🍍 Incorporating online guest feedback into operations improvement
Plus: What Hilton is learning from its website & Apres Ski on the Conrad DC rooftop
“Everything we do is to meet the guest’s expectation because at the end of the day that’s all that matters.
“We might think we know everything, but if we’re not looking at online reviews we’re in the dark. We don’t know what we can do to get better.”
In addition to being a valuable source of insights, online reviews and reputation have a big impact on a hotel’s financial success.
“There are so many studies showing that when you’re buying anything, the first thing you’re looking at is reviews. So if you’re not looking at these as a hotel operator – creating strategies to avoid the negative ones and reinforcing the positive ones – then you’re losing.”
For these reasons, guest feedback and reviews were foundational in guiding the operating processes and training Dominic and his team built. The guest experience committees were useful here, providing suggestions on what could be done – as well as how they could test improvements and measure the outcomes.
Framing guest feedback as an opportunity for improvement was important for Dominic’s teams. “Don’t take it personally. Listen. Learn from it. Implement policies around those complaints that are coming in to avoid them happening in the future.”
“Feedback is important for becoming a better hotel, and a better hotel operator. If you listen and take action, there’s no limit to what you can achieve.”
A goal of operational excellence was spreading positive word of mouth. “We put our efforts towards training and committees in order to provide our guests with a great experience. When we do that, guests inevitably go tell the world about it – and that, in turn, attracts more guests.”
That’s because one of the first things travelers look at when booking a hotel is online reviews.
“If you have great reviews and you’re engaged in those reviews by responding to them, then you’re writing your own success story. But if you’re not doing that, you’re losing.
This is what Dominic is passionate about: providing an amazing experience that gets people talking.
“Then once you get that great feedback, go out and market the crap out of that. Put it on your website. Put it on your social media. It’s powerful marketing that doesn’t cost anything.”
Tomorrow, we’ll look at the final episode of this story: how Dominic scaled operational excellence without losing touch with his teams on property. Stay tuned…
How Hilton is learning from (and innovating with) its guests
Using guest feedback to guide strategy is also something Hilton is focusing on.
“We’ve always attentively listened to customer feedback,” says Jenn Chick, global head of Hilton Honors and Customer Engagement.
“It’s been fascinating for us to see how the past two years have changed people and how that has directly affected the way we will innovate.”
Sometimes that feedback is in the form of reviews, and sometimes it is in analyzing how guests interact with its digital properties.
When the search term “pet-friendly” emerged recently as the third-most used search filter on hilton.com, the company began prioritizing pet travel offerings like luxury pet beds and pet amenity programs. Contactless payment and secure sharing of the smartphone Digital Key are other new offerings that emerged from customer feedback.
Apres Ski on the Conrad DC rooftop
Conrad Washington D.C. has announced a new offer for the holidays: Apres Ski on their rooftop with views over D.C and a menu of cocktails and light bites, including a rum hot chocolate and rosemary-infused bourbon with lemon and honey.
I love hoteliers creating special programs to encourage both guests and locals to visit their property. Are you doing something like this? Let me know and I’d like to share it in this newsletter.