The foundation of hospitality is providing a great guest experience. As a hotelier, you need to be on top of areas that need improvement. Whether it’s a service lapse that needs attention or simply an added touch, managing guest needs in a seamless and efficient manner is key to taking guest satisfaction to the next level.
While post-stay surveys give valuable insights into the guest experience and help hotels implement operational and service improvements, these actions often take place after the guest has left, when it’s too late to turn them around. Obviously, many guests’ needs are better resolved while they are still on property. To that end, many hotels now employ an in-stay guest satisfaction survey solution to check in with guests while still on site.
Recently, ReviewPro undertook a data spotlight study focusing on four hotel groups in four regions of the world to look at the effect that in-stay service recovery has on guest satisfaction*. The data was collected between October 2017 and October 2018 from over 170 properties across Europe and Asia Pacific and collated over 12,500 review responses.
We identified guests who had filled in both an in-stay survey and a post-stay survey with the hotel. We then looked at whether they had flagged a service error or need, and whether it had been resolved by the time they completed the post-stay survey.
The results clearly highlight the benefits of detecting and fixing issues while guests are still on site. In fact, guests who have a problem that is fixed are 7.75% more satisfied than guests who don’t report a problem. Guests appreciate it when a hotel takes the time to check in with them during their stay and resolves issues promptly.
Guest satisfaction of customers who had a problem during their stay and had it fixed: +7.75%
Key reasons to implement an in-stay survey:
• Detect issues before they turn into negative experiences for guests
• Increase engagement with guests who may prefer not to complain in person
• Highlight areas of improvement that might not show up in the post-stay survey
• Prevent negative reviews
Unsurprisingly, guests who reported a problem that isn’t fixed show a lower than average level of satisfaction. As this table shows, not providing a response to a guest complaint is worse than not asking if there is a problem in the first place. On average hotel guests are 4.3% less satisfied when they bring an issue to the attention of a hotel that is not fixed.
Guest satisfaction of customers who had a problem during their stay and did not have it fixed: -4.3%
Granted, not providing adequate service recovery is not always an oversight on the part of the hotel, it may simply be that a guest feels that they did not receive a quick enough response. In the case that the guests’ request is not met it could be because it is something that the hotel is not able to fulfill; i.e., moving rooms when a hotel is fully booked.
The big takeaway here? Checking in with guests during their stay is a great way to boost guest satisfaction, survey scores and review ratings, but simply asking is not enough. You need to have internal processes and procedures in place to act quickly to resolve problems before the guest checks out.
Unsurprisingly, the positive impact of in-stay service recovery was stronger for groups that had been using in-stay surveys for a longer time. This makes sense since over time they had had the chance to refine and perfect the internal processes and procedures that are essential to efficient service recovery.
*The benefit of detecting problems before check-out is calculated as the difference between average score post-check-out and the average score pre-check-out for guests who reported a problem during a stay and had it resolved while still on premises.