|Customer Satisfaction Sets the Stage for Future Hotel Stays.|
By Melanie Nayer ~ Weekly Exclusive - Views On The Latest Trends
Thursday, 10th October 2013
Exclusive Feature: As a hotel: when you think about customer satisfaction, what's the first thing that comes to your mind? Is it the immediate interaction with your guest from the moment they walk in the front doors, or does customer service start from the moment the reservation is made?
As a hotel guest, think about the things that are important to you, like how quickly your room service is delivered or how a staff member responds when you ask for an upgrade or room change.
In the hospitality business, it's the little things that matter.
Customer service extends beyond the front desk. It happens at every customer touch-point -- from the moment they make the reservation to the time they check out. Plenty of factors play a part in creating a loyal hotel guest, but we know one thing for certain: price isimportant, but experience means more when booking a hotel.
When the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ASCI) surveyed 4500 guests within three months of their U.S. hotel stays, the concept were simple: rate your experience. ASCI asked each participant to rate the particular hotel on reservations, check-in and the staff, quality of the room, various dining options and food quality, in-room entertainment, hotel amenities and more.
The study spanned five categories — luxury, upper-upscale, upscale, midscale and economy – and hotels were rated on a scale of 1-100, with 100 being the best in the class (none of the brands received a perfect score).
Ranking top among guests was Marriott International, with four of its brands garnering high scores from guests. Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott had the highest score with 84 out of 100, followed by JW Marriott (83) and Embassy Suites by Hilton (82).
Ranking near the bottom was Wyndham, with the exception of its Days Inn/Suites hotels, which outranked Econo Lodge and Super 8 in the economy category. The Econo Lodge, owned by Choice Hotels, ranked 59, the lowest score in the study and only 5 points lower than the Super 8 (66).
The hotels that weren't on the survey included Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Ritz-Carlton Hotels and Resorts, because not enough respondents participated from these properties.
Now that hotels are armed with the information, it's time to do something about it. Being last on the customer service index is no place for a hotel to be, especially in a time of experiential travel and a fluctuating economy. That said, being first has a heavy set of expectations attached to it, so those at the top will need to ensure they keep up the best practices that afforded them rave reviews from guests.
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Melanie Nayer is a hotel reviewer and expert on luxury travel around the world. She has covered all aspects of hotels including corporate restructures, re-branding initiatives, historical aspects and the best of the best in luxury hotels around the world.
Melanie writes a weekly exclusive column for 4Hoteliers.com