Guest Feedback Suite Success Story: The Morning Star Express
At Revinate, the relationship with our clients begins with the sale but grows throughout the years. It always delights us to see how our platform helps our customers rise to new heights. One such customer is the Morning Star Express, an independent hotel in Pretoria, South Africa. The hotel signed up for Revinate service in October 2013, purchasing the entire Guest Feedback Suite, which includes Online Reputation Management, On-Site Surveys and Post-Stay Surveys. One year into adoption, we wanted to tell the story of the hotel’s success.
If you’re an active follower of the blog, you will remember that in February 2014, we published a story about the hotel’s success with our Online Reputation Management and Post-Stay Surveys solutions. We were happy to hear from General Manager, Philip Lategan, that the staff of the Morning Star Express was actively using Revinate to listen to its guests. The hotel’s feedback volume had nearly doubled and it had risen ten places on the TripAdvisor Popularity Index. Lategan said, “Guest feedback is the main driver in this hotel, and our entire team is focused on it. With Revinate, we’re constantly making strategic changes to improve the guest experience.”
Because of the hotel’s success with Online Reputation Management and Post-Stay Surveys, Lategan made the decision to add Revinate’s On-Site Surveys to its feedback lineup in April 2014. He says, “We decided to add On-Site Surveys because there was an opportunity to increase feedback even more. We also wanted to upgrade our comment card system, and get analytics on the feedback we collect while guests are still on property,” Lategan added.
The decision paid off when the hotel found that On-Site Surveys did more than increase feedback volume. Because the product comes equipped with customizable notifications, the hotel found that it also enabled service recovery. Lategan says, “Before, people didn’t always tell us when there was an issue. For example, if the air conditioner in a guest room wasn’t working, we sometimes wouldn’t find out until a week or two later in a survey response or an online review. With On-Site Surveys, department managers get a notification right away when a guest makes a complaint. We can identify the problem and resolve it immediately, before the guest checks out.”
Lategan also found that the On-Site Surveys iPad solution created a unique point of interaction between his staff and their guests. “We had a host go around the lobby with the iPad, approaching guests. It had the dual purpose of creating a talking point and increasing our feedback further. Not many hotels in our market have this solution yet, and it’s such a quick and effective way to capture feedback. It takes just a few seconds, and it’s a great way to engage with our guests,” he says.
Now that the Morning Star Express is using the full Guest Feedback Suite, Lategan is pleasantly surprised by the added benefits of the full 360 degree service. “When we first signed up for Revinate service, it was about listening to our guests and solving problems to improve our level of service. But now, Revinate is driving real revenue for us,” says Lategan. In addition to increased feedback volume and improvement on the Popularity Index, Lategan notes that Revinate service is an ROI driver. “We’re now more visible than before on TripAdvisor. Because of this, our occupancy from OTAs increased from 5% to 15%. We were able to increase our average room rates by 15% without negatively impacting sales, thus increasing profits. This boost in revenue is directly related to the surge in feedback volume and the strategic changes we were able to make very quickly because of the data we get from Revinate,” he says.
The Morning Star Express continues to use Revinate’s Guest Feedback Suite as an integrated part of its operations and decision-making. “Revinate makes my life so much easier and it is the best decision I’ve made for this hotel so far,” says Lategan.