Getting honest customer feedback can be challenging and difficult but successfully gaining this information can provide an excellent opportunity to improve the quality of the customer service experience.
We collect survey information on behalf of our hospitality customers and as a sample we asked 100 guests at a number of hotels whether they would comment to management about something negative in their experience. Only 18 said that they would say something at the hotel, although over 60 said they’d put that feedback in a review on sites such as TripAdvisor.
It’s important for hotels, and also restaurants and pubs, to make the customer feel that they can leave feedback. We encourage our clients to ask every customer the question “what one thing would you want changing to make your stay more enjoyable?” and this frequently brings positive and useful comments.
Friendly staff and managers do make it more likely that customers will leave feedback on site, but it’s important to remember that under 20% of those we surveyed said that they would do this. So use strategies to encourage customers to leave feedback when they’re at your premises, but don’t rely on it. Certainly don’t tell customers that it’s too late to fix problems if they later comment on them, it’s never too late to try and turn a negative into a positive.
So use on-site strategies to get customers to leave feedback, as an example, some hotels offer a free drink at the bar as a welcome and try and get initial feedback at this stage. For our clients we ensure though that we enable every customer to leave feedback on a survey site which you can respond to, in the hope that they use this before going straight to TripAdvisor or a similar site to leave a negative review.
But whenever feedback is left, treat it as a positive opportunity, even if it’s not what you wanted to hear. Respond in a positive manner and explain if you can implement the suggestion, and reward customers who give good suggestions. If customers see that you’ve inter-acted and rewarded others who have made positive suggestions, they’re far more likely to try and do the same.
We offer our clients a reputation management service which takes care of all aspects of a hotel, restaurant or pub’s reputation.