Matched leads update: Only vendors with strong reputations will be able to connect with matches

While it is only a small percentage of matched leads that can potentially get matched with vendors without a strong reputation (since matching happens based on verified reviews in the platform)--it can happen on occasion which is why we have always cautioned against vendors without strong reputations on Hotel Tech Report from accepting matched leads (see: Tips Before Getting Started with Leads).

The first thing HTR's users are likely to do when matched vendors reach out is lookup the vendor's profiles on HTR and if they don't see a strong reputation they aren't likely to be interested in following up meaning its a bad experience for them, a bad experience for the vendor.

This is why we recently deployed an update so that now only vendors with strong reputations on Hotel Tech Report will be able to access matched leads.



What is considered a strong reputation?

You must have a minimum of 25 reviews.  25 is the golden number when it comes to consumer/buyer trust of profiles on reviews websites.  Please remember that this is in place to protect buyers and help ensure that you are setup for success when HTR connects you with leads.

💡Need help collecting reviews? Learn more


Why can't vendors without a strong reputation connect with matched leads anymore?

The short answer is that it is a bad experience for users, and vendors without strong reputations on HTR are not likely to be successful with matched leads anyways making it a bad experience for vendors as well (both of which hurt the HTR brand so its a lose-lose-lose!).

Remember, matched leads did not ask to connect with your brand specifically the same way that direct leads do, but rather said that they are open to connecting with recommendations for providers in your category.  Therefore while it is only a small percentage of matched leads that get matched with vendors with weak reputation, it does happen on occasion.  The first thing HTR's hotelier users are likely to do when matched vendors reach out is lookup your profiles on HTR so:

  1. It is a bad experience for our users (hoteliers): Matched leads ask HTR for recommendations and opt in if they are willing to connect with HTR's recommended vendors based on the data in the platform.  That said, the first thing most HTR users do when they are contacted by a potential match is check their profile.  In cases where matches didn't have strong reputations we had some hoteliers reach out frustrated that they were contacted by a vendor with a poor (or no) reputation on HTR (understandably so)
  2. Vendors with bad reputations were getting frustrated: While we had hoteliers frustrated as mentioned in #1, we also had vendors who were contacting these leads frustrated that the leads didn't want to speak with them.  We had to then explain that we advise against connecting with matched leads until their reputation was stronger and even so, many continued to connect with hoteliers and then they get frustrated the hotelier didn't want to talk to them. 
  3. Negative brand impact to HTR: As much as we want to drive as many leads as possible to our community, ultimately trust with our users is our top priority so we decided that we couldn't take this risk anymore and had to block vendors without strong reputations from being able to access matches.  While the system is automated and crowd sourced based on reviews, when users come to HTR to ask for recommendations if we connect them with vendors based on reputation who don't have strong reputations--we lose trust with buyers and it hurts the HTR brand.

The solution: Make sure your product has at least 25 reviews to unlock matched leads and be able to connect with in market buyers looking for solutions in your category.

Q1 '20 Lead Segmentation: Good news, hoteliers are still looking for tech!

Since the entire industry is undoubtedly struggling and there is constantly grim news left and right--we wanted to offer a glimmer of hope to members of the HTR community by sharing a few of our Q1 lead segmentation metrics during the crisis.

Hotels are closed, vendor sales outreach is frozen and conferences are cancelled for the foreseeable future but the good news is that hoteliers are still thinking about tech and buyers are still doing research.  Stay positive hotel techies! #hoteltechstrong


Q1 Lead Segmentation Summary

  • 💼 Top lead job title: Owners (45%)
  • 🛌 Top property size: Mid-sized up to 200 rooms (39.4%)
  • 🏨 Top segment: Boutiques (31%)
  • 📍Top region: Europe (37%)
  • 🏢 Top department: Operations (28%)
  • 🛒 Top category: Property Management Systems (16%)




By job title:

By property size:

By property type:

By region:

By category: 


New Perk: Added visibility lead booster

While all rankings on HTR are (and always will) be entirely based on customer reviews and the HT Score, there are additional placements throughout the site where premium members get enhanced brand placement and visibility through the lead booster perk.

