Customer-centric business strategies rule in today’s online economy. The underlying reason for this is because companies rely on a customer’s electronic word-of-mouth. Establishing a “relationship” means interacting with your end consumer, even if that conversation is through invisible, digital means. Whether question, comment, concern, or complaint, feedback
paves the way to success. The term Feedback appears a bit vague at first glance. What is it? What does it mean? What does it encompass? The Oxford dictionary states that feedback
is defined as Information about reactions to a product, a person's performance of a task, etc. which is used as a basis for improvement.
Broken down further, the meaning is two-fold: first, that information is provided, and second, that it is taken into consideration to make a positive change. These two characteristics emphasize the inherent power that describes this term. However, this does not explicitly define what “information” is. Feedback is actually an umbrella term when looked at it closely. For the hospitality industry, namely hotels (although restaurants, destinations, and tour providers also share similarities), online feedback covers the information that comes from all of the reviews written on various online portals, the results gained from pre- onsite- and post-stay surveys, as well as all of the communications that happen through email, mobile messaging, and social media. This information often comes through various online channels in the following forms:
- Public Reviews - this is the post-stay information that travelers share on sites around the web where the general public can publish a review, regardless of whether or not they are a confirmed customer.
- Confirmed Reviews - this is also the post-stay information that is published on sites that are able to filter and confirm reviews coming from customers who have booked.
- Survey Reviews - this is the information coming from published reviews, having been directly submitted after being asked to share the results from a provider’s satisfaction survey.
- Survey Responses - this is more targeted information that is specifically intended to gain travelers’ valuable insights as a result of guest satisfaction surveys.
- Responses to Outreaches - as a specific form of information, when hospitality companies use pre-stay measures to learn more about the guest to improve their experience before check-in.
- Messaging Conversations - as conversations through messaging services develop, customers reveal information about their preferences and satisfaction, which can be applied to future visits when saved to the customer relationship management (CRM) tool.
- Voice Requests - this very specific information can be collected and analyzed in the same way as messaging conversations in order to improve personalization services.
Online reputation management (ORM) has only recently become a piece of the feedback puzzle. As new channels like guest satisfaction surveys, messaging, and voice become more mainstream, the best way to describe all of these sources of information under one term is by using the term feedback
. The word feedback
is understood in global markets, without needing a designated word translation, making it ideal to describe the growing field of online feedback and all the new areas of information that will open up in the future.