How hotel chains can improve their operations with guest feedback
Maintaining the cohesion and strength of a brand is one of the main challenges for hotel chains. Part of this challenge is being able to offer high quality services that meet already established standards. To achieve this, it’s important to be meticulous and keep a constant eye on the reliability of operations by considering all of your departments. Much like independent hotels and indeed any other type of business, the best way to improve your services is to communicate with your guests to draw useful conclusions. In this article, we’ll examine how closely monitoring your guest feedback (before, during and after the stay) can help optimise your operations.
Listen to your guests
In what context?
It might seem simple, but listening to your guests takes organisation. First you need to ask: at which points in the guest journey is it particularly important to gather feedback? We may be inclined to think that the most important time to be listening is after the stay, when the guest goes to leave a review. It’s true that this step is crucial to understand the nature of the guest experience and to get an idea of the guest’s overall satisfaction. However you should also consider gathering and analysing feedback before and during the stay.
We can sum it up like this :
- Before stay: Anticipating guests’ needs and gaining a clearer understanding of their expectations.
- During stay: Providing solutions to any potential problems linked to your services and facilitating better communication between departments.
- After stay: Assessment of the guest experience and an intricate understanding of strengths and weaknesses, which could be compared to those of the other establishments in the chain.
At every step of the guest journey you have an opportunity to gather feedback. This will help you to personalise the guest experience and the management of your operations.
There are many different ways to reach out to your guests. However it’s vital to choose the right form of technology. Ideally one that will allow you to take full advantage of the reviews left by your guests. But how exactly? First you need to have a global and detailed vision of everything that is being said about your hotels. You can achieve this by centralising your reviews, allowing access to data from all review portals (TripAdvisor, Google, Booking.com…). You can then gather reviews by inviting your guests to express their views on external portals (post-stay). Or alternatively through a personalised questionnaire which allows for greater flexibility.
What are the concrete benefits for your chain?
Using the right tool will provide access to a wealth of relevant information about your hotels. From there, you can carry out various kinds of analysis by filtering using the criteria that interest you. Some of these criteria might be: thoughts about the standard of the chain’s check-in process, consistency in the quality of the breakfast, comparison of notes and requests based on the nationality of guests… There are a vast number of possible insights to be found that allow you to control your operations. You may take this even further by implementing objectives and performance indicators to be monitored by the individual hotels and their teams. This way of controlling operations also helps you to train your teams better. Building the habit of intelligent examination of guest reviews encourages your teams to follow good practices and listen to guests more effectively. Improving operations leads to better management of your resources, particularly your staff. In addition, giving your teams useful information about their establishment’s performance will motivate them to be proactive. This will facilitate decision-making between the different players (the parent company, regional headquarters and other hotels in the chain) and will also allow you to avoid having to travel from place to place so frequently, optimising your costs.
To sum up, the concrete benefits of better feedback management are:
- Improved overall vision of guest feedback
- Analysis and control of performance in connection with guest satisfaction
- Implementation of performance indicators
- Optimisation of time and communication
- Improvement of operations and adherence to standards
The Customer Alliance dashboard shows all of your reviews in one place and helps you to conduct in-depth analyses, whether semantic or competitor-related. There is also a chain module to provide a global view of all your establishments and therefore help optimise operations. Extra functions like to-dos and recommendations can also make communication much more fluid.
Customer Alliance gives us the technical ability to personally contact all our guests and actively request their feedback. THis direct feedback, along with the software’s detailed analysis feature, allow us to identify and improve weak points. a&o Hostels
Improving operations to enhance the guest experience
Now you have obtained a set of concrete analyses about your guests’ feedback, you can identify how your establishments are performing. This naturally allows improvement of the guest experience at the chain level. By having a better understanding of your hotels, your guests, their needs and expectations you can personalise your offers with ease and communicate with your guests in a more authentic manner. In concrete terms, this also means you can make additional sales more effectively because you will know what service to offer when.
Hotel owners are always seeking to improve the guest experience. To do this, it’s wise to have a roadmap with concrete objectives for improvement. Also, as we’ve just seen, the guest experience is linked to satisfaction and, therefore, to the scores posted on portals. The Customer Alliance solution offers a function which lets you set targets to strengthen your commitment to improving your performance and operations. By creating automated reports with criteria that matter to you, Customer Alliance also helps you to gain a better overall vision of your operations and guest satisfaction. There are other tools to complement your operational organisation, like Hotelkit, which notably helps chains to improve internal communication and add structure to processes.
To combine operational management and the guest experience, our new Guest Experience Hub offers you many possibilities to personalise communication with the guest and diversify the way you collect feedback so you can achieve maximum control over your operations and performance.
Don’t hesitate – request a free demonstration of the Customer Alliance solution. Our experts will be happy to give a personalised demonstration of how it works, offering advice and tips to help you improve.