We all know the old adage, “the consumer is always right.” In today’s digital world, it can be said with certainty that the consumer is always heard. Whether their feedback is positive or negative, there is always an outlet for their voice.
Days Inn Jamaica JFK Airport
TripAdvisor has become top of mind for travelers looking to provide input on the quality of their hotel stay, whatever the nature of their critique. Consequently, hotel owners and managers take TripAdvisor guest comments seriously and are quick to respond ─ with appreciation when the feedback is positive and, when the guest has found fault, to outline the steps they’re taking to correct the situation.
The same applies to comments left on Google, online travel agent sites like Expedia and on some hotel brands’ own websites. Critiques left on the brand website, in fact, have replaced the printed guest comment cards that were left prominently in guest rooms in a previous era.
While all feedback is welcome ─ and praise is particularly heartening ─ the truth is that owners, operators and line associates benefit the most when comments are negative. Providing first-class guest service on an ongoing basis is an essential pursuit for hoteliers, but it’s also an inexact science. So input from customers on what worked and what didn’t, what part of the guest stay went smoothly and what part fell short, is invaluable. The more, the better, if we’re going to try to continually improve.
Nor are TripAdvisor reviews or feedback on Google, Expedia or a brand website the only meaningful source of guest feedback. Front desk associates are trained to ask guests at checkout if they were satisfied with their stay. Likewise, general managers will make it a habit to be in the lobby or breakfast area in the morning to introduce themselves to guests and, in the process, pick up on any service or facilities issues that may have arisen. Unlike a review a guest composes and submits online, this kind of input is direct and spontaneous.
Guest feedback may take many forms, but they’re all valuable, and that feedback is always heard.