Exclusive Hotels is a collection of four gorgeous country house hotels in England with heaps of personality. Individual, stylish and surrounded by acres of woodland, parkland and countryside, each Exclusive Hotels property presents luxurious tranquility in quintessentially English settings.
As a ReviewPro client since 2011, Antonio Lopez-Bustos and his team have been using social media feedback and review analytics from ReviewPro in each department to better understand their customers, provide better experiences, and build competitive advantage. Here is the story, in his words….
ReviewPro: The point of entry for all feedback
For our team at Exclusive Hotels, ReviewPro has become the central repository for all guest feedback. Prior to signing up for the service, there was not any one port of entry for all of this feedback.
What does this give us? It’s certainly more efficient for our staff to resolve issues. It’s making sure that we are responding in a timely way to both positive and negative comments, and it prevents us from missing any key feedback that may require action. It enables consistency in response.
Before, feedback could come in from anywhere. The sales team might receive feedback, the general manager might receive feedback – which means issue resolution has been complicated. There were too many potential ways an issue could be resolved. With online feedback, the potential for issues coming from multiple sources only multiplies. But with ReviewPro, we can ensure a standard format of discussion with our guests.
Feedback happens in real time, and responding quickly requires a strong support infrastructure. With ReviewPro, we can make notes and provide guidance for the person responsible for the public response. The person writing the response to the review doesn’t have to waste time tracking down emails or coordinating the internal response.
Overall, our properties receive fantastic reviews, but when we get a challenging review, it’s almost never a single issue mentioned. It’s an issue that could involve many departments. The response needs input from the heads of those departments. Gathering those inputs provides us the opportunity to leave a public management response that clearly shows the guest that we’ve listened to what they were saying and took action to resolve the issue.
Better listening enables faster responses
Speed of response is very important. We live in an era where things are moving very fast. Success is all about exceeding guest expectations. When something hasn’t gone perfectly, sending a quick comment back shows that yes, we are listening. If nobody replies when something goes wrong, that creates another issue. By making sure we’re on top of online feedback, we take a huge step towards exceeding guest expectations.
Our team aims to respond to all reviews within 24 hours, and this fast turnaround time impresses our clients. With social networks like Twitter, we can resolve issues faster – while the guest is still at the property – and we often receive feedback about how much our guests appreciate the fact that we are listening and our responsiveness.
Perception of value guides rates
Value is the measurement of the difference between expectation and what we’ve delivered. Guests are more willing to exchange money for the price you’re asking if they’re confident of value. Purchase decisions are made on the price-value perception.
The only way we can determine the experience is aligned with expectation is by benchmarking value ratings in ReviewPro. We also track value ratings as a group and in comparison with our competition on a weekly basis, and invest a lot of effort into ensuring guests feel that they get value for money.
How to give guests a feeling of value for money
The word we want guests to have in their minds is “WOW.” We’re all about delivering surprise and delight, but not necessarily hiding those elements of surprise from them. Just blowing them away with our value proposition. Making sure that when they come to the front desk to check-in, they receive the best check-in they’ve ever experienced.
It’s all about making the experience seamless and reducing the amount of time for “necessities” that are not really necessities. Our check-in process takes 10 seconds – just “hello” and giving the guest the key. We have all information from the guest before they arrive, so there’s no need for filling out forms. There’s no reason for us not to trust our guests.
Using the Competitive Quality Index™ for operations and revenue management
Sometimes it can be difficult to find the right way to use value ratings when developing operational plans and revenue strategy, but ReviewPro provides this information through a number of ways. Their new Competitive Quality Index™ (CQI) is very interesting, showing quality and value ratings in relation to the competition. When I first saw it, it resembled something I was trying to build manually – but ReviewPro automates it all, which will save me a lot of time.
In revenue management, you can be a price setter or a price follower. We have a fantastic value proposition and experience, so we set the prices. With the CQI, we plot the rest of the hotels just to audit if we’re on the mark or off. Are others following our lead? It’s shown opportunities both in terms of revenue and rate growth.
Establishing goals for guest satisfaction drives revenue
Every hotel counts the pennies. We know how well we can deliver the guest experience affects how well we can optimize revenue. That’s why we’ve established bonuses for our general managers and departments heads that are linked to goals for the Global Review Index™.
When we started using ReviewPro, we looked at all the scores across the properties, made a decision on what constitutes an acceptable score. Something that was challenging but achievable. A goal that includes one target number is too static, so we included the objective of being in the top 2 of a compset at all times.
Establishing these financial incentives has made people in all departments realize how the Global Review Index™ is important for the financial performance of the company – and keeping guests happy. It has driven action across the company.
Culture drives guest satisfaction
Guest satisfaction is how we measure our success. There is a strong culture within the organization on the importance of ReviewPro to the success of the hotel operation.
Before ReviewPro, this measurement process was too complicated. Now, it’s much more manageable and focused. Alerts notify staff of content that concerns them. Tags allow us to review and audit recurring issues. If there is a process that needs to be reviewed, there is a person responsible for developing those systems. We use the comments for internal communication – talking amongst ourselves about how to best resolve an issue. Our Guest Relations Team uses the ticketing functionality extensively to distribute tasks to other departments based on information received from ReviewPro.
ReviewPro is a fantastic guest service platform in that we don’t need to coordinate different systems or track down emails. Everything can be found and dealt with in one place.
Fortunately, we get a lot of fantastic reviews, so passing along feedback isn’t just about creating extra work. Department heads use the feedback to praise the team for good work, and review procedures when something doesn’t go according to plan. Feedback straight from guests – instead of summaries – makes so much more of an impact.
Because we use ReviewPro so much in each of our departments, it has been a fantastic investment for our company – an essential tool to help us drive revenue.
Thanks, Antonio! To learn more about Exclusive Hotels, visit ExclusiveHotels.co.uk.
To see how ReviewPro could help you improve guest satisfaction and drive revenue growth, request a demonstration now.