Ref: Caterer and Hotelkeeper 14th October 2011Article Page 22
"Once upon a time a hotel
guest would share their experience directly with the hotelier when they checked
out (if asked). They may even have completed
an ‘in room’ feedback card placed in the room.
What was said between a guest and an hotelier was pretty much kept ‘in
However in today’s dynamic
and transparent world, the internet via mediums like Twitter, Facebook and
YouTube, have empowered consumers around the world to share their most intimate
thoughts regarding products and services they experience at the touch of a
There is no question in the
hotel industry about the importance of managing guest feedback and guest satisfaction,
as all hoteliers know that if a guest leaves their property having had a
positive experience, there is a very good chance that they will become a
“repeat guest” and generate positive “word of mouth”, which will translate into
an increase in non commission paid direct bookings". Caterer and Hotelkeeper Page 22 Article 14/10/11
Do you think hoteliers are doing enough to seize back the initiative from online hotel review websites? What seems to be working and why?
If you are
an accommodation provider then, like it or lump it but review sites are here to
stay...(pun intended). They'll be flexing
their muscles & putting you in the bull ring: self catering; timeshare; hostels; guest
houses; hotels; & the bed & breakfast - you name it...if you have a bed
to be slept in then you have the potential to be reviewed. So, what’s my
advice? Well - get into bed with them of
What with reality TV
shows & documentaries opening our eyes wide to what is going on behind business
doors - many of us have become experts in offering our opinion. Gone are the days where a bad experience left
you moaning & groaning to 50 people who you happened to come into contact
with...bang are the days when you can tweet, Facebook & review to
5,000,000+ within seconds of an experience.
don’t think you need feedback but listen...feedback is not just about you &
your business...it is about tourism as a whole.
There is a lot you can learn from other businesses & your customers so
there needs to be collaborative – joined up thinking.
YOU are in control of the information gathered from your customer...nurture
them, give them a chance to feedback at any given moment, listen to them &
act on the information.
OK - so, review
sites are not specifically in your control.
But having an attitude about them is simply not going to do you any
favours. Not listening to your customer
is NOT an option, especially when it is for the whole world to see too! You cannot control what people say but you
can actively respond & the beauty is – YOU have the last word.
probably think I hate these review sites but I absolutely love them because there
is an element of truth in anything that is put 'finger to keyboard'. The feedback can offer encouragement,
direction & more often than not, a kick up the bum to make those changes
that you have been ‘oh so busy’ to get around to doing. Yes, the truth hurts. But whatever the emotion the feedback evokes,
it shows that the customer cares enough to say something so you need to take
the initiative & do something with the valuable information.
You have choices...
choice about what you do with the feedback & also
choice about how you react to the feedback
need to do more to use the reviews to their advantage, after all feedback is
all about continuous improvement. It is
about growing your business, understanding your customers, making changes that
they have instigated – this builds confidence & a vital connection with
feedback as a way of only improving you as a business - look at it as improving
your customer. Encourage feedback via
review sites but also educate your customer to the fact that they need to
feedback information on the spot – there is no good hiding behind a monitor to
anonymously criticise a business with no means of rectification.
human psyche to one that is open, transparent, educational, supportive &
collaborative then tourism will flourish – until that time we will always have
bitter, twisted reviews with people thinking they know better...maybe they do,
maybe they don’t – whatever their thoughts – learn to deal with it.
Online review sites are thriving because the internet has put the power of information in the customers hands.
Now, every potential booker is empowered to make their own choice of where to go and stay and won't rely on a brochure or sales pitch - they want to go out and find this information for themselves.
I don't think there will be a world without these sites moving forward, and to compete hoteliers would need to have websites which are more transparent, hold more content and information and engage their customer-base through social media.
I think those old techniques of in room feed back forms, staff who take every opportunity to ask " how could we have improved on that part of your experience with us", e-mails following up a guest's stay asking them to comment etc., are the best way to "manage" on-line reviews.
Give a guest every possible opportunity to feed back during their stay must increase the chance of us picking up dissatisfactions and acting on them instantly, thus reducing the chances of damaging reviews.
Because "in house" feed back needs constant attention, I suspect some may be guilty of letting it slide from time to time. At one's peril methinks!
Fallowfields Hotel and Restaurant, Oxfordshire
Anthony Lloyd comments hit the nail on the head. Social
media is here to stay it’s a direct communication channel to past, present and
future customers used well an asset to a business. You need a strategy to
encourage contribution, to capture, verify and respond. Of course they will be malicious
contributors hopefully the over whelming number of positive comments will
dispel negative remarks and show such contributions up for what they are. In
many ways a far more effective marketing and sales tool than traditional
CAB142 also hit the nail on the head. It's about having a strategy that is simple, gets the review, is adhered to by staff and administered by management. These online reviews can be so powerful when done correctly and it doesn't have to take a lot of time.
Online feedback plays an important role to increase the customers and to get profit. Guests and customers give online review (bad or good) about hotel or holidays at country houses or hotels and tell about the services that it is good or not.
English Pub for Sale