The Morning Star Express Hotel is a 126-room hotel in the capital of South Africa, Pretoria. Opened in 2010 as an independent hotel targeting business and leisure segments, the hotel aims to provide guests with a comfortable but affordable stay with a focus on value and quality. Located in the heart of Pretoria it is within close proximity of all official government agencies as well as leisure activities and shopping malls.
When it opened, The Morning Star Express hotel was a new entry into an already established market, with industry giants like Sun International, Protea, Southern Sun, and City Lodge Group. These groups are not only household names, but they have large marketing budgets and can afford dedicated sales and marketing teams. In order to compete, the Morning Star Express had to do things smarter and more efficiently.
Philip Lategan, the hotel General Manager, signed up for Revinate service in October of 2013. A seasoned hotel professional, Philip understands the importance of online reputation and guest feedback. He says, “All the properties that I have managed in the past were driven by guest feedback. I am a firm believer that when your guests are happy, everything else falls in place.”
Mr. Lategan decided to look for an automated solution for guest satisfaction feedback for a number of reasons. First, he feared that all the in-house guest feedback wasn’t reaching his office as bad feedback had a way of being misplaced. Second, he struggled with gathering feedback from all the OTAs or produce informative reporting that allowed him to make informed and accurate decisions on how to improve services and products.
With Revinate, the hotel has been able to build its reputation and move from number fifteen to number four on the TripAdvisor Popularity Index ranking. He says, “Being on the first page on Tripadvisor has huge benefits to our direct bookings.”
In addition, with comprehensive guest feedback at the hotels’ disposal, the hotel has been able to dramatically improve its service and offerings. Mr. Lategan says, “We carefully listened to our guest feedback and started adding products and services, such as a bar, lounge, restaurant, conference facility, tea/coffee makers, telephones, safes and free WiFi. While we still operate as an “express” with limited services (i.e no room service) I consider the hotel to be the best value for the money in Pretoria. And guests agree; since using Revinate The Morning Star Express hotel has consistently increased its average rating across all 5-service categories on review sites, including cleanliness, location, rooms, service and value.
Since using Revinate the hotel has also improved its review quality and quantity. This success is largely attributed to Revinate’s Post-Stay Surveys, which submits reviews to TripAdvisor for publication after a guest sends feedback to the hotel. In fact, more than 40% of all the feedback the Morning Star Express hotel collects comes from Post-Stay Surveys. As feedback quantity increases, the hotel has more insight about the guest experience and is able to make changes that please customers. As a result, its Net Promoter Score has gone from 67% to 82%, which makes Philip extremely satisfied. He says, “With Revinate, the team is now more focused on guest feedback, which is my operating ethos for running hotels.”