How to stay on top of your guest feedback
When it comes to running a successful hotel, keeping a finger on the pulse of guest feedback is an absolute must. We know the sheer volume of feedback pouring in can feel overwhelming, but trust us, the benefits are well worth the effort. In today’s customer-centric world, guests are no longer satisfied with just a place to lay their heads; they crave a personalized experience that leaves a lasting impression. To deliver that level of service, you need to truly understand your guests – and the best way to do that is by asking them directly. Guest feedback holds the key to unlocking invaluable insights that can drive operational improvements and enhance guest satisfaction. So, let’s dive in and explore how hoteliers can stay on top of guest feedback and reap the rewards of a happy, loyal customer base.
Create a guest feedback strategy
Let’s face it, not all guest feedback is created equal. We understand that sifting through a mountain of information can be formidable, but that’s also why it’s crucial to focus on collecting valuable and actionable data from your guests. Sending out the same generic survey to everyone in your CRM is not the best tactic for engagement and doesn’t deliver the most relevant results. So, let’s be strategic and make every survey counts!
Setting the stage for an exceptional guest experience begins long before their arrival. The beauty of a well-crafted pre-stay survey lies in its ability to reveal guest expectations before they even step through the door. This survey serves as a valuable opportunity to gather crucial information, including allergies and specific preferences, so you can curate a tailored experience. Your ultimate goal is to not only meet but exceed each guest’s expectations throughout every step of their journey. By carefully collecting and analyzing this feedback, you unlock insights about individual guests as well as larger guest segments and demographics.
Consider a scenario with a guest named Libby who has just made a booking. As a new guest, you might not be privy to her preferences, particularly if she hasn’t stayed at a chain hotel before. This is precisely where a customizable pre-stay survey shines. You can inquire about her transportation needs and any allergies she may have, allowing you to arrange a shuttle to pick her up from the airport and prepare her room with hypoallergenic pillows, creating a truly personalized and memorable stay.
Ultimately, a thoughtful pre-arrival survey, sent with intention, provides you with several opportunities to improve your service and increase ancillary spend. Firstly, it offers a comprehensive understanding of each guest, enabling you to create an environment where they feel instantly at home at your property. By gathering their preferences and needs ahead of time, you can prepare effectively, handle high-volume check-ins seamlessly, and deliver a personalized and tailored experience that exceeds expectations for every guest.
The goal of the pre-stay survey is to understand guest expectations, while the post-survey aims to ensure those expectations were met. It’s an opportunity to show your guests that you genuinely care about their opinions and are committed to listening and improving. Personalization is key here too. Consider each guest’s individual history with your hotel. Do they have children? Include a charming image of kids in their questionnaire and inquire about the amenities that brought smiles to their little ones. Did they dine at a specific restaurant during their stay? Don’t forget to ask about their experience with the menu, service, and so on. These tailored questions facilitate valuable conversations with your staff, allowing you to identify areas for improvement and take proactive steps to address them.
When it comes to loyal, frequent guests, it’s essential to avoid bombarding them with post-stay surveys after every check-out. Instead, send surveys at intervals to prevent fatigue. Remember, each question should serve a purpose: improving operations, enhancing services, and ensuring a personalized guest journey that keeps them coming back for more.
The post-stay survey is also the perfect opportunity to ask guests to leave online reviews on Tripadvisor or Google. Often guests who have had adequate but not extraordinary stays won’t think of leaving a review online – unless you ask them. The easier you make it for your guests to write online reviews, the more reviews you will get. When you maximize your online reviews, potential guests can find you online and make a booking decision more easily. In this way, you are being proactive at every stage of the guest’s journey, from booking their first stay to becoming a direct booking loyal guest and a future ambassador for your brand.
To effectively leverage the valuable survey data collected, hoteliers can turn to technology for organization and action. While sending surveys with intention improves data quality, the challenge lies in analyzing these data points across multiple systems. Hoteliers require a central source of truth, a unified platform that allows them to effortlessly utilize the guest data they have gathered and take automated actions based on that data. This is where a robust customer relationship management (CRM) solution becomes essential. A powerful CRM empowers hoteliers to truly understand customer sentiment, create impactful email campaigns, and maximize personalization, all without the need for excessive staffing. By investing in a CRM, hoteliers gain the ability to find the answers they seek, deliver the right message to guests at the right time, and improve operational efficiency. With technology as their ally, hoteliers can harness the full potential of their survey data and unlock new levels of guest satisfaction and operational success.
Bringing it all together
Embracing the power of intentional data collection is the key to staying on top of guest feedback and driving continuous improvement across your property. By crafting pre-stay surveys that delve into guest expectations, you can ensure a personalized and tailored experience that goes above and beyond their desires. Similarly, post-stay surveys provide a valuable opportunity to gauge guest satisfaction and gather actionable insights, allowing you to fine-tune your operations and elevate your service. Moreover, leveraging technology, such as a customer relationship management (CRM) system, streamlines data organization and empowers hoteliers to automate actions based on guest feedback.
By implementing these strategies, you’ll unlock the full potential of your guest feedback. So, embrace the power of intentional data collection, leverage technology to your advantage, and take your guest feedback management to new heights. Your guests will thank you, and your hotel will thrive.