Using Guest Intelligence to Motivate and Empower Your Team

By R.J. Friedlander Founder & CEO, ReviewPro | April 17, 2016

Hoteliers can gather endless amounts of data from analytical tools but the real challenge is knowing what to do with it. Today, savvy hoteliers are using Guest Intelligence to motivate each department and get the most out of individual teams to improve overall guest satisfaction and boost revenue. By creating a guest-centric culture, employees at hotels are empowered to make a difference. At the end of the day, your employees are representatives of your brand and those responsible for offering remarkable guest service.

Guest Intelligence is the in-depth analysis of online reviews and guest satisfaction survey data, including both during and post stay surveys, to provide detailed insight into what guests like and dislike about their stay, and determine how to improve hotel service. To stay competitive, the key is to focus on overall reputation improvement starting on property.

As a hotel, the guest experience and opinion should play a fundamental part in the overall strategy of your company. Guest feedback is invaluable to all members of your team as it allows you to make operational and service improvements.

From staff recruitment and training to sales and marketing messages to investments in new services or upgrades, Guest Intelligence is relevant for everyone at your hotel. By drilling down to a departmental level and attaining the right data for the right people, the improvements you make will lead to higher guest satisfaction, guest loyalty and a higher volume of online reviews.

Your team will feel motivated if they know their effort and hard work is making a difference on a larger scale. Hotels can start with a few small steps to create a guest focused internal culture amongst employees. Start by sharing feedback with the whole team, not just management. Your kitchen staff are the people serving the coffee in the morning, your housekeepers are those who make sure a room is ready for a new guest. These are the people that can make a difference between a good and bad review and in turn, directly influence your online reputation.

A perfect example of a brand using Guest Intelligence to empower its team is The Library Hotel Collection. Each of the groupís six luxury hotels has its own distinctive personality and charm and the brand has become synonymous with providing an exceptional experience for every traveler. The groupís four New York hotels have occupied the top ten rankings of over 400 hotels in the city on TripAdvisor for almost 10 years as a result of an internal culture focused on outstanding guest satisfaction. The company believes that every time you make a guest truly feel cared for, respected and appreciated, you create an opportunity for another positive review. These results begin with the staff, where they are made to feel motivated as a result of positive feedback.

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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.