days of Hotel Tech Report when the site served as simple directory of categories and companies one of the most important variables to help hoteliers learn about products was providing helpful content on your profile.  As such, if a vendor completed 80% or more of their profile, they received a profile completeness incentive which increased their HT Score by 10.  The problem is that now that almost all vendors have over 80% profile completion, this 10 point boost is actually making the rankings less effective.  

Let's look at an example:

Company 1:
Raw HT Score = 91 pts
Profile completeness = 80%
Actual HT score with completeness boost = 91+10= 101
....but since max HT Score is 100,their score displayed is 100

Company 2:
Raw HT Score = 99 pts
Profile completeness = 80%
Actual HT score with completeness boost = 99+10= 109
...but since max HT Score is 100,their score displayed is 100

So while company 2 technically has a higher score (99) than company 1's (91), both show as 100 after factoring in the profile completeness incentive.

FAQs

Will my company's score change as a result  of this change?

All companies will be impacted equally with the removal of the 10 point profile completeness incentive as a variable.  Only company's with a perfect 100 point HT Score will maintain this.

What can I do to improve my score?

All other variables of the HT Score remain the same.  To read more about the other variables you can do sohere.  Hotel Tech Report users are looking for vendors who have verified customer feedback so its pretty simple, the HT Score is all about customer feedback.  More and better reviews is the key to attracting more hoteliers and improving your HT Score.

Claim profile boost update

Summary:

  • What is changing? While the max HotelTechScore you can see visible on Hotel Tech Report is 100, vendors currently have the ability to earn 110 points because of an extra boost built into the algorithm for claimed profiles
  • The Problem: Vendors currently have the ability to earn 110 points because of an extra boost built into the algorithm for claimed profiles.  Initially this helped new vendors gain a superficial boost while they began their first review campaigns, however, now that 300+ top vendors have claimed their profiles and ran their first review campaigns--it serves no purpose (and actually makes the HT Score less accurate!).  With 5 category ties at the end of the HotelTechAwards, several companies  expressed a need to improve the HotelTechScore.
  • Ranking Change: While the 'claim profile boost' being removed will likely lead to a decreased HT Score, it will do so across the board.  As such, while your score may change--your ranking will not.

Why is this changing?

Like Google's search algorithm that has many signals (or factors) that get improved and refined over time to help improve search and identify high quality content providers, the HotelTechScore is the same.  

With companies surging towards the finish during the 2018 HotelTechAwards, we quickly found many vendors reaching the 100pt ceiling tying for 1st place (imagine if every search result in Google were equally as enticing...Google would be less useful).  As a means for helping hoteliers to identify and understand technology, we continue to add signals and variables to help hoteliers identify and learn about the best tech and what differentiates each product.

New criteria coming soon:

  • Monday February 25th:Preliminary removal of the claim profile boost
  • May 2018:Implementing tie breaker criteria into the HT Score Learn more

Will my companies' HT Score drop after the update?

Unless your company had an actual score of 100, your score will drop to reflect your actual raw score without the claim profile boost.  While scores will drop, rankings will immediately be more accurate.  On Monday February 26th Hotel Tech Report will remove the claim boost for all companies.  If your company's score is lower than expected please review our best practices with tips, tools and templates for running turnkey review campaigns.  If you have any questions as always, please free to reach out anytime via our 24/7 live chat.  


More details and an example of how the claim boost worked

Currently, while the max score you can see visible on Hotel Tech Report is 100, vendors currently have the ability to earn 110 points because of an extra boost built into the algorithm for claimed profiles.

Why can vendors earn higher than 100 currently?
In the early days of Hotel Tech Report, we included a 10 pt boost when a vendor 'claimed' their profile.  We did this in order to give vendors who only had a handful of customer reviews a chance to get reviews and improve their scores.  Since nobody had close to the 100 pt maximum, this helped ensure that vendors across the board (all vendors have this boost) had scores that weren't shockingly low to hoteliers.

What has changed?
Now that our global community of 300+ top hotel tech vendors are committed to our shared mission of transparency and customer feedback to improve our industry, we have had a number of vendors who actually have over 100 pts HotelTechScore.  This is a great thing! 

Congrats to the following vendors: IDeaS, TrustYou, Rainmaker, Mews, Oaky, Guestline, Quore, ALICE, HelloShift, Amadeus, Guestline, HotelIQ and Whistle...your customers  absolutely love your products and services and want to shout it off a mountain top!

So what does this mean?
​Since there is a 10 pts boost for claiming your profile that makes your total points out of 110 instead of 100, but the max HT Score is 100--it means that vendors who have anywhere between 90-100 pts and have claimed their profiles will currently display an HT Score of 100.  

Lets look at an example:

Company A
Raw HT Score: 90 pts
Claimed Profile Boost: 10 pts
Total Score: 100 pts
Displayed Score: 100 pts

Company B
Raw HT Score: 100 pts
Claimed Profile Boost: 10 pts
Total Score: 110 pts
Displayed Score: 100 pts

As you can see, Company B technically has a higher HT Score but because of the claim profile boost both companies appear to have the same HT Score.  It is for this reason we will be removing this boost for claimed profiles.   

Now that almost all companies have claimed their profiles, claiming your profile no longer will add points to your HT Score.

In the example, that means that Company A who has a raw score of 90 will see their score drop when the update is released, and Company B who has a score of 100 will maintain their same score.

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