Most hotel managers look at post-stay reviews and survey feedback as a source of truth on how frontline teams are performing. Whether it’s positive or negative, most hotels are now savvy enough to monitor feedback from post-stay review sites like TripAdvisor and Google. This feedback is critical and can help hotels identify important trends, instances around service issues, punch-list items for property improvement, and more.
Regarding service issues, how are hotels looking at capturing feedback in real time—while the guest is still on property? How can managers measure overall sentiment in real time and action negative feedback immediately?
Whether it’s during-stay or post-stay feedback, hotels must have a plan to address issues immediately. If acquiring feedback during a guest’s stay, make sure there is case management to resolve the issue in a timely fashion. If looking at post stay reviews, make sure to give individualized and sincere responses online.
Why capture feedback?
- Improve customer service
- Reward excellent service
- Turn a detractor into a promoter
From a personnel and training standpoint, measuring feedback will help identify won and missed opportunities. Hoteliers can train staff better and reward staff for their service recovery efforts while elevating overall net promoter scores.
For the potential detractors of a hotel and brand, the ideal situation is that an unhappy guest is identified early in their stay and service recovery is executed before they leave. Generally, travelers who write reviews will reward hotels with positive post stay remarks when there is a quick and easy resolution to their issue.
How to capture feedback?
- Omnichannel and frictionless
- Without being obtrusive
- Keep it simple
The method for capturing real time feedback varies. It can be long-form post stay surveys, phone calls to the room, SMS communications, via social, via email, QR codes, WiFi, and good ol’ paper comment cards. Depending on what a hotel deploys, it’s important to ensure that these methods are omnichannel, unobtrusive, and integrated.
With an omnichannel feedback strategy, guests have various ways to connect. It’s important not to limit the hotel’s communication channels and to select the ones that make sense for the property, location, and what geographies guests come from.
Software should help with the management of communication, but from a consumer standpoint, the less friction, the more likely they will give feedback. The platform that is utilized should be unobtrusive to the guest as well.
Simplicity is important because people have limited attention spans. Long-form surveys lead to survey fatigue which is not a good place to be in when trying to build a program that relies on actionable and immediate feedback. Keep it short and simple.
What to do with feedback?
- React immediately
- Build customer insights
React immediately and measure response time. With a low response rate or even no response at all, the guest’s problem could become a reputation problem for the hotel later on. Feedback during the guest’s stay must be addressed immediately, tracked through case management, and integrated with the hotel’s other systems. Having a system that is simple and made accessible for frontline team members will help automate and scale service recovery quickly.
With digital feedback, marketers can analyze past complaints and positive sentiment which can shed light on customer preferences, likes and dislikes, and more. Feedback can be used to build deeper customer insights and can open a new way of personalizing the guest experience. Personalizing a hotel’s guest experience will help address another key focus at hotels—building and maintaining guest loyalty.
About the Author
Daniel Cline is the head of business development for Local Measure, a customer engagement platform for the hotel industry. Prior to working for Local Measure, Daniel has worked and consulted for companies including Waldorf-Astoria, Morgans Hotel Group, WeWork, Starwood Hotels, and Hotel Insider.