ZDirect Makes Recommendations on When to Ask for Guest Feedback
information more often throughout the guest lifecycle will build better guest history and preference intelligence; knowing WHEN to ask is key to eMarketing success
assume that because a guest made a request during one stay that the same request will be made — or even desired — each time he or she returns to your property. Travelers' personas change. Sometimes a guest is traveling on business; other times it's for leisure. The guest may be alone or accompanied by a spouse or the entire family. Whether these road trippers are looking for a quick place to sleep or a longer stay where more amenities are desired, knowing what they want, when they want it, and how often is key to guest loyalty and satisfaction.
As the pioneer of Hotel Marketing Automation and the hospitality industry's foremost email serviceprovider, ZDirect is continually being sought out to consult on how to use feedback to exceed guests' expectations. The company's ZMail® electronic communication platform streamlines and centralizes a hotel's electronic messaging initiative by capturing guest behavior, purchase history and preferences information. Leveraging this information can only begin, however, once the traveler willingly provides usable feedback.
"Asking guests about each desire or preference all at once can be overwhelming," said ShaynePaddock, ZDirect Chief Technology Officer. "To be more effective over the long run and get the answers hotel marketers need, it's important to ask for small amounts of information more often throughout the guest lifecycle. Preferences sometimes change between booking the reservation and arriving on property, especially for stays where the booking window is large. Checking in with guests periodically enables hoteliers to always have the most accurate information on hand."
In addition to asking for preferences at various points in the guest lifecycle, the customer should beable to communicate his or her requests using their preferred communication channel; it may be over the telephone, on a laptop, or a smartphone, Paddock said. Don't assume, however, that just because a guest reached out to you with a smartphone that it will always be his preferred communication channel.
"The shorter the gap between the experience and asking for a guest review, the higher the successrate for obtaining feedback," Paddock said. "For example, if the property has a golf course, managers will get a higher rate of return when asking for feedback shortly after a round is played versus asking a guest to recall the experience weeks or months after the stay is completed. In-stay queries reduce the amount of information you are asking for at check-out. By requesting feedback while the guest is still on property, it gives managers an opportunity to remedy any negative situation in person. This is especially important when asking about the reservation experience; if you wait until after the stay to ask about the check-in process, chances are a guests' recollection may be skewed, especially if the hotel waits months after check out before a query is initiated."
Hoteliers need to be strategic in knowing when it's appropriate to ask for immediate feedback andwhen they should wait. ZDirect identifies the following times when immediate requests via survey should be sent:
Ask guests to tell you about their booking experiences. If they abandoned the booking, ask them why? What was the property lacking?
Ask what guests would like on property. Use the feedback to build a more accurate and up-to-date guest profile. Understanding and managing the guests' expectations before arrival gives managers time to make sure they receive the service or amenities they need to enhance their stay.
In-stay and Post Check-In
This is a no brainer. A guest will be really impressed that management took the time to ask how they are enjoying the property. Hopefully everything went well. But if something in the room didn't meet expectations, this gives guests the opportunity to complain without having to be confrontational. It may be something small, like needing extra towels or not knowing how to turn up the heat. Ask: "How can we make the stay better?" or "What can we do to satisfy this complaint?" Once the guest is checked in, marketers should ask if everything is meeting guests' expectations.
Gauge overall guest satisfaction and the likelihood that the guest will return and/or join your loyalty program. Ask: "Would you recommend our hotel to a friend?"A question like that is perfect in conjunction with Net Promoter Score methodology.
Send a reminder email to guests that didn't fill out the Post Check-Out survey after a pre-determined number of days. This can help increase survey responses. For example, using ZDirect's process of Hotel Marketing Automation and Drip Marketing, if after seven days the guest hasn't completed the survey, a reminder email is triggered and automatically sent telling the guest how important his or her feedback is to the hotel. If necessary, an incentive can be offered. The guest fills out the survey so another email is triggered to the guest with a message thanking him/her for the response and requesting that a review be posted on predefined social media and online travel sites.
"Using our Hotel Marketing Automation tools, ZDirect will assist hoteliers in determining when toengage with guests and develop actionable steps that make it easy for guests to provide hotels with the information needed," Paddock said. "Instead of just sending out one email and hoping it will be opened, read, and acted upon, ZDirect has redesigned its technology to send out a series of emails in 'drips' to keep travelers interested and always communicating with the hotel."
For more information on how ZDirect can help grow your hotel's databases and subsequentlyincrease revenues and improve the guest experience, visit www.ZDirect.com or call (888) 962-4548.
Based in Hallandale Beach, Florida, ZDirect, an
automatically sends intelligent and personalized confirmations, pre-arrival emails and post-departure emails with guest satisfaction surveys via email, mobile communication, SMS, social networks and more. Learn about the real people behind every reservation. Let ZDirect help you convert your prospects to customers and your customers to loyal customers. Real People. Real Profiles. Real Results.
Phone: (440) 930-5770