In the ever-evolving world of hospitality, the importance of one thing remains the same – guest feedback and online ratings is crucial to continuous improvement and staying ahead of the competition. To keep your resort at the top of its game, it’s essential to understand what your guests love, what makes their stay unforgettable and more importantly what they’d like improved and where the shortcomings were in the service received.
It’s important to have a system in place that allows you to collate this feedback while the guest is still staying with you and that in the case of shortcomings in service, you have the chance for recovery and corrective action. The hotelier’s nightmare is reading about a poor experience after the guest has left, or worse, when the review is publicly available on TripAdvisor, Google or any other online portal.
The impact of online reviews is well-known in the travel industry:
- A TrustYou heat mapping study found that given equal prices travellers are 3.9 times more likely to choose a hotel with a higher review score. In fact, 76% of travellers said they were willing to pay more for a hotel with higher review scores.
- According to a study conducted by Harvard Business School, a 1-star increase in review ratings could lead to a 5-9% increase in revenue;
- Resolve a complaint in the customer’s favour and they will return to do business with you again 70% of the time. Up to 95% of customers will give you a second chance if you handle their complaint successfully and promptly *
* As per statistics shared by customerthermometer.com
Building A Robust & Real Time Feedback Strategy
A robust and real-time feedback strategy will allow you to elevate your guest experience and allow for a more solid foundation for improving your ranking on review sites such as TripAdvisor, Google and OTA booking sites. An essential first step in ensuring your resort is able to capture guest sentiment is to allow guests to easily provide feedback at various touchpoints during their stay.
The courtesy call offered by high-end resorts has served the industry well, but is very hit-and-miss in most cases as to whether the guest can be reached. It’s an uncomfortable process for both the resort employee and the guest. Feedback provided by the guest is put on the spot like this is likely to be inaccurate, creating a false impression of their real opinion.
However, this is such a crucial part of the guest journey as it is the first interaction on-property and the chance to influence the rest of the stay is enormous. So finding an unobtrusive yet effective way to capture true sentiment at this stage is essential.
Post Experience / Activity
Once your guest has settled in and is into the swing of their holiday, ensuring that the service delivery and experiences they have during their stay are as important as making sure the first impressions are meeting expectations. This becomes even more relevant if your resort is using third parties for some service delivery. Capturing feedback and sentiment at this part of the guest journey can provide unique insight into your departments and whether they are meeting guest expectations. This stage of the journey is also an essential component of a robust and real-time feedback strategy.
All too often, guests are asked for their feedback either at checkout or even after departure. If you’re asking for guest feedback on checkout and their sentiment is negative, you’re reaffirming those negative experiences at the point of departure, which is something that should be avoided as much as possible. Having guests leave your property with negative feedback as one of the last things they do doesn’t make sense. Try to find a way to capture guest sentiment at a time of the journey that allows you to correct the issue and have the guest leave with just positive thoughts about the resort.
The Path to Excellence
Eleanor’s In-Stay Survey is the secret weapon in crafting a feedback strategy that puts your resort ahead. Post-arrival surveys offer immediate guest sentiment feedback, in-the-moment feedback helps refine the experience, and pre-departure surveys ensure you have the opportunity for any last-minute service recovery to ensure your guest leaves happy. The knock-on effect of this is to see improved post-stay ratings and reviews on public-facing sites such as TripAdvisor, Google, Booking.com and other OTAs.