Industry Update
Opinion Article 8 February 2019

New Research Finds a Majority of Hotel Guests Rank Unfriendly Staff as Most Frustrating Part of Their Stay

By Alex Shashou, President & co-founder of ALICE

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ALICE, the hotel operations platform that empowers operational excellence and meaningful guest experiences, released new research uncovering what factors influence hotel satisfaction and found that almost two-thirds of guests (62 percent) with complaints said unfriendly staff are the most frustrating part of their stay.

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The "Hotels at Face Value" report, commissioned by ALICE and conducted by third-party research firm YouGov, also revealed the changing expectations of modern hotel guests.

Modern Hotel Guest Priorities

According to the research, when booking hotels nearly three in five (59 percent) guests who prioritize amenities care most about high ratings and reviews, and almost half (49 percent) prioritize friendly hotel staff - calling attention to the need for hoteliers to ensure staff are attentive and welcoming, delivering more favorable guest experiences to ultimately drive positive reviews.

During their stay, guests with frustrations expressed a demand for hotels to improve their operations and guest-facing technology. When discussing the most frustrating experiences about hotel stays:

  • Nearly two in five (38 percent) said the front desk taking too long to complete requests
  • More than one-third (34 percent) said outdated technology in rooms
  • Nearly one in three (31 percent) said delays in service from hotel staff

Diversity of Communication Channels

When communicating needs to hotel staff, nearly a third (32 percent) of guests said they prefer to do so by walking up to the concierge, front desk or other staff member directly. However, this preference is not representative of all guests, as the research indicated hotels should provide a diversity of communication channels. When it comes to how different generations prefer to make special requests, nearly one in every seven (15 percent) millennials (ages 18-34) want to text message with hotels, almost one in five (17 percent) of 35-54-year-olds want an email survey from the hotel before they arrive, and roughly two-thirds (66 percent) of those 55 and older prefer to call hotels directly.

"No hotel guest is the same, which is why, above all else, hoteliers must perfect the practice of personalization and deliver tailored experiences to every single guest. Knowing that a majority of guests pay the most attention to staff friendliness and attentiveness, hoteliers cannot afford to forget the art of hospitality," said Alex Shashou, President and Co-Founder of ALICE. "Hospitality is a feeling guests get, and personalization is how it is delivered. If hotels don't want to be viewed as a commodity, then they need to stop treating their guests like one. The biggest brands in the world are looking across their entire customer journey to create experiences and hotels do the same. A guest is so much more than their reservation. Guests deserve to be treated like family. Once they are, meaningful relationships will not only forge, but flourish."

Research Methodology

ALICE commissioned YouGov — a third party, professional research and consulting organization — to poll the views of 1,219 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between December 12-13, 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+).

Alex Shashou

Alexander Shashou is the co-founder and President of ALICE, the hospitality industry's first fully integrated operations platform, uniting back of house service optimization with front of house guest experience management and messaging. ALICE’s technology suite brings together the hotel front desk, concierge, housekeeping, and maintenance teams, and connects hotel guests to their hotel with a mobile app and SMS.

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    About ALICE

    ALICE is a hotel operations platform that empowers operational excellence and meaningful guest experiences. By bringing all hotel departments together with a single operations platform for internal communication and task management, ALICE helps hotel staff act as a team to provide consistently excellent service. Since the company was founded in 2013, ALICE has gained significant traction in the industry, working with more than 2,500 hotels and tens of thousands of hotel staff across many of the world's leading brands, including Marriott International, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Viceroy Hotel Group, Firmdale Hotels, Dream Hotel Group, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, and The Leading Hotels of the World. The company acquired concierge technology provider GoConcierge in 2017. ALICE is the Forbes Travel Guide Brand Official Staff Technology Platform, an Inc. Best Workplaces of 2019, and winner of Best Place to Work in Hotel Technology, Best Concierge Software, Best Engineering & Facilities Management, Best Guest App and Top Staff Task Management & Collaboration Platform at the 2019 HotelTechAwards.

    For more information, visit https://www.aliceplatform.com.

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