March 28, 2013

Are online reviews driving great service at hotels?


Today, with the popularity of reviews and social media, employees that go the extra mile are easily surfaced in guest comments and in social media posts. Because of the transparency of online reviews, hotel staff is more aware of their impact on guest satisfaction and many hotels are experiencing a surge of great service.

Unlike traditional satisfaction surveys, online review sites and OTAs allow consumers to write free-form reviews, rather than requiring them to rate topics most important to the hotel. As a result, consumer reviews tend to be about the topics most important to them. When it comes to positive reviews, guests tend to write about the staff-members that exceeded their expectations. For example, I recently wrote a 5-star review for W Hollywood and said, “If you’re used to great service, you won’t be disappointed at this hotel. A special shout out to Zachary, the concierge, who is amazing at his job.”

In many morning stand-up meetings, General Managers are recognizing these employees in front of their peers and applauding their work. Human Resource Directors are printing and taping up online reviews that mention staff members by name or title in back rooms. And, spot bonuses or rewards are often provided as extra incentive to line employees who go the extra mile and are written about when guests share their experiences online.

While not typically described as adaptive to change, the hospitality industry has done a tremendous job adopting this new method of guest feedback. Online review sites were originally created as a consumer platform for sharing travel experiences but today are being used by savvy hoteliers to uncover great performance and areas for operational improvement.

Get the full story at the Revinate Blog