The perfect score?

A study conducted by the Spiegel Research Center shows that ratings between 4.2 and 4.5 inspire the most trust. According to this study, mistakes happen in every company and every industry, and stressing over a single bad review or striving for an unsustainable perfect score is a waste of time. According to them, more important than the company’s score is the frequency of the reviews. Potential guests are interested in recent feedback. Not in the guest experience of a guest who spent a night in your Bed & Breakfast ten years ago. It is therefore not surprising that Booking.Com only shows reviews from the past three years and no longer includes older reviews in the calculation of the score.

The guests who are currently staying with us confirm this. Like the vast majority of people, they too agree. “A perfect score is too good to be true.” Should we want to strive for it then? The guest in question (who has quite a bit of marketing experience) doesn’t believe so. Because while seventy percent of people filter for a rating of at least four (out of five) stars, only ten percent of customers and/or guests search for the perfect rating. As I absorb this information, I scroll through our own reviews. Google. TripAdvisor. Facebook. Booking.Com. All perfect. Personally, I don’t see the problem with it. The guests who have stayed with us in the last few weeks regularly make a comment about it. It hasn’t stopped them from booking with us. On the contrary. The bookings are (finally) starting to come in.

But with the growing number of perfect reviews, expectations also grow. How long can we continue to comply with this? When will we get the first nine? Or eight? And how do you respond to that? Because let’s be honest: there’s nothing wrong with an eight or a nine. Reviewing is just very personal. What are you considering and what not? Because although it now seems as if there is nothing wrong with our Bed & Breakfast, that is absolutely not true. It’s an old house. When the wind blows very hard, it seeps through the cracks in the door. The doors of the rooms on the ground floor do not close as smoothly as the doors of the rooms on the first floor. There is still a suitcase rack missing in the same rooms. And until we can afford a beautiful new coffee machine, there is still a kettle in the bar. To make tea and instant coffee. The expensive machine is located in the kitchen and we only use it (on request or) at breakfast.

Yet it seems like none of that matters. Not when the guests have had an unforgettable weekend. In a soft bed. With a fresh breakfast. And in beautiful surroundings. By the time they take the last sip of coffee (from the good machine!) on the morning of their departure, they have long forgotten about that difficult door. Because they have already made the decision to come back again. After a successful weekend, the new reviews (just like the bookings) are quietly trickling in again. At that moment the psychology behind the imperfection of a perfect review is lost on me. I don’t look a gift ten in the mouth.