Any business that wants to flourish and grow needs to be highly responsive to customer feedback. The best hotels in the world are always looking for feedback from guests to improve and better understand guest expectations. Thankfully, hotels today have many sources of guest feedback, including online reviews, old-school comment cards, surveys, in-person feedback and direct feedback left on social media or sent directly to the hotel. In this blog post, we dive into guest feedback channels and provide best practices for acquiring valuable feedback.
There is no doubt that online reviews play an important role in guests’ booking decisions. Since these reviews and scores are highly visible during the booking process, and because guests want to read recent reviews, hotels need to actively encourage satisfied guests to leave online reviews after their stay. Online reviews are valuable for hotels because they usually contain both qualitative feedback, as well as quantitative scoring that can be tracked over time and regularly reported on at hotel performance meetings.
Hotels should encourage guests to leave reviews during the check-out process, in post-stay emails and through regular interactions with staff, especially when the guest has a pleasant experience. Revinate customers can syndicate feedback from surveys to Google or TripAdvisor, a huge win for hotels that want to increase their review volume dramatically.
Old-School Comment Cards
While we see fewer and fewer of these paper feedback cards, they still exist around the lobby, restaurant and hotel rooms in some hotels. While all feedback is helpful, we don’t advocate for these cards since there is no way to adequately track feedback or ensure that it’s read by the right people. We advise any hotels still using comment cards to transition to a digital solution to take advantage of automated reporting and data insights, to name a few popular features.
Post-stay surveys have been helping hoteliers understand what guests love and hate about their stay for decades. One of the most important questions on a typical survey is “How likely are you to recommend us?”. This question provides information to determine what your Net Promoter Score (NPS), which is a common satisfaction metric used in all industries.
Today, many hotels are using in-stay surveys, also offered by Revinate, to check in with guests during the stay to ensure their expectations are being met. If in-stay surveys expose problems during the stay, hotels can act quickly to fix any problems and recover the guest, which has been proven to drive guest loyalty.
Because survey feedback is digital and quantitative, it’s easy to analyze results over time and track progress towards goals. For this reason, survey data scores have become common KPIs in management bonus plans.
Feedback from direct conversations with guests can be powerful if captured in the hotel’s CRM and used to improve the guest experience. Imagine if a guest returns to the front desk after check-in to request a room further away from the elevator and on his next visit the front desk staff member says, “I know you don’t like to be near the elevator, so I have you at the end of the hall.” The guest would surely be delighted by the hotel’s personalized approach.
Hotels need to constantly work to build their guest data platforms to include as much information about guests as they can legally acquire. A detailed CRM can help hotels not only tailor the guest experience, as we note in the example above, but also drive smarter segmentation and personalized emails.
Like online reviews, feedback left on social media sites is valuable for hotels looking to engage with guests. By thoughtfully responding to guests, hotels can show future guests how seriously they take guest feedback and the entire guest experience.
Hotels should encourage guests to share their photos and respond to guest posts in a timely matter. To see some examples of great engagement with guests, look no further than Kimpton Hotels.
To find out how you can get more feedback from guests to drive operational decisions and revenue, reach out. We would love to help.