If You Don't Survey Guests, You Won't Really Know

By Richard D. Hanks Chairman and President, Mindshare Technologies | April 15, 2010

When negative things happen, you want your guests to tell you. So survey them, get the feedback, because that will provide you with the opportunity to (1) improve your business, and (2) recover a customer before they defect to a competitor. Besides, no one really keeps their negative service experiences to themselves. People talk. The problem is that between 70% and 90% (depending on which research study you read) of dissatisfied customers won't complain at the point of service. They will leave your establishment ticked off without telling you, but you can bet they will tell their friends and neighbors. Consider the irony - everyone may know you have a problem, except you.

So, the best option is to make it easy for guests to let you know exactly how their experience went, before they vent elsewhere and take their business to your competitors.

Why guests don't complain

Why won't most customers tell you to your face that you've messed up? Several potential reasons:

  • I am conflict averse (it's hard for me to give you bad news to your face.)

  • It's not worth the trouble

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.