Visibility and reputation are the key to generating more leads on Hotel Tech Report so making sure you are visible throughout the buying journey is critical which is why we're adding boosted visibility in select unbiased areas of the buyer journey.


Rankings within categories are (and always be) entirely based on customer reviews and the HT Score


But Premium Members can now benefit from thousands of additional (non-ranking based) placements throughout key areas of the buyer journey...enter...the 🚀 lead booster


I. Boosted Visibility in the RFP Workflow

Premium Members will now benefit from added visibility in HTR's RFP builder tool where hoteliers can select feature requirements, upload RFP documents and more to streamline their workflow and gather information faster in the research process to find the best fit for their hotels.


II. Boosted Visibility in Direct Request Modals

Hoteliers typically consider 2-3 options when narrowing down their consideration set during the research process so now Premium Members get priority placement and more chances to slide right into hoteliers' consideration set with boosted visibility in direct lead requests.


III. Boosted visibility in alternatives


Large property multiple (1.5x-->2x)

During pricing beta for lead generation, all leads are flat low pricing with a multiple added for hotel size [Small ($20) // Mid-sized (1.25x multiplier) // Large (1.5x multiplier)]. While pricing will continue in beta with flat low cost CPL leads, the multiplier for mid-sized (50-199) and large property leads (200+) will now more closely reflect the large difference in lead value between smaller and larger properties with mid-sized properties going from 1.25-->1.5x small properties and large properties from 1.5x-->2x small properties.

*Free/basic members: please note that base prices are Premium Member base prices and that Premium Members receive 30% discount on all leads

New feature: Lead purchase journey insights

This week we're rolling out a new feature to give you even more intel about leads to let your teams know where in the purchase journey each lead currently is to better tailor your followup. Each purchase journey insight box includes a link with tips to tailor your teams followup based on the purchase stage the buyer is at.

💡Tip: Each insight tile includes a link to more details about the research stage the user is in and tips to help your team optimize their followup! Learn more

Matched lead booster: Accept leads faster to get more matches

The Bottom Line: The faster you accept leads, the more lead matches you'll have access to

Tip: Make sure to accept new leads as quickly as possible to be responsive and make sure you don't miss out

________

When hoteliers are in the market they are looking for 3 things: (1) vendors who meet their criteria and (2) vendors who are responsive and (3) helpful advice and information to help them make an informed decision.

As such, vendors who accept leads the most promptly will be rewarded with...more matched leads!

If leads are purchased by another vendor who matches their criteria before your team accepts the lead--they will be moved to the new 'missed leads' tab.

New missed leads tab overview

72-hour response time to exclude weekends

Firstly, you can thank Sharon from TravelClick for this feature request... 😉

  • PROBLEM: Lots of leads come in on Fridays or over the weekend but the 72-hour lead acceptance window continues counting down over the weekend which means by the time you get to the office Monday you're in a mad dash to accept your leads before they incur a late response penalty
  • SOLUTION: The 72-hour response window no longer includes weekends (ie. you can relax and enjoy your weekends thanks to Sharon ⛱ 🙌)

New late response penalty for expired leads

When a new lead came in your team was notified and we asked that you please respond (either accept or decline) within 24-hours to ensure a positive experience for hoteliers requesting information.

If you didn't respond after 72-hours, we assumed that you were not interested in the lead and the lead's status was marked as 'expired'. At this point we reached out to the hotelier to offer additional assistance to help them find a better fit for their properties.

What's changing?

  • After 72-hours if you don't accept/decline the introduction to the hotelier lead, we still reach out to the lead to offer assistance and help them find a better fit for their properties; however, instead of being marked as 'expired' the lead will remain in your 'New'/inbox with the label 'Late response penalty'
  • You will now be able to accept 'expired' leads, however (1) there will be a $15 late response penalty applied to the lead price and (2) you will be disqualified from the lead refund guarantee for this lead since we cannot guarantee that they are still interested in connecting with you

How can I avoid the late response penalty on leads?

To avoid the late response penalty, please accept or decline all leads within 72-hours to protect your reputation and ensure a positive experience for hoteliers.

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