Lately, I have read so many articles on what to do when this is all over. They offer suggestions on what to do now to prepare for when the business comes back. At a certain point in an extraordinary event such as COVID-19, we need to change our focus. From "before, during, and after" to "now and moving forward."

If we can take one lesson from disrupters, it's that when an industry becomes complacent and set in their ways, that is when that industry gets flipped on its ear. During the financial crisis, Airbnb started up and took some share away from hotels. But it was nothing like what Uber and Lyft did to the traditional taxi business or what Netflix did to Blockbuster. What can hoteliers do now to ensure success after all of this?

We need to switch our paradigm from a daily battle with our guests to a daily struggle toward perfection in housekeeping, maintenance, and front desk experience. We need to be cleaner, friendlier, and just plain better than we were before. Some may read this and say, "I am doing that now." I would say to look closer at what your unhappy guests are saying. Do you know what the #1 complaint is at your hotel? I know that not every hotel is the same, but at Travel Media Group, we took 1,000 hotels located all over the country and analyzed their 1-2 star reviews for February 2020.

Here are some of the issues that those reviews contained:

  • Cleanliness: 73.50%
  • Service: 14.63%
  • Maintenance: 11.87%
  • All Three: 13.43%

Cleanliness was by far the biggest issue in our negative review sample. We analyzed the same hotels over 90 days from December 2019 - February 2020, and we saw nearly the same numbers. This means that when our guests are unhappy, 7 out of 10 times it's due to an unclean room!

Let's not get back to business "as usual." Let's do much better. In the coming months, your hotel will be under more scrutiny to be cleaner than ever before. This is our chance to surge ahead as an industry. Can Airbnb ensure that their rooms are clean the way we can? Nope! Let's create a Culture of Clean at our properties that becomes the new standard.

About Travel Media Group (TMG)

Travel Media Group (TMG) is a hospitality marketing partner for brands, hotel management groups, and individual properties. Services include custom social media marketing, professional review response, online reputation management, and more. TMG is responsible for elevating our hotel partners' online presence while helping hotels manage real-time guest feedback. Travel Media Group is a business that is a part of the Dominion Enterprises Family.

Jason Lee
VP Product Development & Technology
Travel Media Group