The hospitality industry, by its very nature, is highly customer service oriented. Gaining valuable customer feedback information is important for any business, but is absolutely essential for hotels. Guest feedback can highlight hotel management issues and conditions, which they may not have been aware of, but require their attention. Honest feedback can also showcase areas of hotel excellence, informing hoteliers when they are on the right track.
However, due to the transience of travelers, this data can be extremely difficult to gather from hotel guests, either during or anytime after their stays. During the checkout process guests are usually in a hurry to get home or to their next destination. After a trip is over and past guests are back home, people tend to disregard emails and printed matter from the hotel. Lacking any incentive to take the time to answer, many do not respond. This can be a very serious dilemma for hotels across the board.
A study conducted by Software Advice, a source for reviews of hotel reservation systems, sought to find some concrete answers for hotels in their quest to garner the greatest number of completed guest feedback surveys. In a random online survey of 1,936 U.S. consumers, the company revealed a number of beneficial insights into the motivations of past hotel guests and potential customers regarding the completion of feedback surveys.
The Study’s Important Conclusions For Hoteliers
- Checkout is the most likely time guests will complete a feedback form. Women are more likely to respond and may be more critical than men in their assessment of a hotel.
- Guests prefer and are more likely to complete feedback in the format that they are most comfortable using. For example, online or on paper.
- Offering incentives for guests to fill out feedback forms can skew the results and is not recommended. If offering an incentive, the best method is to enter the guest into a drawing.
Times Guests Are More Likely to Complete Feedback Forms
As the accompanying chart clearly illustrates; the sooner, the better; regarding the completion of feedback by past hotel guests. After a week or two it is extremely unlikely a hotel will ever gather any feedback information from their guests. Checkout is the best time, since completion falls dramatically afterwards and the customer is still on the property.
Source: Software Advice
In part two we will continue to examine in more detail the results of this interesting and informative study from Software Advice.
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