July 09, 2013

Online content will set hotels apart from the competition


If a guest is trying to pick a hotel, they will probably make their decision based on what they see online. Hotels can do a lot to help themselves. They can, and should, make interesting content available on their website and on social media sites.

But no matter how much content the hotel creates, there’s no escaping the fact that it is now the guests who create much of the publicly available information about a hotel. And that’s just the kind of information that influences other prospective guests when making booking decisions. A 2012 Deloitte survey found that over half of guests read reviews before booking.

So what’s a hotel to do? They can take back some of the control of the message by responding to reviews. But smart hotels will know that the best way, in fact the only way, to influence what guests say is to give guests the experience they want at an appropriate price.

Hoteliers need to see what’s behind those reviews. Monitoring the reviews will give hotels an idea of guest sentiment, whether they’re happy or not, and some clues as to why. But it won’t give hotels the kind of deep insight they need to ensure that going forward they’ll have satisfied guests who will rave about their hotel to others.

Why not? Because satisfaction is made up of a mixture of perception and expectation. To understand exactly why guests are satisfied or not, you need to know whether the perceived quality of the experience matched the guests’ expectations (both in terms of what experience they were looking for and what experience they expected for the price paid).

To have that kind of insight, hotels need to take an intelligent approach to collating and analyzing guest feedback. They need to know what’s important to guests, and also whether the experience they’re offering guests is in line with the price paid. Simply aggregating ticks on pieces of paper won’t cut it.

Get the full story at 4Hoteliers

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