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Unlocking Guest Satisfaction: Harnessing Technology for Hospitality Success

Hotel brands can use technology to address the often unnoticed costs of negative guest experiences, by implementing effective feedback collection systems and leveraging data analytics to enhance guest satisfaction and stay competitive in the market.
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The hospitality industry is incredibly competitive, so it’s even more important for brands to retain customers after their first interaction and keep them coming back. Unfortunately, one of the things preventing companies from achieving this is negative guest experiences, many of which go unnoticed.

But what is the cost of a negative experience in the hospitality industry, how do many of them go unnoticed by managers, and what can you do to swiftly address guest feedback and turn a negative experience into a positive one? This is where technology comes to the rescue.

The Cost of a Negative Hotel Experience

While most hospitality businesses understand the harm a negative experience can bring to their brand, they often don’t realize that the cost is much more profound than it might seem at first.

For example, a negative guest experience doesn’t only mean one lost customer. In fact, this customer will go on to spread the news, causing more potential guests to never do business with you. And in the era of social media, this behavior is particularly dangerous, as information can reach a potentially unlimited number of people, giving you no option to explain your side of the story.

But it doesn’t stop there. Disgruntled guests often show their dissatisfaction during their stay, distressing others and, as a result, making their stay unpleasant. This is particularly dangerous, as you can’t control a dissatisfied guest’s reaction, so you need to make sure these hard feelings never arise in the first place.

How Many Negative Experiences Go Unnoticed by Managers

Your employees are just humans, and they can only notice so much. This means that, while they are busy in one area of the business, there might be a dissatisfied customer in another, waiting for support that will never come to them - not to mention guests who never take the opportunity to share their negative feedback and instead choose to continue their stay as if nothing had happened.

These blind spots are particularly dangerous, as many businesses will never learn of their existence. Because of that, they can’t do anything to mitigate them, meaning that the business’s resources are poured into areas with much less significance, decreasing the potential return on investment and the number of opportunities the competition with an efficient feedback-collecting system will seize so easily.

Mitigating Negative Experiences with Feedback

One of the main reasons why businesses in the hospitality industry miss important guest experience insights is either a lack of a proper feedback-collection system or issues with the existing system. An effective feedback-collection system should be anonymous and easy to use.

Being able to leave anonymous feedback makes guests more likely to share their experience with the business. The fear of having their opinions heard by another human being is one of the main reasons why many guests decide against talking to a staff member and instead choose to share their experience only after it has finished through anonymous channels such as online reviews, making it impossible for companies to better understand and address the situation.

Secondly, it should be easy to leave feedback. Guests don’t want to take too much time out of their stay to let the hotel know how they are doing. This means that lengthy, text-based response requests will often be left blank. On the contrary, simple smiley or star ratings make it much easier to communicate how the guests are feeling about their experience.

What About Guest Feedback Analysis?

While collecting feedback from guests is a relatively easy task, on its own, it won’t bring much value to any hotel. That is because in order to turn feedback into actionable insights, it has to be analyzed by a team of data analysts specializing in drawing conclusions from large amounts of data.

For many hospitality businesses, this is a factor preventing them from implementing a feedback-collecting system in their hotel. The labor costs are simply too high, and with low budgets, many businesses have to decide against improving this area of their business, potentially losing many opportunities in the process.

Luckily, there are solutions available for businesses that don’t want, or lack resources, to build an in-house data analytics team to outsource this part of feedback collection. This not only gives businesses immediate guest feedback data, but also actionable insights that they can use to close any gaps in the guest experience that might have arisen. This is not only cost-effective but also allows your team to focus on other parts of the business. 

Once available only to the biggest brands, all hospitality businesses can now leverage artificial intelligence and data to make well-informed directions based on customer feedback. By working with the right service provider, companies can decrease implementation costs and maximize benefits.

2023 marks the perfect moment to get a step ahead and start collecting data that can then be used to solidify your hotel’s position as market leader. As technology continues to advance, the entry barrier will only continue to decrease, and more hotels will start to implement some form of feedback collection. 

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