Today, many travelers seek the convenience of a hotel with a home-away-from-home feel, and the once-niche area of serviced apartments and aparthotels is now a booming industry. With heavy competition, accommodation brands are forced to up their game.
With over 3,000 apartments in 10 cities, Staycity Aparthotels has consistently outperformed its competitors in Net Promoter Score® (NPS®), giving the company an upper edge when it comes to attracting potential guests.
The Net Promoter System was devised in 2003 by a group of researchers led by Fred Reichheld, Bain & Company and Satmetrix Systems. Customers are asked if they would recommend the service to their friends or colleagues using a scale of 0 to 10. This one simple score is considered to be one of the most important measures of customer satisfaction.
Here, Rhonda Meehan, group quality manager at the Staycity Aparthotels group, shares the story of her company’s successes using the Net Promoter System™.
ReviewPro: Can you tell us a bit about your company, and how apartment hotels differ from traditional hotels?
Rhonda Meehan: An apartment offers you greater flexibility. Whether it’s a business or leisure stay, at Staycity we have the facilities that allow each guest the freedom to have “their stay their way”. Having your own kitchen to cook the food you want is a big perk, especially for those on a special diet or health kick.
We feel we offer a much better value-for-money option than a hotel. Rates are cheaper on a per-person basis compared to similar standard hotels, and we appeal to families and groups that want to be together and share the experience. To complete the service, we now also offer the traditional services of a hotel – F&B areas, fitness rooms, super-speed Wi-Fi and 24-hour reception.
Can you share some numbers related to NPS® and the progress you have made?
Every year since we began collecting the NPS® we have seen growth. Our group has increased 10 points in four years. Now, almost 95 percent of our properties are scoring an NPS® of 40+ year-to-date, many of them in the 50’s and 60’s bracket.
We use the NPS® competitor tool within ReviewPro to plot our properties against another brand of similar quality that operates in many of the same locations as us. Since we both have agreed to share our results, we can compare against each other. It is great for us to see that in two locations we are 38 points ahead of this brand, 34 points ahead in another location, and in fact ahead in all of the locations.
What other metrics do you use to measure guest satisfaction?
Since we opened in 2004 we have used post-stay guest surveys. We feel that they answer questions that TripAdvisor and other feedback channels do not. It gives us the opportunity to find out about different departments and encourages guests to give a bit more detail if they want to. We have recently begun sending in-stay surveys too, which we are finding very useful.
(Download this year’s digital benchmark report for a guide to all aspects of digital trends for serviced apartment and aparthotels.)
How do you manage to maintain such high NPS® scores?
Engaging with guests is key to generating great results and a high NPS®. Staycity Ambassadors are present on the floor, especially during the busy arrival and departures times, so it’s another friendly face trying to engage with guests. We have seen upward trends all around since we made this an integral part of our guest experience.
Can you share your advice for accommodation operators who wish to achieve similar success?
Absolutely. Here are my five top tips:
1. Engage with your guests in any way possible—pre-arrival, in-stay and post-stay. Finding out feedback whether good or bad is critical for development and growth. Celebrate local events and holidays and use them as an opportunity to impress.
2. Respond to all guest feedback. We have a management response rate of almost 80% YTD. It shows that you care and encourages repeat visits.
3. Analyse the data from your reviews and surveys and use it to prioritise investment decisions.
4. Be consistent in your service and approach to make your brand successful.
5. Instill a culture of delighting the guest every time. You may not have a 5-star property, but you can offer 5-star service.