In the dynamic hospitality industry, guest feedback serves as a compass, guiding hoteliers towards excellence and ensuring the satisfaction of their valued customers. By effectively collecting, analyzing, and acting upon guest feedback, hoteliers can unlock a treasure trove of insights that can transform their operations, enhance guest experiences, and foster enduring loyalty.
In a recent article, Robert Schimmel from Cendyn explains the importance of focusing on collecting “valuable and actionable data from your guests” and warns against sending out the same generic survey. He adds: “It’s not the best tactic for engagement and doesn’t deliver the most relevant results.”
Here, we consider Schimmel’s advice on how hoteliers can manage guest feedback with a multi-pronged strategy before and after the guest’s stay, how technology can assist and why you’ll reap rewards by embracing customer feedback.
Laying the Foundation for Success: Creating a Guest Feedback Strategy
The path to harnessing the power of guest feedback begins with crafting a comprehensive strategy that aligns with your hotel’s unique goals and objectives. This strategy should encompass a multi-pronged approach that encompasses various touchpoints throughout the guest journey, from pre-stay interactions to post-stay follow-ups.
Pre-Stay Surveys: Setting the Stage for Personalized Experiences
Pre-stay surveys offer a golden opportunity to understand guest expectations and preferences before stepping in your hotel. These surveys should be designed with intention, gathering crucial information such as allergies, dietary restrictions, and travel arrangements. By tailoring your services based on these insights, you can create a personalized experience that sets the tone for an exceptional stay.
Post-Stay Surveys: Gauging Satisfaction and Driving Improvement
Post-stay surveys provide a valuable platform to assess guest satisfaction levels and identify areas for improvement. These surveys should be carefully crafted to elicit specific feedback on various aspects of the stay, from the comfort of the accommodations to the quality of the service. By analyzing this feedback, hoteliers can better understand guest perceptions and make data-driven decisions to enhance their offerings.
Schimmel adds that “Personalization is key here,” with customized questions encouraging valuable conversations, identifying areas of improvement and helping you address them.
When engaging with frequent guests, it’s crucial to strike a balance. Send periodic surveys to sidestep survey fatigue rather than inundating them with surveys at every check-out. Each question posed should carry a purpose: fine-tuning operations, elevating services, and crafting a personalized guest journey that beckons them repeatedly.
The post-stay survey is also a golden opportunity to ask guests to share their experiences through online reviews on platforms like Tripadvisor or Google. Often, those guests who’ve had a satisfactory stay might not consider leaving an online review unless prompted.
The more reviews received, the easier it becomes for potential guests to discover you online and make informed booking decisions.
Leveraging Technology: A Game-Changer in Guest Feedback Management
In today’s data-driven world, technology plays a pivotal role in effectively managing guest feedback. Robust customer relationship management (CRM) systems streamline data organization, enabling hoteliers to analyze feedback patterns, track trends, and identify recurring issues. CRM systems also facilitate personalized guest outreach, allowing hoteliers to address concerns and foster stronger relationships proactively.
Alternatively, consider a dedicated customer feedback solution, such as CustomerCount from IHS Provider MobiusVP. This cloud-based survey solution provides intuitive real-time reporting and detailed and dynamic data-gathering capabilities to support process improvement efforts, build customer loyalty and improve your bottom line.
Harnessing the Power of Positive Reviews
Positive online reviews are powerful marketing tools, influencing booking decisions and attracting new guests. To encourage guests to leave reviews, hoteliers should make the process effortless and accessible. Provide clear instructions and direct links to review platforms, and express gratitude for their feedback.
Addressing Negative Reviews: Turning Challenges into Opportunities
Negative reviews, while challenging, present opportunities for growth and improvement. Hoteliers should respond promptly and professionally to negative feedback, expressing empathy and outlining steps to rectify the situation. Hoteliers can transform negative experiences into positive outcomes by demonstrating a commitment to resolving issues.
Embracing Feedback: A Path to Continuous Improvement
A culture of embracing guest feedback is essential for continuous improvement and operational excellence. Hoteliers should encourage staff to actively seek and listen to feedback, empowering them to address concerns promptly and effectively. By fostering a feedback-driven environment, hotels can foster a culture of excellence that permeates every aspect of the guest experience.
Guest feedback is a valuable asset that hoteliers can leverage to enhance the guest experience, drive operational excellence, and foster enduring loyalty. By implementing a comprehensive feedback management strategy, embracing technology, and cultivating a culture of feedback, hoteliers can confidently navigate the guest feedback landscape, transforming their properties into havens of hospitality.
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Source: Robert Schimmel for E-Hotelier.