It’s easy to fall behind when it comes to accumulating and keeping an eye on customer feedback, but hearing what guests have to say about your hotel can be the difference between losing customers and lifting your brand to new and improved heights.
In finding out where your business needs a boost, there isn’t a better starting point than offering it up for some objective feedback - even if it means wincing at surprising details that you don’t want to hear.
In fact, encouraging guest feedback and retaining an open mind to outside opinion is an exciting win-win: while openly displaying to your guests that you care, you’re collecting vital information of what guests like and don’t like, which - if utilised - can bolster your business, your online reputation and your booking traffic going forward.
Encourage Guest Feedback as Much as Possible
Learn your guests and your business at the same time by encouraging feedback wherever possible. This can include a simple “How’s everything for you today?” during a guest’s stay to reaching out with a well-placed or well-timed survey.
Hoteliers today are opting between pen-and-paper comment cards and online surveys, but why not implement both? Both strategies present their own perks and will only increase your odds in gathering valuable feedback.
A hand-out comment card at reception or one that is left in-room can be filled out during spare time, and, furthermore, do not exclude older generations who are without internet access. Online surveys, on the other hand, can allow for more honest opinions, along with the opportunity to harness the data as well as reply with a thankful message - a personal touch that will impress most guests.
Another powerful approach is a follow-up email (post stay email), which invites guest feedback while showing that you care about their experience even after they have departed. After all, you want to be a hotel that cares about its guests, as guests want a hotel that cares about them.
Online Reputation - Are You Listening to Your Guests?
As unnerving as it may be, keep an ear to the ground for what people are saying online. Of course, it’s much easier to take the “ignorance is bliss” route, yet your online reputation is another goldmine of firsthand guest information that you can use to your advantage.
Just as important as monitoring your hotel’s online reputation is taking the time to manage it, given especially the popularity of platforms such as TripAdvisor, Yelp and Facebook. Instead of turning a blind eye to public opinion, be social and exhibit an online presence: reply positively to bad reviews by voicing your concern front and centre, avoiding the pitfall of appearing aggressive or defensive while showing future readers that the matter will be addressed. Unfortunateely you may not ben able to win each one over, however by responding in a positive manner you are showing the potenial viewer your positive and caring nature and willingness to listen and respond.
You can go even further with helpful online tools that monitor and systemise your business’s online information without you having to lift a finger. Try a free service like Google Alerts or reap the perks of a paid platform such as ReviewPro, which can quickly highlight specific areas within your business that require concern or some overdue investment.
Be Proud of Your Good Reviews and Feedback!
As well as being mindful of the negative, don’t be apprehensive about being proud of your good reviews and feedback while displaying it everywhere you can - both on your website and across your social media platforms.
It also goes without saying that providing the best service you can and engaging with guests - both face-to-face and through survey acknowledgement - can mean fixing an issue and earning the appreciation of a customer before it spins into a permanent online review.
How do you manage your guest feedback? Let us know in the comments below!
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