Do you have a Priceline Problem?
Guess what, hoteliers? The Priceline customer is likely driving down your average review rating. I see it all the time when I train customers and we look at Revinate‘s Reviews Overview page. Priceline ratings are usually substantially lower than other review sites. And once we uncover this fact, the next thing I usually hear is, “Frickin’ Priceline customers. They expect a five-star experience on a two-star budget.” Sound familiar?
Should you blame the customer for expecting a great experience at your hotel and then giving you poor feedback when he is disappointed? I don’t think so. Rather, you should blame yourself for happily using the channel to sell extra inventory but then treating Priceline guests differently than your other guests. The bottom line is that you can’t have it both ways.
I hear it all the time. “Why should someone paying $100 get the same room as someone paying $300?” Why? Because you decided it was OK to sell a room for a $100 and now you need to make sure that the customer is happy. Daniel Craig talks about the Cycle of Positivity which applies here. A happy customer will lead to a great review which will lead to more bookings. An unhappy customer will lead to a bad review which will hinder bookings. It’s a simple concept, yet so easy to screw up.
So what do I suggest? When a Priceline guest checks into the hotel, be welcoming and transparent. I suggest you say something like, “Welcome. I know you didn’t specifically choose this hotel but I hope we can exceed your expectations. If you need anything or have any questions, please let me know. I have you in room 1012, which provides a courtyard view. Will that work?”
Upon checkout, remind the guest that he will be receiving a link to write a review on Priceline. Tell him that you hope he had a great stay and would be willing to share his feedback with others.
Care to differ? Let me know below in the comments section.