Therefore, in the ideal scenario, minimizing the number of these detractors and increasing the number of promoters is a constant attempt made by all hotels.
However, ensuring the same is not a task that can be performed overnight, and requires many processes to be put in place, and a lot of efficiencies to be poured into the system.
Remember, we are living in the digital age, where travellers have access to a number of communication channels, especially social media, where they are extremely comfortable in sharing their experience, thereby bringing a huge impact on the hotel reputation. In such a case, having more promoters also increases the hotel's chances of having better reviews. Below are a few points, by taking care of these a hotel could ensure a maximum number of happy guests.
a) In-Room experience – The first and the foremost requirement of any guest that goes a long way in shaping their overall opinion about the hotel is their experience with the room. Factors like room hygiene, comfort, space, complimentary Wi-Fi, clean washroom, etc. play an important role in ensuring that they have a great stay. In fact, a recent research indicates that travellers utilized the in-room features are more than the on-property services. A clear focus on ensuring that the room is well equipped with the right set of things is therefore utmost essential. Clearly, if your guests are happy with the room services, half of your job in turning them into promoters is done.
b) Regular Guest Interactions – The journey of making your guest feel comfortable begins as soon as they complete their booking. It is important to hold interactions with them in a friendly manner, even before they arrive at your property. The guests demand constant attention, and the hotel staff must ensure that they make them feel special and valued. Well, in some cases, the guests might not have the requirement to interact with any of the staff members during their entire stay, provided if everything is in place according to their needs. However, the staff's keenness to interact with the guest and an attitude of offering help for even the pettiest issue ensures a personal touch, which is very important if you wish to have them as a promoter. Various hotels across the world have even introduced robots for customer service. However, the role of human interaction can certainly not be undermined.
c) Connect with repeat guests – Repeat guests are your evangelists. Such guests are highly engaged guests and have a high probability of spending more at your hotel. Moreover, they will be more willing to share a positive feedback for your property. You should be regularly engaged with them through special offers and any news about your hotel. Design targeted guest surveys for them, as they are likely to share an honest feedback about your hotel.
d) Hotel Location – In which part of the city the hotel is located can very well influence the opinion of travellers. Whether it is centrally located with access to key markets and other attractions (meeting venues in case of business travellers) or is on the outskirts involving long hours of commuting, is one of the primary reasons for a guest being or not being a promoter. Certainly, the location is not in control of the hotel staff, but in case the hotel is not at the best location, provide complimentary local transport to ensure that the guests do not face any trouble by providing an easier means of transportation to their desired destinations. Hence, eliminating your hotel location as a factor for dissatisfaction and ensuring it does not hamper their overall stay experience.
e) Collect Feedback on property – Ask for guest feedback while they are still at your property. The guest feels important and respected, and this increases your chances of dealing with an unpleasant situation (bad experience), if any, well before they exit the hotel, thereby making sure that the damage control activity has been done. Extending apology for any lag in service can take control of the situation and the hotel comes across as a responsible entity. On the other hand, in the absence of feedback collection activity, a furious guest would most likely become a detractor, and even a satisfied guest might turn into a neutral. However, just remember, the easier you make it for your guests to write a review, it is more likely that they will try to share a feedback with you.
f) Dining Options and Experience – Availability of good dining facilities with flexible dining options has also been cited as one of the main reasons for a guest being a promoter, neutral or a detractor. A pleasant dining experience drives the guest to leave a positive remark for the hotel restaurant, and vice versa. Thereby increasing your revenue from your F&B domain also. Encourage and monitor feedback for your restaurant like- food quality, restaurant service, ambience, etc. In addition, work on areas receiving a neutral or a negative feedback.
The biggest challenge is to work on their feedback and convert these detractors into promoters, so that the hotel continues to enjoy a favourable position and enhance profitability. To achieve this advanced ORM tools are capable of creating a goal in the system, assigning the same to your staff and not only this periodical tracking of the goals assigned to a staff. This helps a hotel not only identify an area of improvement, but also track its progress and completion.
Promoters are the hotel's biggest assets, and getting guests to become the promoters should be a key objective of the hotel's marketing strategy. Having said that, it is extremely important to take the detractors and their opinion seriously. The best way to go ensure that your guests turn into your promoters is not just meeting expectations, but exceeding them.
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