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 group's 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 group's 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 January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.