A guest booked your hotel room and completed his stay at your hotel. What about his feedback of the stay at your hotel? Do you collect this feedback, and if so, how so? Do you use just the old fashion register at the checkout to collect the guest feedback? While that is definitely a good way to collect feedback, the number of guests who are likely to give feedback in this manner is not going to be very high in 2017.
How can you get feedback from the guest in a better way? Here would be two crucial points for it-
It is not only important to collect the feedback, you should also be able to use this feedback to act upon and improve your guest experience. All this information must be actionable by the hotel staff. What are you using to collect feedback today at your hotel?
Here is how Chatdesk allows you to currently collect the feedback by using it...
An automated feedback collection system is something which every hotel should use and then experiment with different things so as to maximise the chances of getting real feedback from the guest.
Consider the scenario which is quiet common. Your hotel has two restaurants and one cafetaria. A guest is staying at the hotel who is attending his office conference in the city for 2 days. He has not seen the hotel menus in the room.
Towards the end of the day, while still attending the conference, he wants to know if he can have dinner at the hotel today, and if so, what is the menu? How can he see the menu, and possibly, place an order for the same while he is kilometers away from the hotel. Would he go through the hassle of listening to the menu, read by a hotel employee and engage in a confusing conversation to place an order? Most probably, the answer is NO. He would just eat outside. Or he would place an order from a food delivery service's app and eat outside. Even though, he is staying at a hotel, ordering from other places is easier for him, because the mobile device, brings in the ease of ordering.
Because the hotel is not making it super easy for the guests to order from mobile phone, it is losing chances at making money out of such opportunities.
Why not allow the guest to order for food from anywhere, from their mobile phone, as long as they are currently staying at the hotel, this should be easy and possible. Why not?
With Chatdesk, it is super simple to allow your guests to place orders, from any device.
Everything today should be built from a mobile-first point of view because more users today use a website from their mobile phones, than from a desktop. The website should be fast, responsive and clean.
Are you empowering your guests so that they can place orders from anywhere in your hotel, or are you still dependent on the landline phone in the room of the guest?
Any great hotel should serve the customer in the manner in which they want to be served. Today that way is via their mobile phone, from the comfort of their place and their own time.
Hotels today have many facilties that they can boast of. But how many of these facilities are used, or even discovered by the guests?
In lots of cases, the guests don't even know what are all the things that the hotel has, even if they are going to spend their upcoming vacation there. The hotel website does have some of the facilities listed, but then if they booked the hotel through an OTA, they might now even have seen the hotel website. The onus is on the hotel to educate its guests about its facilities so that the guests can enjoy using those facilities.
An ideal hotel should be able to understand the guest profile and even make suggestions based on what the guest likes. For example- If the guest likes basketball and your hotel has a basketball court, the hotel should be able to highlight that to the guest.
In addition to the facilities, the hotel should also attempt to educate the guest about any events which are going to happen in the hotel during the guest stay. For example- it makes sense to publicise the screening of football match in the bar, if the guest is a football fan.
What is the best time to showcase the facilities and events to the guest? Maybe one day before the guest actually checks in, you can send a message with the intention of helping the guest with discovering the hotel and its aminities. With solutions such as Chatdesk, you can automate this process.
Showcasing your facilities is really important in the day of OTAs because marketing and relation building does not end when the guest ends up choosing your hotel to stay, the real marketing begins there. The marketing and guest experience that starts after the booking is the only real way of building guest royalty, and a real brand.
business has only two functions. Innovation and marketing.
Today, the hotels should use innovative solutions to market and educate their guests about their product. Today the guest is very proactive and likes to read and learn more and more about the hotel that he is going to stay in. Since the guest himself is proactive, innovative hotels can use this to build an in-depth relationship and move ahead of the competition.
Is your hotel showcasing its facilities in the most innovative manner that it can? If so, how? Is there a scope of improvement? If not, why not?
Think about the service for which you have provided the maximum feedback, after using it? It most probably is Uber or a service very similar to that, which asks you for a feedback request at the right time and in the right way. In case of Uber, at the end of the ride. What would the corresponding feeback request for hotels and resorts? Not long after the guest's stay is over.
the best way to get guest feedback is to ask for it, not long after the guest stay is over
Similarly what else can be timed in the cycle of a guest stay? Maybe a pre-check in message for the guest to remind him of his stay details and introduce him to the hotel facilities, bars etc. so that he can have a great stay?
There are a lot of interesting possible ways to engage with the guest. But these engagements should feel non-intrusive. For example- If you ask a guest to provide you feedback, by writing in a register using a pen, while he is checking out and his cab is waiting and he is in a hurry, that might be an aweful experience for him because that is his time where he wants to focus on running out of your hotel and catching the cab to get in time for the flight that he wants to catch. But what if your feedback request was not eating his time, what if he could provide that feedback from his mobile phone in his spare time while he is on the way to airport? That would be much better experience for him.
The customer today, values time very highly. Any request made to him, must be in accordance with his ease and schedule.
Specially since it is possible today to do all this, without much of effort in an automated manner using software solutions.
Hotels which want to cater to the millenials and future travelers would put a lot of effort in engaging with the guests in a personal, timed manner and greatly benefit from this, by providing the guests with what they want and need, and in the process increase the hotel loyatly.
In the words of Yogi Berra-
You don't have to swing hard to have a home run. If you got the timing, it will go.
Same would be true for the great hotel brands of the future and how they engage with the guests.
As a hotelier, you intrnisically care about the guest experience from the time he lands inside the premises to when he checks out. But it is a fact that the guest experience for your hotel has begun, even prior to that.
From the moment the guests starts preparing for his trip to the hotel, an egagement oriented hotel today has the opportunity to help out his guests. For example- can your guest today, easily interact with you and ask for a cab while he is on the way to the hotel and currently at an airport? Today you can.
Can the guest, who is needs office suppies during the stay - message you and ask you about them in advance, so that he can have the peace of mind? Wouldn't that be useful if you were going on an office trip.
Put yourself in the customer shoes
The fundamental question today is, the customer behaviour has changed, as has behaviour changes in accordance with time. The guest of today is tech savvy and wants to use mobile phones and anything else that he can, to make his life comfortable. There is not even a shread of doubt about it.
The only question is, which hotels are thinking in ways in which the guest is thinking, and hence serving them properly.
Why should a hotel use something like Chatdesk?
Well because the customer expectation is interact today via phones and what not and hotels would do well to match that expectation well.
Guests today want to engage with the place that they want to stay.
Even before they stay at the hotel, they find out the narrative of the hotel via websites online. Your guests are hungry for information as they are spending their time and money with you. It would be much better if that experience was provided by you yourself.
And why not?