Hotels Can’t Get No Guest Satisfaction…

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49% of hotels are not using any kind of technology to measure guest satisfaction. Think about that for a moment: in 2016, nearly half the world’s hotels are either using paper questionnaires (which require staff to decipher foreign guests’ handwriting, and which have a very low response rate), or just relying on online reviews.

That’s just one of many surprising facts contained within ReviewPro’s 2016 Guest Satisfaction Management Barometer, which asked nearly 3000 hospitality professionals worldwide how their property collects, measures and acts on guest satisfaction data. Here are the key findings:

Nearly All Hotels Measure Guest Satisfaction – Some More Efficiently Than Others

Whilst 99% of hotels surveyed said they do measure guest satisfaction, very few of them are doing it particularly efficiently. The most effective method of getting guest feedback – on-site iPad or kiosk surveys, which, according to iPad survey provider USay generate an 80%+ response rate – was only used by a mere 7% of respondents. 51% are using the already outdated post-stay email method, which has an average response rate of around 15%, whilst a staggering 50% are still relying on printed surveys or comments cards!

As for measuring their Net Promoter Score – the likelihood of a guest recommending the hotel to friends & family – only 23% are using this metric, with 28% not even knowing what it is.

Additionally, only 53% of hotels involve their Sales & Marketing teams in guest satisfaction management, which suggests that in many cases the information gathered is not always relevant for marketing purposes – one of the key reasons for measuring guest satisfaction.

Most shockingly, hotels are incredibly inefficient at collecting something as basic as guest emails – only 38% of hotels have an email collection rate of more than 50%, with an amazing 13% admitting that they don’t bother to collect emails at all!

Most Hotels Aren’t Using Guest Satisfaction Data Effectively

Although 99% of hotels collect guest satisfaction data, few of them seem to know how to use it to drive direct revenue. Only 41% use it to make revenue management decisions, whilst a mere 26% use it to optimise their distribution strategy. And whilst 69% of hotels see the ability to drive online reviews to Tripadvisor and other review sites as a key consideration when choosing guest feedback solutions, only 40% consider publishing reviews on their own sites as very important – a staggering statistic that explains why so many properties are still overly dependent on OTAs.

In terms of integrating their guest data with other solutions, the picture is similarly bleak – only 29% integrate their own guest data with online review analytics, 25% with their PMS, and just 20% with their CRM solution, with 67% of hotels admitting they find it difficult to manage guest feedback across multiple sources.

Hotels Want Guest Survey Solutions – But They Don’t Know Why

77% of hotels surveyed said they planned to spend the same amount or more on guest satisfaction management in 2016, but confusion still reigns as regards their reasons for doing so, with revenue generation coming low on the list.

78% said that the most important criteria when selecting a provider is to identify operational improvements, with a mere 40% considering the ability to publish positive reviews on their own site as important. Only 64% see mobile-optimised surveys as important, whilst a quite remarkable 11% of hotels see integration with other systems (eg PMS, CRM etc) as unimportant.

Implementation also remains an issue, with 54% of hotels using off-puttingly lengthy surveys of 11 questions or more – and 14% not even knowing how many questions their surveys have!

The Solution?

From the report it is clear that hotels need to achieve three things:

  1. Optimise guest feedback collection
  2. Integrate this feedback across multiple solutions (PMS, CRM, Reputation Management etc)
  3. Analyse data and use it to take action to make operational/service improvements AND to make better revenue and distribution decisions to drive more direct bookings

Our recommendation? USay, a dedicated hotel guest survey solution designed for tablets. Hotels use USay to design their own customised surveys in order to collect guest feedback at the optimum moment – during the stay or at checkout time. USay has typical response rates of over 80% (the next best method – post-stay email – reaches around 15%), integrates with other solutions (and of course Tripadvisor), provides a full analytics dashboard, and is very affordable.

To find out more about USay and arrange a demo, please contact Tim Russell (English) on tim@representasia.com, or Chalida (Thai) on chalida@representasia.com, or call us on (66) 02 7111585.

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About Author

Tim is one of representasia’s co-founders and the company’s CMO. He has been in the tourism industry since 1992 and has worked in Paris, London, Saigon & Bangkok. He has a strong background in operations, technology, sales & marketing. Representasia is his second business venture, following his founding of a successful Vietnam DMC in 2009.

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