As you can most likely tell from our annual benchmark reports, we love data here at Revinate. Nothing makes us happier than analyzing troves of data to provide critical insights to our customers and the hospitality industry as a whole. Because of the depth and breadth of data that we have access to, including online reviews, post-stay surveys and marketing campaign results, we are also occasionally asked to partner with academic institutions on their research studies.
Recently, we worked with Cornell University researchers Chris K. Anderson and Elizabeth Martyn on a study they conducted on the impact of training on customer satisfaction. Specifically, the researchers were keen to uncover whether or not “during face-to-face encounters, employees’ ability to effectively manage the emotional components of the guest interaction makes a major contribution to a guest’s satisfaction with the outcome.” This ability to manage guest interactions has become increasingly important as technology continues to reduce the need for guests to engage with hoteliers, meaning that engagement today may often be the result of service failure.
The study focused on the front desk staff of two hotels under the same management group in Nevada and looked at three qualities important to guest satisfaction: engagement, communication, and attitude. Using data from Revinate Surveys, which captures post-stay feedback at the hotels being studied, the research team found that guests are more influenced by attitude and engagement than communication. However, communication is the only quality linked to positive outcomes when it comes to problem-resolution with guests, so it’s a key skill needed by employees.
The study also looked at whether training had an effect on employee behavior and whether guests reported an improvement in staff helpfulness. One hotel received only online training while the second hotel received both online training and regular face-to-face training sessions. The results were clear: the hotels using a blended training approach experienced increases in all five guest satisfaction measures (NPS, TA Overall, TA Service, Helpfulness of Staff, and Satisfaction with Problem Resolution). The hotel that just received online training recorded no significant change in front desk personnel behavior following the training. This underscores just how important intensive employee training is in the hotel industry.
The full research report includes many more insights than this quick summary so be sure to read the full research report to learn more.