Sentiment of the Week: Glamour at Las Vegas Casino Hotels
July 2, 2015
No city in North America embodies glamour better than Las Vegas. The so-called “sin capital of the world” projects a unique mix of gaudy flamboyance coupled with casual cool. This week, I examined seven hotel and casino properties in Las Vegas to find out what kind of customer experience they are providing the tourists who come to get a taste of the glamorous life.
Of the properties examined, the Venetian is the most highly reviewed and has a very positive sentiment of .6, the highest in the group studied. The second highest in terms of sentiment is the Bellagio at .5. Both of these hotels stand much higher in sentiment than the rest of the hotels studied. Overall, all of the hotels have a positive sentiment, which bodes well for travelers to Las Vegas.
Using Clarabridge to examine top mentions within reviews, I found the top ten themes by volume. To analyze hotel experience, I then used the Clarabridge sentiment score to examine customer sentiment. Clarabridge measures positivity or negativity on an 11 point scale from -5 to +5, 0 being neutral. I aggregated data from online review sites where customers gave reviews from 1-5.
Restaurants were the mostly commonly mentioned topic, followed by casinos and then room product (similar to room quality and selection).
“Guest room” was the highest-average reviewed topic by theme, with a review rating of 3.68. Over 23% of all reviews for guest rooms rated these hotels a 5 in this regard (the highest possible score). This high performance was driven by room décor, which had a sentiment of 2.1(compared to the .2 average of all hotels). Other strengths were lodging amenities, which scored very closely to guest rooms in terms of review rating. Guests mentioned positively the soft pillows, quality beds, and sheets.
All of the hotels were weak in the areas of room cleanliness and the check-in process; these were the two lowest-scored areas, averaging 46% detractors (review ratings scored 1-3).
Here are a few examples of customer comments about guest rooms:
The room was beautiful with a huge bathroom, dreamy beds, and nice amenities.
The last room I had was one of the newer ones and it was beautiful.
The room was absolutely stunning, the décor, the cleanliness, everything was absolute perfection.
i did not even get a treatment…the rooms are amazing, diff saunas, cold room, roman baths etc…amazing vibe
And here are some comments customers had about lodging amenities:
And the bed, oh my god, the bed was the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in with plush comforter and pillows.
The bed was comfortable with plenty of pillows.
High ceilings and a generous footprint, ceiling high leather headboards accent the plush pillows and bedding with honeycomb cotton blankets.
The rooms are minimalist and spacious, with tubs and showers for couples in most rooms, king beds with goose down blankets and pillows, and velvet couches.
By weighing the impact of the sentiment score on individual themes, we can locate key areas that are influencing the overall customer experience. As in many industries, staff has a disproportionate impact on customer review ratings for hotels. In my examination of these Las Vegas casino properties, comments regarding the staff have an overall 2.21 point review score impact, which is almost 50% of the total rating.
Aside from staff, here are a few areas that should be immediately addressed to improve sentiment.
Clarify the booking process
The most negative theme by review rating is room reservation, which has a -1.6 review score rating decline when mentioned negatively. This is largely due to the lack of transparency when booking is conducted through third-parties. Customers complained about fees that were not exposed prior to booking as well as poorer quality rooms.
These are some examples of comments about room reservations:
I think that it is completely bogus to charge an addition fee on a hotel room that I booked through one the hotels.com/expedia/orbits websites.
I booked this hotel with hotels.com and I am very disappointed because when I booked it says no resort fee,but when I got there well surprise there was.
Negatives: Well that goddamn resort fee came of nowhere as I booked Expedia, but F me I guess everyone does that BS.
In-room technology was another factor with a negative impact on the overall customer experience. This was universally because of in-room Wi-Fi not being fast enough. As the number of internet connected devices has exploded, this area of customer experience has changed from being a “nice to have” to an expected amenity. On a positive note, customer find TVs to be of excellent size and picture quality. Here’s what customers had to say:
but really frustrated me was paying such a high resort fee with terrible WiFi service, munchie tray totally empty.
The resort fee is a joke of course – the internet was very slow – my 3G Sprint phone was faster (and if you know how slow Sprint 3G is, you know that is slow…)
The fee included some crappy coupons and Wifi that was so terrible I ended up turning It off and just using my 4G.
Focus on room cleanliness
Although it makes sense that room cleanliness and room maintenance are of importance to customers, certainly some hotels address this area of customer experience better than others. Complaints about mold, dirty carpets, bloody sheets, broken shower heads, and a litany of other basic service related tasks all destroy customer review ratings. However, clean and well-maintained rooms all have a measurably positive impact on review rating. This might give certain hotels the confidence to invest more in maintaining these aspects of the guest experience.
Also upon check in my toilet was not working, and they were unable to fix it until the morning.
Broken shower controls meant I was taking lukewarm showers my entire trip and the video checkout did not work.
The floors, walls, bathtub, you name it were stained, torn, and in some cases had been punctured.
Overall, it appear that keeping Las Vegas hotel guests satisfied means paying attention to the basics of the hospitality industry: a good reservation experience, clean rooms, and premium amenities. They may be dazzled by the glamour of the city, but they still demand a good customer experience.
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Dheepan Ramanan is a data scientist at Clarabridge. Follow him on Twitter @DheepanRamanan.