Before the internet age, the relationship between businesses and consumers was ultimately controlled by businesses. Customers would read ads, watch commercials, and consume content prepared by the companies to decide about them. There was no way for customers to leave feedback except for a comment box on the counter.
Now, in the age of social media, customers have more control. There are endless outlets online to communicate back with a business and leave them feedback for other customers to read when figuring out whether to support a business or not. The power has shifted, and customers are calling the shots.
Guest feedback and satisfaction is essential in the hotel industry. If a guest has a bad experience at a hotel, they can easily hop on their mobile phone and leave a negative review that anyone with internet access can see.
While businesses could once ignore their customers' feedback, they must now face them head-on. We are in the age of customer empowerment, and it's not going anywhere anytime soon. Businesses need to stay on top of customer feedback and do what they need to do to keep their customers and potential new clients happy.
The Growth of Guest Empowerment in Hotels
Customer empowerment is a tool that businesses can use to set their customers up for success. In the hotel industry many components ensure guests have a good experience and want to return for another stay. When staying in a hotel, if one thing goes wrong, it can taint the whole experience and result in negative feedback.
When guests feel comfortable and meet all their needs, they will become loyal to your brand and will return. You may also be rewarded with positive feedback on online platforms for other potential guests to see when choosing a hotel. Two channels that enable guest empowerment in the hotel industry are:
Social media is a vital component in guest empowerment. Applications such as Instagram have made it possible for guests to share and exchange information about your business with nearly anyone else online. If a guest has an unpleasant experience at the hotel and shares it on social media, there will be a negative buzz around it, decreasing bookings. That is how powerful the social media connection is. Your guests have the upper hand in freely sharing information about their stay on social media platforms. Ensuring they have an incredible stay is a way to empower your guests and avoid negative social media feedback.
Another way guests can share their satisfaction with their visit is through reviews and feedback. There are endless third-party websites like Yelp and Google Reviews that give guests a way to share their experiences with the world immediately and effectively.
The unfortunate thing is that once the review is on there, you are unlikely to be able to delete it. You can reply to negative guest feedback and let them know you care and will be doing what you can to ensure they have a better stay next time.
There is nothing more valuable than customer reviews when it comes to guest empowerment. They can walk out the door and still leave a review at any given moment.
Why Guest Satisfaction Should Matter To You
There is no tool more powerful than guest satisfaction feedback in the hotel industry. It is essential to provide guests with the best customer experience during their stay. Employees in this industry should cater to guests while always remembering guest empowerment.
Making guests feel like they are part of the process and making things as easy as possible, such as frictionless check-in and providing them with anything they need during a stay, is part of guest empowerment. Everything is connected and can determine how many stars they leave you on Google Reviews.
Using Guest Feedback To Your Advantage
Guest satisfaction is the main focus of any hotel, but there will always be negative feedback. Even if the hotel's feedback is generally positive, guest feedback is one of the most valuable things for a business to analyze.
Analyzing customer feedback is the ultimate act of guest empowerment. If guests leave reviews about similar issues and you, as the managers, work to fix the problem, your customer base will feel heard. This may even encourage those who voiced the issues to come back and see what you've done to accommodate them.
Replying to feedback on social media platforms and engaging with your customer base can help you collect data. Businesses are always trying to improve, right? What better voices to listen to than your loyal customers who stay in your hotel. They may even bring up areas of improvement not thought of before to help your business grow its customer base.
How You Can Effectively Monitor Your Guest Experience
The hotel industry is all about pleasing customers and prioritizing their requirements. It's all about experience in this industry and better aligning with the customers' needs and expectations.
We all know that the hotel industry has been significantly affected over the last 2 years. No doubt that this industry is among the hardest hit. Although tourism and hotel industry is recovering, the occupancy rates are still down, the churn rates are low, and budget management and cash flow management are challenging. Therefore, there is no room and resources for trial and error. It's time that the leaders in this industry stop ignoring or guessing and find out what their services really look like from customers' perspectives.
If a hotel brand wants to keep up or even keep ahead of the competition, the first step is to find out what makes more sense for customers in the new normal? What experiences do customers demand? Why some guests are happy and continue to come back, and why others choose not to return.
The aging survey-based method to monitor customer experience is not effective anymore with this high pace of changes. Besides all challenges of conventional surveys, such as being long, time-consuming to collect feedback and analyze data, low response rate, lacking contextual information, and being intrusive, most customers have a pretty negative reaction to seeing one of these survey request emails in their inbox.
Alternatively, hotels and related businesses in hospitality industry should ask for feedback during guests' natural use of the service and when they are experiencing the service. Engaging with guests when they're having an experience makes it natural to request feedback. It doesn't feel like disruptive spam dropped in one's inbox along with a million other emails that we're likely to ignore.
How Press'nXPress Solution Can Monitor Your Guest Experience As It Happens
Unlike conventional survey-based solutions, the Press'nXPress customer feedback management platform is a journey-based solution. It starts with identifying different customer journeys in the organization and mapping all the touchpoints in every customer journey. The Press'nXPress solution provides a proprietary feedback terminal, widget, plugins and SDK for each touchpoint to collect customer feedback in the moment of service and as it happens.
The Press'nXPress platform helps hotels and resorts continuously monitor their customers' and employees' experiences as it happens, identify service gaps, and prioritize and improve these gaps. With the Press'nXPress platform, the leadership and management team will figure out where they should invest, and they will be able to link improvement initiatives to financial growth.
To sum it up, guest feedback is one of the best sources of data that hotels can use to build a better service, keep guests engaged, and ultimately grow a more successful business. The conventional survey-based method should be replaced with the modern in the moment feedback management solution, which is all about targeting the right people with the right questions at the right time.
Being proactive about customer feedback and responding to it is the best way to provide guest empowerment and keep them happy. Continuously paying attention to guest feedback will keep businesses ahead of the game and give the guests the best experience possible.
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