Do you use any of the following methods to solicit guest feedback?
- Check-out comment cards;
- Emails or forms;
- Post-stay surveys;
- Social listening.
If so, you may want to rethink your feedback gathering strategy. There is nothing inherently wrong with these approaches — after all, they do often provide hoteliers with the information they need to improve the guest experience — but they offer little opportunity to resolve guests’ issues before they leave the premises. This is undesirable for a number of reasons.
You don’t get the opportunity to turn their experience around
Just because a guest is upset doesn’t mean you’re going to lose them forever — provided you own up to your mistakes and apologize, of course. And it’s much easier to address their problems and salvage the situation while they’re still on your property. Once they’ve left, there’s no way to make it right and transform their dissatisfaction into delight. If that’s not enough incentive to get feedback and fix problems in-the-moment, then here’s some more: American Express reports that Americans tell an average of nine people when they’ve had a positive experience. When brands take their customers’ problems seriously, they do more than save the ones they already have — they also earn the opportunity to welcome new guests in the future.
An upset guest is less likely to return to your property
If you don’t acknowledge and resolve your guests’ problems while they’re on-site, they’re far less likely to ever return. ThinkJar studies have found that 91 percent of guests who don’t complain simply take their business elsewhere the next time around. So the fact that you’re not hearing from your guests doesn’t mean they aren’t upset. It just means they couldn’t be bothered to bring it up with you, and won’t return to your hotel next time they travel.
They may even tell everyone they know not to stay at your hotel
Raise your hand if you’ve ever returned from a dissatisfying hotel stay and warned all your loved ones to avoid it at all costs. It’s human nature to want to protect the people we care about from less-than-stellar experiences. According to the same ThinkJar studies, 13 percent of frustrated customers tell at least 15 other people about their terrible experience. Meanwhile, research from the Harvard Business Review shows that 48 percent of unhappy customers will tell more than 10 people they know about their experience.
And they might write a negative review on TripAdvisor or social media, which will be seen by thousands, if not millions, of people
Most hoteliers understand the weight online reviews hold among travelers when they’re looking to book a hotel. TripAdvisor research shows that 81 percent of travelers rely on reviews when they’re deciding where to stay. And while positive reviews have the potential to bring in more guests, they also have the potential to ruin a business — especially because people would rather complain about a brand online than try to get the problem resolved.
Acquiring feedback from guests during their stay can be a monumental task for hotels, especially those that have hundreds of rooms. Hotels typically don’t have the resources to ask each guest personally how they’re doing every day. There is, however, a simple solution.
Invest in a mobile guest engagement solution
Most people take their phones with them everywhere, and on holiday is no different. In fact, Expedia reports 60 percent of travelers around the world say they would be unwilling to go on vacation without a mobile device! Using this channel to communicate with guests seems like a no-brainer, yet only a handful of hotel chains have made any real use of it.
Mobile guest engagement gives guests who would rather avoid confrontation a method to make their issues known with minimal fuss. Moreover, they can communicate with hotel staff without having to wait at the front desk for a manager, or while they’re out and about. Best of all, it allows hotels to acknowledge and fix guests’ issues before the end of their stay.
Discover what a mobile guest engagement solution can do for your hotel! Visit benbria.com to learn about Loop and request a demo from our dedicated sales staff. Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and on Twitter @Benbria.