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How Portugal’s Biggest Hotel Brand Improved Guest Surveys

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It’s no secret that prioritizing the experience at your hotel leads to happier guests and stronger revenue. But what if, like many hoteliers, you still struggle to access the in-depth feedback necessary to enhance service and operations?

Late last year, Claudia Flacho, Business Revenue Intelligence Analyst at Pestana Hotels & Resorts, Portugal’s largest hotel brand, was in a similar situation. Post-stay surveys that the hotels were using were far too long, which overwhelmed guests and yielded a poor response rate. Management found it difficult to decipher the survey data to understand what guests really wanted.

“We needed to gather information about housekeeping, front desk, the swimming pool, spa services, kids’ clubs, restaurants and endless other services for over 70 Pestana properties across the world. That’s a mind-boggling amount of information,” Claudia told ReviewPro.

Pestana Hotel

Pestana had to improve something to gain easier access to the direct feedback it needed. But with such a vast quantity of data, rebooting the existing system to overhaul how the brand captured guest data seemed like a mammoth undertaking. Or was it?

Actually, it was all quite straightforward. Here’s how Pestana streamlined guest surveys to boost response rates and obtain the feedback it needed to continue improving guest experiences, at both individual properties and brand level.

1. Simplify communication with guests to address complaints.

Immediately after implementing a new Guest Survey Solution in January, Claudia and her team made the important decision to drastically cut down the number of questions in post-stay surveys.

“Our surveys are still the same at their core: we still ask guests for the same information but now we’ve cut out irrelevant questions,” she said. By using question logic, surveys automatically exclude questions about services individual guests didn’t use, which could include the spa, golf course or conference rooms. “Through more intelligent reporting, we can drill down into the heart of each guest’s experience at Pestana, without losing valuable detail,” Claudia said.

The method in which guests receive surveys has also been significantly streamlined. If guests haven’t already provided an email address when booking online, front desk staff will pro-actively request it at check-in to add to Pestana’s database. Upon check-out, Pestana’s internal Property Management System (PMS) automatically forwards the information via. ReviewPro’s Guest Survey platform, which then sends out a timely post-stay survey.

2. Create a guest-centric culture using reputation awareness.

For many years, Pestana has connected guest satisfaction to management KPIs. Through using an automatic ticket and alerts system, management can monitor and assess issues as soon as they arise.

“If we receive a survey with a low score in a specific department, that information goes directly from the system to the staff member in charge of that area. As soon as we know there’s a problem, we already know it’s already being taken care of,” Claudia said.

Through streamlining this process and creating a higher awareness across every level of management at each hotel, it becomes easier to pre-empt potential issues in the future.

“We set up each survey to try and evaluate how well aligned guest expectations are with our expectations of each department,” Claudia told us.

3. Use guest surveys to drive online reviews and revenue

Sounds good so far, right?

We continue this discussion on how to implement successful guest surveys as part of the “Profit from an Effective Guest Survey Strategy” webinar, during which Claudia Flacho of Pestana Hotels & Resorts shares more tips on how to improve guest surveys. Discover more:

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