All hotels, resorts, and homestays are in need of a guide to understanding the concept of guest feedback and guest comments to skyrocket the business growth by delivering guest delight.
“Focus on the perception of the end-user customers regarding the innovation impact instead of how you as innovators perceive it.”
Only one percent of your customers will probably bring their complaints. Rest will simply take their business elsewhere even without a word. It signifies that it is important you empower your customers with an opinion and listen to them.
Hence guest feedback, irrespective of being good or bad, small or big, is important for every domain and sphere. Yet the difference lies in adding the term “direct” before the term feedback. Although it is intimidating to seek feedback mainly due to two reasons – asking for feedback is embarrassing, and you are in doubt about your intruding into your guests’ privacy.
Yet, it is mandatory to have feedback, and hoteliers are asking their guests about what they like, dislike their convenience along with the improvements they wish to see in a hotel or resort they visit. Thanks to the hotel guest feedback software in several mediums like survey questionnaires, online reviews, etc. come of great help. This quickens the means of obtaining guest feedback while not overlooking the fact that customer feedback that is raw or direct comes with more impact than online. However, recording the manual feedback and storing it is rather tedious. Hence, a proper feedback strategy using the hotel guest experience app is the need of the hour.
Difference between online hotel guest feedback and mere guest feedback
A lot of time we tend to use online reviews and guest feedbacks in the same sense. Even though these two terms are interchangeable and using them as such is not completely a wrong practice, there is still a certain difference between these two terms. In simple terms, reviews are a simple form of guest feedback. Both require you to hear from your guests and receive their insights based on which you prepare your future course of action. The feedback you will collect at several points in the journey of your guests. It does not matter through what means, ultimately it would lead the hotels to encourage the manager to write online reviews.
Online reviews of guests for hotels:
- These reviews are publicly available to enable social proof
- Increase the cost and confidence of the travelers while they are searching where to book
- It is the best form of advertising to fuel sales continuously and hence drive business growth
You need to proactively learn at the right time, making sure that the guest experience is not public and does damage online.
- Control the complete flow of the relationship
- Collect both the qualitative and quantitative data to enable your business growth
- Keep your findings and feedback private
It is evident that both of these are highly significant towards driving business growth also form the base on which the feedback strategy of guests and hotels both grow.
So which one is required for property
Both are required. Creating a system that enables you to make it easier for your guests so that they share their feedback internally helps you to capture guest sentiments at the right time while you create more reviews online. This is highly good for your business.
Let’s check all about guest feedback
No man, organization, company, property, or organization could conduct their operations smoothly without hearing back or receiving inputs from customers. After all, what one is doing has to be reviewed by the ones for whose benefits it is getting done. Likewise, all hotels need guest feedback as it is vital to understand how it is performing, which aspects of the service needs improvement also if the expectations of service require improvement, also whether the expectations of the travelers are being met or are getting exceeded.
Coming to your strategy for direct guest feedback for hotels, one thing that finds maximum essential is timing. By this, what we mean is the timing where you would be expected to offer a feedback or survey form to all your guests. While an online survey form can also be provided to make sure the first-ever physical experience that your guests have with you, right from the check-in to the timings matters also matters how your guests’ mood and state of mind are. For instance thrusting a form to a guest, who is agitated before they have been able to relax after a tedious trip, will never bring you any fruitful result.
A strategic loop of the feedback system
- Ask proactively for customer feedback
- Categorize your feedback so that you can gather a contextual understanding that gives meaningful suggestions for your business
- Act on feedback if required so that you could implement changes so that you can drive excellence
- Follow-up with all guests who shared feedback providing proactive response
Guest feedback – the current scenario vs. recent situation
The previous form of feedback was guests filling the feedback and inputs on pen and paper, comment cards; either they would leave it on their reception desk in their rooms so that they could fill them. Today, you will see many digital means and methods that modern travelers resort to so that you could review them through online surveys, quick links, and questionnaires, etc. These have now become the essential backbone for all guest feedback strategies in hotels.
This shift owes to the past methods being a little worn out and coming with limitations. But, they have retained their position for collecting feedback from many hotels. While, with technology plus digitization, it could be easier for the guests plus faster for the hotels to receive feedback, also easy to collect feedback, easy to categorize data, find the trend analysis, and is rather quick for making changes.
