Why Hotels should avoid having Guest Feedback go viral on Social Media
Customers has relied on trusted resources from their Network to make Hotel reservations long before both Internet and Social Media made Guest Feedback more available.
The casual leisure traveler maybe shared their experience with ten of their closets friends. While the business traveler could share it with up to hundred friends, colleagues and business contacts.
With Internet services like TripAdvisor became available, and we started both the casual leisure traveler and the business traveler was sharing their info with a larger network.
But still the Guest Feedback was information exchanged between the guest and the customer that was actively seeking to make a Hotel Reservation.
The major shift that came with People to People (P2P) driven Hospitality
With the introduction of Social Media Guest Feedback is no longer shared with a dedicated group that was actively seeking this information. The information is part of a larger eco-system where minor details can create spiral of information that Hotels has no control over.
My friends at Software Advice a company that provides free reviews of hotel management software, conducted a three-day online survey. Here they collected about 385 responses to five questions from randomly selected travelers within the United States, with a total of 1,936 respondents.
Guest Most Likely to give Feedback at Checkout
We see here that a large percentage of guest is providing feedback at check-out. And as time progress guests is actually less likely to provide information, many guest forget important details and the quality and validity of the information decrease.
This is really important for Hotels to know, because this is when the information has the highest relevance to how the customer perceive the Hotel Experience.
Women More Likely than Men to offer Feedback
Not only did the study show that women are more likely to share their Hotel Experience with their Network, but they are also more prone to voice any concerns with their Hotel Experience.
Guests prefer to share their Feedback Online
Guests has over the last few years become more accustomed to share their Hotel Experience through their smart devices. Not only this provide them with feeling of ownership of the information, but they know the information will be seen by a larger eco-system. This is power shift that Hotels need to be aware of.
Top Preferred Incentives
Guest value food and drink incentive above all other incentives. So the key is to capture the Guest at early stage. This is one reason why Hotels today need to apply active Listening Strategies.
Though it is not recommended to create an incentive just for the purpose of getting a feedback. This type of feedback often ends up biased and will not add any long term value for the Hotel.
Highly Satisfied or Unsatisfied Guest most likely to provide feedback
It is not new to Social Media that Guests their either is highly satisfied or highly unsatisfied is most likely to share their Hotel Experience.
One thing that is important to know here is that these groups of Guest also is more likely to overreact when they share their Hotel Experience. And when we dig deeper into the information provided by either a highly satisfied or highly unsatisfied guest this information do not add any value for the Hotel.
Though this is the information that most often goes viral on Social Media. When the information goes viral it often take a life of its own. Even the most sophisticated Reputation Management Strategy will not be able to stop the information when the Social Media eco-system has taken control of it.
Guest Feedback provides the Hotel with an opportunity
Guest feedback often provides Hotels with an opportunity to identify strengths or weaknesses. When guests start sharing their feedback through various Social Media Channels Listening and Timing of the response is critical.
Don’t make the mistake and let the Social Media eco-system take control of the information. This is what can happen if your Hotel don’t take the time to listen and leave critical details unanswered.
Guest Feedback is today shared with thousands in matter of seconds. Sorry but there is NO grace period or excuse for not providing a proper and timely response.
Either the guest share a concern or something positive, embrace the opportunity. Use visual content and showcase how you resolved a concern. And it is ok to celebrate success.
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