Guest Feedback and How it could help Hotels Win Direct Bookings

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If your hotel is achieving regular bookings and you aren’t getting dozens of complaints from your guests, then you might safely assume your visitors are happy and that you’re providing a positive travel experience.

However, you could be missing out on a raft of future bookings if you’re not making the most of guests’ opinions by collecting post-stay feedback. This technique is often ignored or neglected by hoteliers who assume their visitors are too busy, but it doesn’t take long and can really give you an insight into what you’re doing well and where you may be able to improve.If you put the information to good use, it might highlight an under performing area you can easily change – and encourage more people to stay with you as a result. When’s best to collect feedback According to a survey by Software Advice, 35 per cent of consumers thought ‘within a few days’ was the best window in which to collect guest feedback, while the same percentage put forward ‘at checkout’.

As a general rule, the longer you leave it, the less likely someone is to provide responses, so you want to jump in as soon as you can.While they’re at the hotel is a possibility, through the use of traditional feedback cards or in-room tablets like those provided by some Four Seasons and Hilton properties. You can also ask guests directly during quiet periods (although be careful of annoying them) and collect data using smartphone apps. Checkout is another potential timeframe – but again, beware attempting it if someone is rushing for a flight or struggling to manage fractious toddlers.A good option is to follow up a hotel stay with an email thanking people for their business and asking them to answer a few quick questions, as they can do this in their own time and the resulting data is easy to collate.

Finally, don’t forget to monitor the internet for mentions of your hotel’s name, as guests may be leaving feedback in the form of reviews on social media and aggregator sites that you can utilise.What feedback to look for You need to carefully consider the questions you’re asking visitors, as you want to be able to put them to good use. Remember to ask them what they most enjoyed about their stay so you can use this as part of your unique selling points, but also aim to find out what they might not have liked in order to highlight changes that need to be made.Another good question is what made them choose your hotel in the first place, as this can throw open marketing opportunities you hadn’t considered before.How to act on guest feedback It can be tricky dealing with comments and criticisms, as it’s hard not to bristle a little at negative feedback.

However, you need to remain completely objective about it and see it as something you can act on. If people don’t like the dark, cramped feeling in your lobby, perhaps you could redecorate, for example. Maybe you could put in new fans to prevent cooking smells from drifting past the restaurant? Small things can make a real difference and you can then show guests you’re making the changes they asked for. Remember that some comments will be ridiculous and you don’t have to act on everything, though!Many big-brand hotels are using feedback to make positive changes, such as Hyatt.

There, they are using survey feedback to add to guest profiles so they can have their preferences applied when they next check in. Other properties have provided ear plugs to tackle noisy rooms, simplified pricing and put more employees on duty to counter busy periods when queues can build up.As you can see, there’s plenty you can do with guest feedback that could drive up your revenues – so why not start making more use of it today?

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