A Platform Approach to Feedback
By Benjamin Jost Co-Founder & CEO, TrustYou | July 09, 2017
When does a hotel customer become a "guest"? Is it at the point where they book a reservation? The moment they walk through the doors into the lobby? Somewhere in between? Our team at TrustYou set out to identify the guest experience through the lens of guest communications, running a survey and observational study that encompassed nearly 1,000 participants. We identified the likes and dislikes of these guests. Along the way, we found some very interesting numbers relating to how travelers like to communicate with their hotel, and how these communication methods impact satisfaction levels.
To answer the first question, a significant majority of guests expect that the hotel will initiate communications upon booking; 80% of consumers expect an email confirmation, so our view is that "guests" earn that title the moment they make a booking decision (and have expectations for the hotel).
In terms of communication requests:
- Most (73%) prefer their communications to be through online channels. This
includes e-mail, social media and text messaging (SMS). In general, e-mail
was the most common form of communications, with nearly 70% of people using
- A majority (75%) prefer to communicate one-on-one with a person on site. It
makes sense intrinsically that guests may have questions about local
happenings or special requests that they feel are more likely to be met if
they speak with someone who's in the actual building they're staying in.
However, combined with the previous point, it speaks to the need to create
systems and policies that enable front desk employees to communicate
directly with guests through electronic means.
Of course, not all feedback and communication happens before the actual stay. Guests will check in and have interactions with the hotel staff while on the premise. One of our more interesting findings had to do with when guests will provide feedback about an issue. Roughly a third of guests acknowledged that they were most likely to address an issue while they were in the checkout process, rather than when the issue arises. This puts hotel leaders in a tough spot; they can't fix an issue that they don't know about.