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Hotel VoC: The key to guest satisfaction is voice of the customer

November, 2020

The hospitality industry has long been one of the most-reviewed sectors with guests ranking customer satisfaction during the customer journey based on quality and service. The voice of the customer (VoC) is king in this industry and can majorly influence your hospitality business. Let’s talk about why a hotel VoC software is something worth investing in.

What is the voice of the customer for hotels?

As we dive into greater detail in our Voice of the Customer Guide: Importance, VoC tools and examples, the voice of the customer is a methodology for improving a business based on customer feedback. 

In order for a hotel to implement a VoC strategy, they must collect both direct and indirect guest feedback to understand the desires and needs of their guests. 

Why is it important for my hotel? (Answer: Revenue)

Employing a Voice of the Customer strategy at your hotel means that you are actively catering to guests and personalising their experience. And do you know how your hotel could benefit? 

An increase of 6 to 10% of revenue. These are gains currently accrued by hotels that focus on crafting personalised experiences using technology and data (1). 

Oh…and acquisition costs can be cut up to 50% (1). This should be a no-brainer. Once you use VoC hotel data obtained from a guest’s first visit to woo them back to your establishment, you can easily delight them with everything they’ll need and want because you’ll already know. 

We like to say it often around here: Loyalty matters. And what’s the key to loyal customers? A customer experience that’s personalised. Read more here: What is Customer Experience Management – Your guide to customer satisfaction and loyalty.

What can digital VoC software do for my hotel?

Collect data during the hotel customer journey

VOC hotel customer journey by customer alliance

Delivering a memorable guest experience across the entire journey is key

While most hotels today send out post-stay feedback forms, many do not utilise other opportunities to get feedback throughout the hotel customer journey.

To get a better read on an incoming guest, why not send them a survey pre-arrival? You can speed up check-in by getting the necessary information, gather information on preferences or allergies and upsell certain services on offer. Think spa, champagne, room upgrade and more. 

Next, check-in with the guest while they’re in your hotel with a “How’s it going?” survey. This is a great way to immediately improve their experience should anything be lacking! 

Lastly, don’t forget to send a questionnaire to see the areas your hotel can grow in as there’s always room for improvement! We recommend you include an invite in the questionnaire for your hotel guests to publish their reviews online so you can further build your online reputation.

 For further tips, check out 5 ways to use the new questionnaire that you haven’t thought of yet!

Provide actionable metrics via hotel VoC analysis

The main selling point of a hotel VoC software? It automates all of the above guest communication and provides analytics on the feedback your hotel receives. 

  1. Net Promoter Score (NPS): When guests rate from 1-10 how likely they are to recommend your hotel, they are providing a way to measure guest satisfaction. Make sure you measure your NPS over time. We find this simple metric so important that it’s one of the key things our software helps hotels to measure. 
  2. Sentiment Analysis: Dive into what guests really mean in their reviews. Monitor positive and negative feelings about hotel VoC topics mentioned in reviews like room, staff, and breakfast. 
  3. Ratings: Keep track of your ratings and those of your competitors on external review portals such as Google, TripAdvisor, and Booking.com. 
  4. Ranking: Look at how your hotel is doing locally by seeing it’s ranking out of all the hotels in the area. We partner with TripAdvisor to offer hotels a chance to see their current city ranking and rankings over time. 
Sentiment analysis analysing VoC hotel topics

Sentiment analysis analysing VoC hotel topics via Customer Alliance

Effectively oversee the hotel’s online reputation

81% of people frequently or always read reviews before booking a hotel (2). 

Unsurprisingly, responding timely and appropriately to all reviews is a must in order to attract new guests. A hotel VoC program should allow you to respond to all reviews from one place, with language translation options and an alert system for negative reviews.

It’s also important that your hotel has plenty of fresh, positive reviews on more than one review portal. To ensure this happens, many hotels opt for VoC tools that allow them to automate review invitations and then distribute these reviews to selected review platforms. 

A major search filter potential travellers use to find a hotel is star ranking. See our tips for how to get another star towards your star ranking—Hotels, want to be starstruck? Digitalise to increase your hotel star rating.

Synthesise hotel management 

If you are operating in more than one location, it is an absolute necessity to be able to monitor your hotel branches with proper reporting. The right hotel VoC program should allow you to see everything in one place. 

Keep track of performance across locations as well as your competitors’ performance in order to set benchmarks to drive efficiency and unify the company in best practices. 

What are the benefits of having a hotel VoC program? 

Enjoy social proof 

What your guests say online about your hotel will influence potential guests. Utilising a hotel VoC program, you can efficiently respond to all reviews and distribute them to major review platforms such as Google and TripAdvisor. 

Gain online visibility

As expected, you can grow your Google rankings by having more Google reviews and increased star ratings. 

But even beyond that, did you know you can increase your search engine rankings by including user-generated content, such as reviews, directly on your website? (For more info, read Maximising the value from integrating the Customer Alliance widget on my website.) 

Furthermore, when you display reviews on your website, this creates trust and will generate more bookings. Win, win!

Improve problem-solving

If you send out surveys mid-stay during the customer journey and have a ticketing system, such as a to-do module, for your staff members, your hotel can fix a problem before a guest leaves.

Not only will this help your hotel avoid negative reviews, but it could actually increase your guest satisfaction score. 

Personalisation: Show guests you care 

Yes again, we vouch for personalisation! Cultivate more touchpoints to keep an eye on guests throughout the hotel customer journey. In doing so, you’ll be gathering more information for each guest and will be able to personalise their guest experience. For example,

  • Do they want wine/champagne upon arrival?
  • Would they like to try your hotel’s restaurant or spa services? 
  • How are they enjoying their stay so far?
  • Will they need a taxi when they leave?

With greater interaction, personalisation, and the previously-mentioned onsite problem solving, guests will feel like a unique customer and not a room number. 

To summarise: A checklist for VoC hotel tools

Just as there are scores of hotels on this planet—from luxury travel resorts to independent hotels—so too, are there a number of  Voice of the Customer tools to improve customer experience

While the expanse of a VoC software can depend on the need and size of a hotel or hotel chain, consider which VoC hotel tools your hotel needs

Pick VoC Tools which help you to do the following:

  • Map your hotel customer journey with automated guest communication
  • Get more reviews and distribute them across major portals
  • Issue surveys and questionnaires 
  • Provide text analytics and semantics for all feedback
  • See how you compare to your competitors
  • Assign reports and reviews across different locations with ease

If you’re not already proactively listening to your customers’ voice, then you’re behind your competitors. But, it’s not too late!

Explore your options given your hotel’s needs and start implementing a hotel VoC strategy. We’d love to help!

Schedule a free consultation

Sources:

  1. SiteMinder: Why personalisation can deliver 6% more revenue for your hotel
  2. Siteminder: Hotel reviews: How to manage online guest reviews at your property

Related Content:

Ecommerce and the Voice of the Consumer—Feedback matters

VoC Restaurant 101: Develop a Voice of the Customer Strategy

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