Encouraging Guests To Leave Feedback – Are You Doing It Right?
For hotels, guest feedback brings a world of possibilities, including the chance of using one’s reputation for marketing. What can be easier and more effective than attracting new guest through the positive experience of past ones? But impressions and opinions, no matter how great, don’t help much if they stay inside a guest’s mind or close circle - they need to be properly distributed and that is something that hoteliers can still work on.
First of all, if you are a hotelier, it’s important to acknowledge why a large number of guest reviews helps your hotel business. This is something that we have previously tackled into and it’s a relatively easy process: when receiving reviews in the online medium, your business gains more visibility. The more visible it is on search engines such as Google, the more chances you have of more guests seeing and checking out your hotel. Which ultimately translates into more chances of getting booked and gaining more revenue. Of course there are many ways to encourage a better visibility online and you can get more insights into this topic from blog post: The Importance of a Hotel’s Presence on Google and in our eBook: Branding Without The Brand Name: A Hotelier’s Guide to Building Brand Value.
Feedback is not limited to the post-stay phase of the guest journey: on-site feedback is the best way of solving issues on the spot
After ensuring that you have a proper visibility online and you get bookings, it’s up to you to provide a satisfactory guest experience, while the traveler is on-site. Keep in mind though, that guest feedback is not limited to the post-stay phase of the journey. You can get valuable insights from your guests while they are enjoying their stay, by constantly checking in and providing them with means of expressing their opinions and requests, such as a direct messaging tool. If you want more info on how you can get feedback during the guest’s stay, by making good use of TrustYou Guest Messaging, we recommend checking out this blog post: The Hotel Guest’s On-Site Experience – Communicating With The Guest.
We are now getting to what really caught your attention. So what exactly should you know and do in order to encourage guests to leave feedback? Our latest white paper brought to light a few very interesting facts about how guest feedback is collected and what it depends on. The most important finding is that when a review is requested by an accommodation provider, guests are 3.6x times more likely to leave a review. Not only that, but every time an accommodation asks for guest feedback, the solicited reviews are 16% more likely to be “extremely” positive, as in a 5 star review. This goes to show that the most effective way of getting positive feedback from your guests is also the easiest one: just ask!
Asking for feedback is the easiest way of getting it - and our study confirms this!
A lot of the times, when a guest departs from a hotel, even if his stay and overall experience was an excellent one, he might forget to leave an online review. Life gets in the way, you know. That’s why it’s important to give your guests a little push, just enough to encourage them to take a mental note and share their experiences online.
There are a few ways of doing this: as mentioned, you can ask for feedback while on-site, in person or through a messaging tool, in order to find out what works and what doesn’t and therefore, have the opportunity of decreasing issues, so they wouldn’t turn into negative post-stay reviews. Of course, there’s a certain limit that you should impose while checking in on your guests, since no one wants to be constantly contacted by hotel staff and asked to give feedback. While guests are on the hotel premises, asking for their impressions once or twice should be enough. What you need to consider is leaving the lines of communication open and letting guests know that they can contact the staff anytime, for any type of inquiry, request or issue. Feedback, after that, should come naturally.
Reviews are great on any channel, but the best way of having control over them is by using a customizable guest satisfaction survey
Upon a guest’s departure, a quick and friendly reminder from the front-desk staff is encouraged. Thank the guest for choosing your hotel and remind him that his experience and impressions are very important, so feedback is extremely welcomed.
Last, but most importantly, the post-stay feedback is the most common type and it usually comes in the form of online reviews. Modern travelers now have a multitude of channels and specialized platforms where they can make their opinions public and those opinions can influence the booking decision of future guests. While reviews are great on any channel, the best way of making sure that you have control over it is by relying on a guest survey solution, such as the one that our guest feedback platform incorporates. You can create and customize the surveys that are sent to guests after their departure and focus on those exact questions that you would like an answer to. Nearly half of all hotel reviews are collected via the hotel’s own guest satisfaction survey and for travelers, this can represent the most reliable source. Instead of leaving reviews on different websites across the web, travelers know that their opinions and impressions will 100% reach the hotel management - basically, they go straight to the source, making sure to emphasize on the strengths and signal the issues that need to be solved.
Hospitality is a very personal industry and showing genuine interest in your guests’ experience pays off, in the form of positive reviews
With the TrustYou guest survey solution, guests can also push their reviews on Google, meaning that your hotel gets more visibility. Plus, an interesting fact that we discovered in our latest study is that requested feedback is usually heard and noticed and it results in reviews. Unlike guests who don’t get a request from the hotel, in regards of providing feedback (out of which only 22% write a review, based on their own intention), 80% of the respondents who were actually asked to give an insight into their experience, wrote reviews. Through our research, we also found out that 96% of the reviews that travelers left were positive when the review was solicited by the accommodation provider. Normally, this means that their stay was excellent, but we also tend to think that the act of soliciting feedback can also gain points in the eyes of the guests, because they know that you genuinely care. Hospitality is, after all, a very personal industry and showing an interest towards improving and offering a great experience is always perceived as a sign of quality and respect.
Make sure to download our extended study and check out all of the key findings, to get more insights into how feedback is collected and what a huge impact it has on a hotel’s reputation and revenue. The white paper is available for free download here.