SOCIAL MEDIA & MOBILE How To Use To Improve Guest Satisfaction
Overall Hotel Guest Satisfaction TanksJ.D. Power & Associates 2012 Study Overall guest satisfaction declined 7 index points. Reaches lowest point in 7 years Pricing-was only category where satisfaction was higher
Saved by PricingReport points out that higher satisfaction with pricing had a“cushioning effect” on the poor service index such as: Check-in/Check-out Hotel rooms Food Beverage
Hoteliers have reactedBy cutting ratesBy cutting investmentsBy cutting staffBy cutting training
Dangerous Curves AheadIf continued, this approach will be especially dangerous as theeconomy improves and hotels find themselves wanting to raiserates.Thus if hotels do not begin to improve standards along withraising rates, NO amount of online reputation management willbe able to protect a hotel from a string of poor reviews!
Stuart Grief warning“As the industry continues to recover andrates increase, hoteliers need to get back tothe fundamentals and improve overall guestexperience.”Stuart Grief is J.D. Powers Global Travel and Hospitality Expert
Learning to Delight Your CustomersKey element: learning exactly WHAT pleases and displeasesyour guest by: Analyzing data for certain hot-button issues such as Cleanliness Internet Parking and Concierge Food/Beverage Check-in/Check-out
Social Media Tools Can HelpOn-line tools help make your job easier. Some to consider: Revinate TripAdvisor TrustYou.com SproutSocial ArgyleSocial SocialMention
Deepening Customer RelationshipsTwo trends are creating distance between hotel staff and guestand causing decline in customer satisfaction. Technology Use of OTA’s (online travel agents)
TechnologyTechnology has dramatically changed the guest experience. Kiosh check-in and the ability to find destination information online has begun to limit the face-to-face interaction of guest with staff.
Opportunities LostThere are many opportunities for hotels to impresscustomers when they use a concierge for local information orcheck-in with a competent and friendly front desk agent.However, these opportunities are lost when automation ofcheck in/out and sites like Yelp allow guests to findrestaurant and local information without the help of aconcierge.
OTAsJ.D. Powers reports that customer who book via an OTA such asExpedia are 45 points LESS satisfied than those who bookdirectly through the hotels site.This puts hoteliers behind the “customer satisfaction curve”even before guest arrives at property.
So, what to do?Hotels need to make a personal connection with OTA guestquickly so they begin to feel more engaged with the hotel.Social media engagement before/during (and even after) theirstay is a great option since guest is already familiar andcomfortable using technology.Using pre-stay messaging to inform an OTA customer that yourhotel provides location information and concierge supportthrough social channels is a great way to get that customer toview your hotel in a more positive light before walking onproperty.
Something SimpleEven a simple welcoming confirmation message directly from thehotel can ease any concerns about the reservation details and getthe customer experience started on the right foot.
Concierge & Customer Service via Social ChannelsImproving customer satisfaction is central to hotel successand social media interaction with guests during their stay canbring the hotel closer to their customers.A hotel who offers access to concierge services andsuggestions via Facebook, Twitter, or even text can drive realvalue for their customers.
Social Media SupportIf hotels employ socialmedia to support thecustomer service andconcierge activities of thehotel, they can do more withless staff and thereforemaintain profitability whileincreasing service levels.
A dedicated Facebook or Twitter presence for current guestswhere they can interact with a virtual concierge in real-time isa great way to deepen relationships with customers.A simple Twitter campaign that highlights the most popularrestaurants, attractions, specials and experiencessurrounding a hotel can ensure that guests have a wonderfultime and gives the hotel credit for hooking them up withinsider knowledge.
Creating the ability for customers to engage with the hotelscustomer service personnel such as housekeeping ormaintenance with a quick text message, or post on a dedicatedFacebook page or Twitter account, is a great way to respondquickly to guest needs with personal service in a transparent way.
Simple Example.Take, for example, the common problem of a forgottentoothbrush. If a guest has the ability to text customer service,they can request that item before heading out to dinner forthe evening.Your staff can send up the toothbrush while the guest is outand the hotel’s virtual service team can easily notify the guestthat a toothbrush has been delivered.
What’s this mean for you?From a staffing perspective, the hotel can respond morequickly to this type of request and keep service requests in anorganized queue depending on the level of urgency.This use of technology can reduce staff and give personalizedattention.Note: Hotel still need to give guests the option to call a liveoperator, but given the choice, many guests will choosetexting, tweeting, or posting because it is quick and easy.
View Social Media as a Service ChannelCustomers already using socialchannels.46% of hotel Facebook pagesinvolve customer-service relatedinteractions95% of hotel Twitter accountsinclude interactions relating toevents.65% of Tweets involve localtourism.
Meeting the information and service needs of customers viasocial channels can help close the divide that technology andless face-to-face communication creates.If you begin to integrate your social media efforts with yourservice and concierge operations, you can find new andexciting ways to please your customers and leveragetechnology.By improving guest satisfaction hotels can begin to increaserates and enjoy the benefit that a great reputation has throughall sales channels.