“Customer service shouldn’t just be a department; it should be the entire company.” – Tony Hsieh

In the last decade, technology has swamped the hotel landscape, and many hotels are vying with each other to showcase the best of hardware fitted out in their hotels.

The question that arises – Do guests really appreciate the investment that has been made into the latest gizmos? What do they really want? Have their needs changed after the pandemic? How do we ensure that guests are using the hardware and getting the best experience in using it?

These and many more questions raise ONE fundamental question:

Are we REALLY listening to our customers?

Over the years, the guest feedback system has been primarily a manual system. The comment card was handed over to the guest at checkout or in the restaurant, and many customers took the trouble to fill it up.

What happened to that card after it was filled up depended on many factors, and each of them can regale you with anecdotes for hours. Most people in the business know exactly what I am talking about. Needless to say, the exercise generally focused on the negatives, and the people involved got the short end of the stick. Manipulation of the cards was rampant, and ,in the end, the hotel did not get the opportunity to utilize the data to make course corrections in its journey to guest delight.
So  technology to the rescue.

There are cloud-based products available in the market that have democratized the whole process of collecting guest feedback. It is fairly foolproof (although people being what they are, there are still attempts to subvert the system), transparent, customizable, cost-effective, and most of all, the data collected can be sliced and diced to drill down to exactly what your customers are telling you. In chain hotels, this is crucial since data is now visible to everyone in the management chain. In addition, accountability of leadership deliverables makes it easier to ensure that the brand promise is met at all times.

The subject of evaluating feedback is vast and not in the scope of this article. However, I would strongly recommend to anyone serious about this subject to spend some time understanding the Net Promoter System and reading the book The Ultimate Question 2.0 written by Fred Reichheld. It can take you on a journey of customer enrichment that can transform your company and differentiate you from the rest of the pack.

 

Raju Louzado
The author is a hospitality professional and consultant to QMS World, a guest feedback system that is being  used by hotels both in India and abroad for the last 2 decades. For more information, you could look up the website  www.qmsworld.com

Nandika Udupihilla | IDS NEXT

Author

Hospitality CRM Solutions Pvt. Ltd (HCRM)

Helps companies become more customer centric

Hospitality CRM Solutions Pvt. Ltd (HCRM) in partnership with Differential Web Solutions USA has been improving the customer experience for better outcomes for the last 20 years in the hospitality industry. It provides affordable state-of-the-art software tools for better customer experience and online reputation management.