Types of guest feedback – traditional vs. modern
Based on the types, guest feedback could be the following:
- NPS, CSAT Surveys
- Open-ended questions using comment cards, forms, and verbal communications
- Specific questionnaires
- Online surveys – Guests could be enthused to take up hotel guest feedback software online that helps trace both individual and collective opinions of the guests about the resort property and the quality of its facilities. Taking advantage of the AI plus advanced technology, most of the brands are now trying to understand their guests as maximum as possible. To know what is trending, what is not, what’s popular, and the kind of improvements required to be made. Thanks to the invention of these hotel guest feedback surveys to understand your guests and expectations gradually.
- Questions that are open-ended – feedback forms, comment cards, verbal questions have all been offered to the hotel guests time and again so that they could express their opinions about the stay.
- Questionnaires – A subtle difference exists between questionnaires and surveys. A CSAT questionnaire for hotels is on set of questions that usually come with an answer choice which could be later on used for conducting a survey. For example, in case a hotel wants to understand how the quality of staff service was rendered, they may just be giving you some of the standard options to use.
Technology has enabled easier for the customers while there remains a lot of novel methods that could help trace the lineage further development of a strategy for guest feedback to enable the hotels to serve better.
Traditional methods of collecting the feedback
These are more reliant on pen and paper. The tools used were:
- Comment cards
- Feedback forms
- Staff notes
Hotel feedback forms
Similar to comment cards, the hotel feedback forms for guests can be different for different hotels on the basis of their offering. It includes certain generic questions like name, date of birth, email address, room number, and asks regarding the staying experience. Again, the comment of a hotel guest form comes with ratings where several aspects of the property (room service quality, concierge service quality, cleanliness plus hygiene, staff service, etc.) are all to be rated by guests on the basis of experience.
- Asking staff notes or in-person notes
While this could be an age-old tradition, let’s consider this as a hybrid. If you looked at it more closely, among all kinds of forms used for attaining direct feedback from guests, this tops the list.
Modern feedback types: How would guests give feedback to the hotel
There isn’t any denying the fact that technology has enabled things much easier to a higher extent. Almost extinct are those days when the guests would be bothered by the hotelier to adopt a pen and paper for giving feedback. Today, there are guest messaging surveys that act as papers where you touch your fingers to input your feedback. You could use guest messaging or short surveys to provide surveys.
Used by modern hoteliers globally to collect hotel feedback at every touchpoint within your guest journey. With hotel guest experience management feedback software, the input is merely a tap away and it could help collect feedback even at pre-arrival and the mid-stay stage. Unlike the old method through texts, guest messaging does not bewilder or overwhelm guests and ultimately does not come with obvious cons. However, care has to be taken in using it with prudence.
NPS or short surveys
Net promoter score or NPS is a kind of survey for the guests that give away the percentage of customer ratings, how likely are your customers to recommend their property post their experience.
Boosting strategy for guest feedback for hotels
The satisfaction levels of your customers can be gauged using customer satisfaction surveys with the help of a rating scale to have a broader scale for a wider range of understanding, whether your services meet their expectations. It could also use the technology of sentiment analysis where the guest merely needs to answer your questions.
One of the most predominant ways of collecting guest feedback is by sending out emails after the guests check out to make sure hotels understand the level of satisfaction guests had during the stay. One of the reasons why emails are used is to instantly reach the guests, sometimes during their stay also, as they would wish to receive negative feedback (if any) personally and not on any online platforms where it would spread like wildfire.
Text messages are now a regular form of feedback collecting method. Sending an SMS with a URL or link seeking guest feedback and prodding your guests for further review on one of the online review platforms was and is still a good practice.
Social media platforms
In an era where almost everyone works through social media, building your brand reputation on social platforms could be an easy plus effective mode of collecting feedback. Imagine your guest reaching out to your Facebook page and liking plus commenting on the overall stay and their experience. This is so instantly rewarding and quick way of receiving feedback.
There is a lot to understand about hotel guest feedback services and their applications. The value addition it does to your hotel service is enormous. Continue to receive instant feedback from your guests and improve your services to take your hotel, resort to the next best level. Thanks to the advanced hotel guest experience management software and services.