As hotels navigate more bookings and busier operations, feedback becomes vital to improve the experience.
Providing key insight at multiple touchpoints, it’s an essential part of strengthening operations and building solid guest relationships.
And, it doesn’t stop there.
Gathering guest feedback has actually proven to boost bottom lines in a number of ways. Let’s explore.
Influence Via Reviews
Hotel reviews have become a top influencer for guest decision-making. Before booking a stay, checking Google for reviews is likely the first thing they’ll do.
In fact, according to TripAdvisor, 96% of their users say reading hotel reviews is important when planning a trip and 76% of travellers will pay more for a hotel if it has better online reviews.
So how does feedback impact your reviews?
By asking for feedback, you become proactive in managing brand reputation. Rather than having a guest jump to a review site to express their sentiments, asking for feedback encourages the guest to keep complaints in-house. With feedback, you can start a private two-way dialogue about how you plan to resolve the issue and even follow up later on.
Further, if you’re able to gather feedback in the moment, the guest becomes more forgiving and recovery becomes easier. This means better reviews and a greater influence on future travellers.
Improve Employee Performance
When you collect guest feedback, you pinpoint exact departments and employees that need celebration or improvement. Similarly, you locate key touchpoints that need to be monitored.
Whether it be long wait times for dinner or forgetting towels in the room, asking a guest for feedback can help you understand employee performance and have healthy communication to achieve better service.
Again this is an opportunity to be proactive in improving your operations and in turn revenue. While you could wait until a customer feels the need to tell you (which is harder to recover) asking for direct feedback can give you faster, more actionable insight. If you’re consistently capturing this data, you can use it to back up your requests or changes at quarterly meetings with employees or stakeholders.
Better, Tailored Services
The benefits of feedback can be applied to the experience as a whole, but here we’ll focus on the services you provide your guests. Think spa services, valet parking, room service, fitness studio or private work lounges.
Although the customer was likely top of mind when you initially set out to provide your services, over the years preferences change. For example, your range of spa services could be a top seller, but maybe there’s a trending massage that you don’t offer but guests would be willing to spend more on. Guest feedback provides you with that insight, while also perfecting the services you currently offer.
The more services in line with customer preferences, the more service bookings and opportunities for upsell - leading to greater revenue.
Understanding Stance In Your Industry
The past several years have been nothing short of competitive. With more hotels vying to get back to business, finding ways to differentiate yourself becomes a challenge and a drain on your bottom line.
With feedback from guests, however, you can get the upper hand on competition. Get direct insight into how you’re performing amongst other hotels and benchmark your objectives. Whether you send a survey and ask outright how you compare to other accommodations or you ask suggestive questions and compare against competitor reviews, it’s an excellent opportunity to learn from the market and improve.
Boost Overall Pre, In, and Post-Stay Satisfaction
The quintessential way to make a guest happy is delivering an experience that meets and exceeds their expectations.
This doesn’t just mean offering excellent services, but also considering; check-in experience, channels for communication, cleanliness, room upgrade options, post-stay contact, and more.
All of these elements contribute to overall satisfaction.
Collecting feedback is the most effective way to offer exactly what the guest wants. By asking them what they like, dislike and feel indifferent about, you can boost current guest satisfaction but also consistently enhance your hotel to impress future guests. With greater satisfaction comes greater revenue through repeat guests and referrals.
How To Measure The Guest Experience
It’s evident that feedback plays a vital role in developing a strong and successful hotel; Enhancing guest relationships, building a stronger team and providing you with a deeper understanding of your stance in the market.
So how can you begin to collect feedback to experience these benefits?
It starts with adopting a digital tool that can streamline the feedback process. Traditionally feedback was captured with paper and pen - but today there are efficient tools that can help you manage more feedback in less time.
As an example, with Flexkeeping and Benbria’s Loop Experience Platform, you can collect customer feedback and improve backend operations in real time. With these two platforms working together, you will have best in class technology on your side.
Using automated triggers, if a guest provides feedback and expresses a less than amazing experience, Natural Language Processing picks up on keywords and routes the conversation to management. Similarly, if it pertains to a specific department like Housekeeping, that message will get routed accordingly. This ensures the right people see the right feedback and can recover in the moment.
Lastly, a digital tool collects and aggregates data in a way not possible by paper. With insights, you can consistently keep track of the number of responses, common trends in feedback, how long it took to resolve a complaint, and more. Access to this data allows you to hold regular meetings, draft strategies and make sure no guest leaves your hotel unhappy again.
While measuring the customer experience can seem daunting at first, reaping the benefits after building a program can be immensely rewarding. Boosting your bottom line and providing you with invaluable insight, if you haven’t considered collecting feedback, this is your sign to start.
This was a guest blog post by our friends from Benbria, Leaders in Customer Experience and Engagement Solutions.