How guests perceive, and tell others about, their hotel experience is vital to the success and profitability of any hotel property. It has become a well-established fact of the hospitality industry that guests are greatly impacted in the making of their travel plans by the online reviews they read. Such sites as TripAdvisor, Booking.com, and a host of others feature the everyday comments and reviews of hotel guests that have become paramount in the decision-making process. In this age of digital word-of-mouth, hotel guest satisfaction and the resulting online reviews, the reputations of all hotels are at stake everyday.
This current reality of the hospitality industry can be just as much of a blessing for hoteliers as it can be a potential curse. The most important determining factor, as to which direction, are the priorities of the hotel. Achieving the highest levels of guest satisfaction must be a fundamental principle that is put into practice everyday. Every guest who feels compelled after a hotel stay to leave an excellent rating or review, on a review site or any social media, about the hotel becomes a marketing beacon for the property. This naturally results in further bookings coming in for the property from those who read the complimentary remarks.
In placing such importance on hotel reviews, consumers are seeking social validation from other travelers before they spend their hard earned money. This is especially true regarding hotels they have not previously stayed. Of course any guests suffering negative hotel experiences will potentially have a detrimental impact upon hotel bookings. Often, these are the guests most likely to feel the need to tell the whole world of their troubles with a hotel and vent their frustrations. How the hotel property involved responds to such negativity is a crucial test and very telling to other consumers.
Guest satisfaction ratings and reviews also provide management with a window into how well the hotel staff and the property itself are achieving the guest experience goals set forth for the hotel. Awareness on the part of hoteliers of any issues, which will inevitably arise, is a powerful tool for ensuring their timely correction.
Ultimately, the nurturing and building of hotel brand loyalty with past guests by providing them a great hotel experience will lead them to tell others about your hotel. In today’s hospitality industry, guest satisfaction ratings and online reviews are directly impacting the revenues of hotels around the world every day.
In part two of this series we will examine some measures hotels can take in order to improve guest satisfaction levels at their properties.