I recently read a great article on the New York Times website on how hotels are capturing customer feedback. I thought it was a great model for all businesses to learn from.
In a nutshell, hotels realize that traditional customer feedback is only going to touch a very small percentage of their customer base. Response rates from traditional feedback methodologies are steadily decreasing, and hotels know that the web is where to be.
Realizing that many people may not have the time or desire to call a toll free number, visit a website, or fill out a feedback form, they will take their opinions online, whether it’s on a review site, like TripAdvisor, or on their Facebook or Twitter pages. That’s why many hotels have made it a point to monitor online content for feedback, reviews, and consumer perception of their hotels.
They also realize the importance technology has in the world of feedback, and have devised ways to capture this information with a variety of technology, so that customers can communicate through the channel they’re most comfortable.
From QR codes to ipad survey kiosks, hotels are offering as many forms of feedback as possible. This has done well for the industry, allowing hotels to collect valuable data and make changes to enhance the guest experience.
Another thing they are doing is moving away from more traditional questions, such as “rate the cleanliness of your room” and leaning toward open ended questions and those types of questions that revolve around the “emotional” aspect of a hotel stay. Hearing from the customer, in their own words, can provide even more information than they’ve seen with other feedback programs. The open ended responses are run through text analytics programs to group themes, look for trends, and make necessary changes to their business model.
It is an ever changing process, but it looks like hotels are on the right path. It will be interesting to watch how customer feedback methodologies continue to evolve as technology becomes more sophisticated.