Edwardian Hotels London is a collection of four and five-star luxury properties in London and Manchester. The brand is extremely focused on leveraging client feedback data to improve the guest experience, and it knows that staff involvement is key to this aim. Over a series of sessions, we spoke to Kris Leszczynski, Group General Manager of Service and Operations at Edwardian Hotels London about how the brand prioritizes guest data and how excels at getting the whole team pulling in the same direction.
How do you approach managing online reputation and guest feedback?
The importance of online reputation has become a focal point for Edwardian Hotels. We understand that the feedback we gather online and the presence that we show is utterly important in securing retention and driving our revenues forward. The analysis of online reputation has also allowed us to focus on the quality of responses. As a group we pay a lot of attention to using the right narrative, grammar, and way of speaking and addressing guests.
Which key metrics does Edwardian Hotels focus on?
GRI™ is the ultimate goal and this really helps us drive revenue, increase our presence online, and boost our rankings on OTAs. It also helps us to recognize trends like clients moving away from leaving reviews on TripAdvisor to Google, or the increasing importance of the likes of Agoda and Ctrip.
How do you engage your teams?
We see that the growth of revenue is proportional to the growth of online reputation. With that in mind, we introduced an incentive for all of our teams based on GRI™ growth: success breeds success. Incentives include contributions to employee social funds, cash rewards for being mentioned in surveys and reviews (which in turn are used to select employee and hotel of the month and year awards) and tying KPIs to executive bonuses.
Hospitality is very target-driven, so we find that incentivizing hotel teams for growth on GRI™ works well, when adjusted to each property. We established dynamic GRI™ scores per property with the understanding that not every hotel can hit a score of 95%, especially in London. If GRI™ grows by 0.5 points per month we incentivize hotels teams by giving money to the staff fund so GM can use it to organize an event or treat to say thank you.
With ReviewPro’s integration with the PMS, we are now able to determine the satisfaction of guests based on the user ID from the PMs. If a receptionist has checked in 25 guests this month, we can find out that their average score for checking in might be 7.9 compared to the average team score of 8.9. This allows me to provide the receptionist with customized and individual-specific improvement plan. Needless to say, it also gives us a great opportunity for public recognition of our teams. If another receptionist achieves an average score of 9.5, we can recognize them as our best check-in person that month, and that truly makes a difference.
Communication & Collaboration
The use of ReviewPro has truly created a service-centered culture at Edwardian Hotels. In the past it used to be front-of-house teams driving guest engagement but now we have the involvement of all our teams. One of the greatest successes of using the data is the creation of weekly room division meetings, which bring together the front-of-house manager, maintenance manager and housekeeping manager to focus on key areas such as technology, cleanliness and rooms allocation practices.
Guest engagement data and customer success have become a focal point for our senior management meeting as well as our board meetings. And we are more and more happy to invest in practices, technology and amenities that help us drive guest engagement forward.
DATA-LED WINS #1: CULTURAL ADJUSTMENTS
London is a very specific market where certain nationalities and groups favor different parts of the city. We know that the West End is very popular with Americans, that the Green Park area is popular among Middle Eastern, that Covent Garden is very popular among Israeli guests, and Mayfair is popular with Chinese guests. Using the demographic information at our fingertips helps us to better serve our guests. For example, when we saw an increase in the number of Israeli guests at Covent Garden, we decided to bring additional training on the back of cultural orientation and to enhance our breakfast offering. At our flagship property in Mayfair, we noticed more reviews form Ctrip so we realized we were having an influx of Chinese guests. We designed and implemented a cultural orientation module for our staff to better serve this demographic.
DATA-LED WINS #2: IMPROVEMENTS TO BREAKFAST
One of our hotels in South Kensington suffered from low breakfast scores right after the breakfast room was refurbished. We saw decent average scores but lacked contributions from guests who were truly wild about the experience—the promoters. We looked at the data and concluded that our guests complained quite a lot about queues at breakfast and the poor layout of the room, specifically that the coffee machine was too far, and that we did not have enough toasters, which created congestion in certain areas. So, we beefed up the staffing levels on our house desk and changed the layout of the furniture. Incredibly, the Top Box percentage improved from 50 to 74 within three months, which automatically pushed our own brand reputation as well as our NPS forward. This made us conclude further that satisfaction with breakfast is as important as satisfaction with the room and any other elements. The hotel has seen one of the greatest improvements in online reputation as well as intent to recommend.