How Guest Feedback Aligns with Your Hotel's Top Goals

By Benjamin Jost Co-Founder & CEO, TrustYou | September 10, 2017

In a recent interview, Airbnb co-founder and chief strategy officer Nathan Blecharczyk said their future goals lie in “becoming a platform for the entire trip, so no longer just about accommodations…really trying to reinvent every aspect of travel.”

I believe hoteliers need to think along the same lines: how do we reinvent the travel experience – from search to booking to providing a top-notch experience on-site – to not only compete with the likes of Airbnb but also to achieve your hotel’s top goals?

It starts with taking a step back and first identifying those top goals. Every CEO I speak to is struggling with the same challenges – and I’ve noticed these four things come up as the top goals:

  • Driving direct bookings
  • Lowering distribution costs
  • Increasing hotel revenue
  • Improving guest satisfaction

In these discussions, the next question becomes: okay – so what plan do I need to put into place to achieve those four goals? And then, while they’re putting together that plan, they might ID some areas where guest feedback could be useful to aid that objective.

I challenge hoteliers to think about it in the reverse way: how can guest feedback help you achieve each of those four goals so that you use guest feedback across your entire customer journey (and not as an afterthought)?

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Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.