Good or bad, feedback is feedback and businesses thrive on it. Without it, we could all be doing wrong without realising it. Feedback gives us the ability to shift and change direction for the good of the business.
Feedback helps us understand the why behind consumer behaviour and can help us fix common problems. Some methods of feedback also give you the opportunity to respond directly with a helpful message that shows you care.
Whether you’re a fast food restaurant or a local hairdressers, feedback is important and for hotels it’s no different. What is different though is the methods in which you can acquire and obtain them. Not all businesses have the ability to use all the methods below, but for the hospitality industry, these methods are vital to your success.
Having multiple ways in which to obtain feedback is important as it helps you gather as much data as possible. There is no one single best way to gather all the feedback from all your customers. But statistically speaking, the more avenues you have, the better the chances of you acquiring more.
Proactive methods involve metaphorically taking the bull by the horns and creating a situation in which you can acquire feedback from your customers. Many customers will not think about giving feedback, but offering the chance for them to will increase the likelihood that they will.
In-room customer surveys
Timing is of paramount importance when it comes to in-room customer surveys. Thrusting a survey at them before they’ve even experienced a hot shower is not going garner you any results.
When it comes towards the end of their stay, allowing the cleaners to leave a well constructed survey for them to fill out is ideal. With their experience still fresh in their memory, you can expect some strong and honest opinions.
With the amount of online hotel bookings on the rise each year, the likelihood that you have their email address is quite high.
Email is a great way to prompt customers to leave a review. Once again, timing is key. Actively sending out review reminders while your customers may potentially be traveling back home isn’t ideal. Instead, opt to send out review reminders a few days after they’ve checked out. This will allow them to get back into the swing of day-to-day life, and it’s also given them enough time to reflect on their experience.
Ask them directly
The direct approach of just asking them in person can work extremely well. While it won’t be helpful to reel off loads of questions and put them on the spot, it can be useful to casually ask them short specific questions about their stay.
Just be sure to properly collect the responses, otherwise it will be wasted.
Be your own customer
Another great way is to be your own customer. Step inside their shoes and walk the route they take, from start to finish.
By doing this, you’re allowing yourself to ‘naturally’ come across mistakes or things that could be improved upon. With this method, you can be brutally honest with yourself about the service you provide.
As previously mentioned, online bookings rise each year which is the perfect indication that people enjoy the freedom of booking online. One of the many perks of online bookings is the ability to read previous feedback.
Allowing customers to vent their frustrations or positively share their good experiences enables you to gather vital information about your own business.
Not all customers will respond to your proactive ways of gathering feedback, but many will decide to use other avenues. In order for you to combat this, monitoring these avenues and responding appropriately can yield you great results, improve your business and show your customers and potential customers that you care.
Review and booking sites are on the ascendancy and with no sign of stopping, it’s high time that you put in the work to monitor these sites.
A survey from TripAdvisor.com showed that 77% of respondants said that seeing hotel management respond to reviews makes them believe that they care about their guests.
Listing your hotel on booking sites is only the beginning. Monitoring and responding to reviews should be within your weekly routine.
With social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, opinion can become public in a matter of seconds. Social media is a great platform for you to interact with your customers in real-time.
Many customers will turn to social media to vent about experiences, and you need to be ready to respond and attempt to fix the issue. By doing this, you may potentially gain loyalty from customers which of course is invaluable to any business.
While setting up a Mention account and inputting your details may be classed as being proactive, monitoring what then goes on and responding can be seen as reactive.
Mention is an all encompassing piece of kit that will help you monitor online media. From news sites to social media, Mention acts in real-time and provides you with what people are saying about your business.
Reviews are invaluable to any business. They allow you to get inside the heads of your customers and understand their frustrations or pleasures.
Gathering as much feedback from your customers is an on-going project that needs to be part of your weekly routine.
Each customer has different preferences when it comes to sharing feedback to businesses, and offering multiple avenues for them to do so will enable you to gather as much feedback as possible.