High guest satisfaction is crucial to the success of your hotel business. Higher guest satisfaction means higher loyalty and higher revenues. Many hotels rely on traditional methods for measuring guest satisfaction that includes post-stay surveys and looking at guest reviews, along with standardized Medallia® and Net Promoter scores. But you don’t want to rely solely on these methods to ascertain how happy your guests are. Because although they’re great indicators, in reality, they only evaluate a select group of people who provide feedback in these ways.
With today’s innovative mobile apps and access to rich guest profiles, we now have new sources of data available that allow us to think outside the box to gain a more holistic, accurate, and relevant view of our guest satisfaction levels.
Look at Your Repeat Business
With so many hotels to choose from – and home-sharing options such as Airbnb – repeat business is a great indicator of customer satisfaction. In fact, 75 percent of hotel guests say that they return to hotels that provide a great guest experience. And with each return visit, your guests are even more likely to become loyalty members. Therefore, it’s beneficial to make it easy to join your loyalty program and access rewards through your hotel app.
Look at the Number of Referrals
Closely related to examining your repeat business is taking a closer look at the number of referrals you receive. Understanding whether a new guest was referred to your hotel is a gold standard in measuring hospitality guest satisfaction. Brand ambassadors are essential to your hotel business, with seven out of ten respondents to a Google survey claiming that word-of-mouth recommendations significantly influenced their purchasing decisions. And 81 percent of satisfied travelers are “highly likely” to recommend your hotel to others.
Hotels that use an app with live chat and direct messaging functions have a distinct advantage in measuring guest satisfaction. Traditional surveys primarily contain closed-ended questions, such as “Rate your satisfaction with your guest room on a scale of one to ten.” However, the answer won’t yield the type of rich data you obtain from real-time, in-app conversations, such as specifics regarding what guests liked or disliked, or even what made their hotel stay special. Plus, you can store and review the content of conversations, making it easy to identify trends and topics of importance.
Examine Social Media Engagement
While Medallia® identifies top-rated hotel brands through analyzing consumer opinion on social media, hotels can gain a good understanding of their own guest sentiment by staying active on their social media accounts. Through your app, you can connect with guests through their preferred social media channels, and engagement here has an immense impact on your hotel-guest relationship. The spontaneity of social media can’t be replicated via surveys. Be sure to respond to comments and questions on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and take guest feedback into account. When your followers feel heard and valued it solidifies their personal attachment to your brand.
Evaluate Ancillary Spend
Research from Cornell University revealed that guest satisfaction is correlated with the ancillary spending, with highly satisfied guests spending nearly twice as much as dissatisfied guests. And your happy guests will increase their average spend by over 20 percent on subsequent visits. Are your guests taking advantage of upgrade opportunities? Ordering room service? Booking spa appointments? Making dinner reservations? You can gauge how satisfied your guests are by examining how they respond to your ancillary offers and how much they’re spending beyond a room.
Analyze Interaction with Your Mobile App
Another effective measure of guest satisfaction is to look at how often guests interact with your hotel application. Are people checking it to stay up to date on what’s happening at your hotel? And do they respond to your targeted push notifications? When guests are on site, make note of whether guests use your app to enhance their stay, doing things like arranging hotel services, making dinner reservations, controlling in-room entertainment, or researching and booking things to do in your local area. When guests engage more with your app, it creates a cycle of success. Because the more they engage with it, the more you can personalize their experiences, differentiating your hotel from your competition and improving overall guest satisfaction.
Would you like help to improve and measure your guest satisfaction levels?
 Five Keys to Elevating Guest Experiences. Deloitte, 2018, https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/us/Documents/consumer-business/us-cb-five-keys-to-elevating-guest-experiences.pdf.
 Bulbul, Netta Cenk, et al. When the Path to Purchase Becomes the Path to Purpose. Google, June 2014, https://think.storage.googleapis.com/docs/the-path-to-purpose_articles.pdf.
 Making Customer Satisfaction Pay: Connecting Survey Data to Financial Outcomes in the Hotel Industry. Cornell School of Hotel Administration, 1 July 2010, https://scholarship.sha.cornell.edu/chrindper/5/.