By actively seeking guest feedback, you can co-orchestrate their experience, which will help you build trust in your brand, drive repeat business, and get you more hotel reviews.
Feedback and good reviews are key to success in any customer-facing industry, especially in hotels. It’s not just about knowing whether what you’re doing is working, but also about connecting with the guests, and showing that you care about their opinion while they are in the hotel.
In this article, we will explore five effective ways how to gather guest feedback, such as post-stay and in-stay surveys, encouraging negative feedback, utilizing social media, offering incentives, and conducting exit interviews.
Guest surveys happen either post-stay or during the stay. Satisfaction surveys, the most common type, are sent to the guests after the checkout, surveying cleanliness, and their thoughts on different parts of the guest journey like check-in, staff, or their in-room experience.
Or, you can collect guest feedback while they’re in the hotel and act accordingly through in-stay surveys. Allowing your guests to voice out their opinions during the stay can have a much bigger impact on their impression than the post-stay survey. (more on that in our next point~)
You can check in with them multiple times during their stay through a questionnaire. Simple, engaging, and user-friendly guest feedback forms can be used to collect feedback in a more targeted way. A good practice is to alternate a quick feedback with an in-depth feedback, such as asking how was the booking experience or check-in right after they completed the step, and collect longer, in-depth feedback at the end or in the middle of their stay.
If you think the traditional survey format is too limiting and doesn’t match your brand you can think of alternative ways to let your guests speak their minds freely. Look into AI-based voice assistants that combine the best of both worlds, get your customers talking, and save you from pre-scripting a list of questions that don’t necessarily reflect what matters to your guests.
Think of a situation when something goes wrong and you are able to fix it for your guests. If you haven’t heard of it, the service recovery paradox (SRP) implies that being able to correct a problem in your service while the guests are still in the hotel boosts customer satisfaction more than if your service was error-free!
As bizarre as it sounds, encouraging your guests to address their troubles with you during their stay can have a tremendous impact on your brand reputation.
Before you get your guests talking, make sure that your staff knows exactly what to do, and respond fast once they receive negative feedback. This can be achieved by having the right tools in place. Choose messaging apps, digital assistants, and AI assistants that blend into your tech ecosystem and let you collect, manage and respond to guest feedback all where you work.
We’re living in the world of digital natives ruled by social media platforms and content as key opinion leaders. Putting your brand out there and allowing your customers to say what’s on their minds displays that you are transparent about your service and willing to listen.
Humans tend to voice out their negative experiences online more often than celebrate positive experiences, so it’s essential to encourage your loyal guests to ‘show their love’ and leave good reviews.
And, if you do get negative feedback, make sure you respond to it in a positive and proactive way. Also, keep in mind that in this case speed matters. Social media marketers swear by responding to negative reviews as soon as possible and no later than 24 hours. You can also evaluate the situation and throw in a small gift in the form of loyalty program benefits, coupons, or discounts to encourage them to stay with you again.
Offering incentives or rewards can motivate guests to share their opinion with you.
For example, your hotel can offer discounts on future stays, complimentary amenities, or coupons in an exchange for their feedback. Just make it clear to your guests and don’t ask for a “5-star rating”, but rather prioritize general feedback. You don’t want to look like you bought your reviews.
Try to diversify your channels, if you can, to ensure that your guests will get the message about the incentives. For example, the narrative can begin with your front office at the check-in and can be reinforced throughout different touchpoints in the guest journey like messaging apps, emails, or virtual assistants.
Pro tip: opt for a two-way communication channel that not only lets your guests talk but also helps you and your staff get their messages across by sending in promotional materials and special events.
Although this might seem like a far stretch, the guests can feel if the work environment is nurturing or toxic for the employees. If you want an honest evaluation of your internal processes, and what kind of work environment you create for your employees, ask the staff that is leaving. This way you’ll end your relationship on good terms and also give yourself a unique insight into what you can improve as a workplace. And if employee retention is something you’re struggling with, this is a way to go!
Exit interviews should be scheduled at the right time, usually, on the employee’s last day at the hotel. It’s a good idea to give this responsibility to someone who is emotionally intelligent, can create a safe environment, and ask open-ended, unbiased questions that encourage the employee to share their opinion. If you think that this information will be beneficial for other departments, teams, or supervisors, just make sure the employee and their identity will remain anonymous.
By asking for guest feedback and responding to it in a positive way, you’ll create a stronger connection with your customers. This approach will help you gain insights into what’s working and what’s not and help you create a better overall experience that will drive customer loyalty and trust in your business.
Sometimes though, you can deduct guest feedback from their behavior such as rebooking, loyalty program data, questions they have asked, or their behavior in the room. With a proper tracking system, you can create feedback from it. In this case, no feedback can also mean that what you’re doing is working well, try to value that in your tracking system to focus on the positive and highlight it across your communication channels.
And if you think that guest feedback surveys are an outdated format, you can take a more conversational approach through new communication channels, like conversational AI assistants. This technology will let your guests share their thoughts on-site in a natural way and you and your team will be able to optimize strategies on the go. If this sounds like your kind of solution, message our team and we’ll help you explore further.
Do you want to learn more about voice AI technology for hotels? Sign up for a free demo.