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4 Ways to Better Gauge Guest Experience Than Just Google Reviews

They simply offer one snapshot and don’t paint the full picture.

Sure, guests may book a room with a hotel and leave without complaints. But that doesn’t mean they really enjoyed their stay. A hotel’s online reviews could be overwhelmingly positive, but you still may not have the full picture.

Consumers are far more likely to write a review after a positive experience than a negative one, according to SEO marketing platform Brightlocal. This is good news, to an extent, as 98 percent of consumers turn to the internet to learn about businesses, so those good reviews can make a world of difference. A few online searches though won’t tell any hotel owner how effective their word-of-mouth marketing and guest loyalty may be.

A guest could have an extremely poor stay and you may never hear about it. While positive reviews are encouraging and extremely beneficial for business, they only represent a minute fraction of guest interactions. To get a solid idea of the quality of your guests’ experience, you have to take a more multifaceted approach.

Here are a few different methods to use.

1. Surveys and feedback forms

Implementing post-stay surveys and feedback forms allows hotels to directly gather insights from guests. Tailored questions can get into specific points in their experience, from check-in to amenities. Send an email to guests after they’ve left, expressing gratitude for their stay and encouraging them to share feedback. This gives you detailed feedback on what you can improve and what you can leave alone for now. If a guest had a poor experience, a post-check-out survey allows them to air their grievances before turning to a public option like Yelp or Google.

2. Just ask

Encourage your staff to speak with guests and actively ask for feedback during their stay. This not only adds a personal touch and can demonstrate how much your staff cares – thus improving the experience already – but it also gives staff the ability to address issues before any anger festers. Customer-facing employees are often the first to notice issues or positive moments, making their observations important for improving satisfaction for current and future guests.

3. Loyalty programs

If you don’t already have one, you should. Evaluate how guests participate in your loyalty program. That could include tracking how often guests redeem rewards, take advantage of offers, and refer their friends. If you have a high level of engagement, that’s a good indication that your guests are satisfied. By tracking which perks guests repeatedly take advantage of, you can see what’s contributing to these positive experiences. Inversely, underutilized offers could shed light on what guests may find undesirable.

4. Guest journey mapping

Guest journey mapping helps identify touchpoints where guests interact with your hotel. By analyzing these touchpoints, you can pinpoint any problems or streamline different processes that could be more effective. Touchpoints can include website visits, reservations, check-in, room service, amenities, etc. Paying attention to these areas can help you take note of long check-in lines, unclear information, or other missteps.