TROY, Michigan—After several years of challenging business conditions, which caused much of the hospitality industry to scale back on capital expenditures, hotel management companies have started making serious investments in renovations, maintenance, and staffing. According to the J.D. Power 2023 North America Third-Party Hotel Management Guest Satisfaction Benchmark, those investments are paying off in the form of strong satisfaction scores for the quality of the guestroom and staff service.
“In the span of a year, staffing has gone from being the biggest pain point for hotel management companies to one of the greatest strengths,” said Andrea Stokes, hospitality practice lead at J.D. Power. “Despite continuing labor shortages, this is a testament to the efforts of the industry to ramp up hiring and training during the past several months. Interactions with staff is one of the most important components of a hotel stay and guests are noticing that they are getting better service.”
Following are additional key findings of the 2023 benchmark:
- Anticipation is everything: The most important key performance indicator when it comes to guest interactions with hotel staff is anticipation of guest needs. Across all third-party hotel management companies evaluated, hotel staff met that goal in 82 percent of guest interactions.
- Work still to be done on hotel lobbies/common areas: Hotel guests are looking for a modern and unique design when it comes to hotel lobbies and common areas. Currently, just 13 percent of branded hotels evaluated are meeting these criteria.
- EV charging emerging as an important feature: While the most important technology features of a hotel are good quality WiFi and plenty of USB ports for charging devices, the availability of EV charging stations is also starting to influence hotel selection and satisfaction. Overall, 19 percent of hotel guests say they need to have an EV charging station at their hotel but only 6 percent say they’ve actually used hotel-provided EV charging.
Davidson Hospitality Group and Dimension Hospitality rank highest in a tie in overall guest satisfaction, each with a score of 725. This is the second consecutive year that Davidson Hospitality Group ranks highest. HEI Hotels and Resorts (714) ranks third.
The North America Third-Party Hotel Management Guest Satisfaction Benchmark was redesigned for 2023. Now in its fourth year, the benchmark evaluates guest satisfaction with branded hotels that are operated by the largest third-party management companies. It is based on six factors (in alphabetical order): communications and connectivity; food and beverage; guestroom; hotel facilities; staff service; and value for price. The benchmark includes third-party hotel operators with more than 14,000 branded hotel rooms under management and is based on 3,942 guest responses for branded hotel stays from May 2022 through May 2023.