Good Service or Else...
Authored by: Mark Ehlers (Partnerships & Contracting Manager)
Not that long ago a negative guest experience would cost you but only to a minimal extent. Today a negative experience can be posted on social media or feedback/opinion sites (such as TripAdvisor and ProductReviews) and be viewed globally by thousands (sometimes millions) of people in an instant. I remember the United Airlines 'dragging incident' vividly. Did you know that more than 3 million people worldwide watched or read about the incident? The impact was enough to get almost everyone in the travel industry to stand up and listen.
And, it's not just bad PR, it impacts your bottom-line; Tripadvisor reports that 83% of respondents indicated that reviews help them pick the right hotel.
Negative reviews can severely impact a hotels’ image and profitability and take significant investment to recover. A study by Cornell University School of Hotel Administration found, for example, that even a one-point difference on a five-point rating scale (from 4.5 to 3.5, for example) can influence hotel room rates by as much as 11%. This is why many hotels have a strong focus on collecting and analysing guest feedback then using these findings to shape the customer experience. Reevoo Insight Research found that 96% of proactively collected feedback was positive, compared to only 74% positive for passive feedback collection.
What do we recommend for building a positive dialogue?
- Get proactive; contact every customer and ask for a review directly. For all the good ones, point them in the direction of TripAdvisor. For the negative ones, review in your monthly management meetings.
- Use text to start a conversation; at point of check in send a text message with a direct line to your GM or Head of Guest Services (or similar). You can then control the dialogue.
- Surprise and delight; it's amazing how the small things can change sentiment. Give customers something they weren't expecting and you'll find that negative sentiment is conveniently diminished.
How can Luxury Escapes help?
We invest significantly in customer engagement through LE Live - our Facebook Live broadcasts, LE on Tour - our quarterly town hall style listening events and the Platinum Club - our VIP program. And, most recently we have launched the LE Lounge - a pop-up store in Melbourne, Australia. It's these content marketing channels where we can highlight your hotel and drive the key messages meaning more positive sentiment and then, with our approach to inclusions a customer tends to acknowledge that they are receiving more; paving the way for bragging rights and a celebration of your hotel. This is the perfect fodder for a positive review!
Here's to great service, experiences and positive reviews! #LIKE