The person who said, "even a correct decision is wrong when it is made late" was entirely correct. At least, that’s what we thought at STAY while developing Instant Feedback, a tool that allows hotels to receive real-time feedback from their guests during their stay.
This feedback can then be used to make improvements to the guest experience while they are still in house, ultimately resulting in higher guest satisfaction and better reviews. To make the most of our pioneer tool, it is equally important to understand its best practices.
Timing and relevance for effective feedback
One of the most important aspects of using Instant Feedback is asking the right questions at the right moment. Timing is crucial when it comes to collecting feedback from guests.
Asking a guest for feedback too early in their stay can be overwhelming and intrusive, while asking too late can result in valuable feedback being lost. Hotels should aim to ask guests for feedback at a time when they are likely to be relaxed and in a good mood, such as after they have settled into their room.
A service's ideal feedback timing will differ based on its nature.
A question sent through Instant Feedback immediately following a spa treatment is ideal since guests are likely to be in a relaxed state. As a contrast, it may be more appropriate to wait a few minutes after a meal, in case guests want to rest.
There is no single answer, but you know your guests and service offerings better than anyone else, so make sure you are strategic when asking for feedback.
Keeping feedback quick and easy
A simple and straightforward process, coupled with the right timing, is crucial when obtaining valuable feedback. Guests are more likely to provide feedback if it's quick and easy, so ensure that your questions can be answered with a simple click or tap, or in just a few seconds.
Lengthy surveys can be overwhelming, leading to lower response rates. This is why Instant Feedback is becoming increasingly popular, as it works during a guest's stay and takes only seconds to answer, resulting in better and more reliable results.
Therefore, it's best to limit the number of questions to the most critical aspects of the guest experience. Using a clear and concise language is crucial to ensure that guests understand the questions and provide accurate feedback.
The power of open-ended questions
Closed-ended questions are useful in collecting quantitative data, but open-ended questions provide guests with the freedom to express their thoughts and feelings in their own words. Such feedback can be highly valuable in comprehending the guest experience and pinpointing areas for improvement.
By allowing guests to elaborate on their experience, hotel staff can gather rich insights into what works and what doesn't. Such feedback can also provide valuable suggestions that were not initially considered. Thus, while designing feedback questions, it's crucial to strike a balance between closed-ended and open-ended questions to obtain both quantitative and qualitative feedback.
A great example of this is one of our clients who used Instant Feedback and received outstanding reviews for their restaurants.
However, after implementing our pioneer tool they became really surprised… as they discovered flaws and areas for improvement that were not initially evident. Therefore, the more specific the questions are answered, the more likely the imperfections will surface, even if the hotel already excels in providing an exceptional guest experience.
Reacting responsively to guest feedback
An important aspect of Instant Feedback is responding right away. Guests are more likely to provide feedback if they believe it will be followed up on. In addition, responding to feedback in a timely manner can help resolve issues before they escalate.
As part of their training, hotels should ensure that their staff is capable of responding to feedback in a timely and effective manner. Instant Feedback is only effective if staff act on the feedback as soon as possible. By doing this, the hotel shows its guests that their opinions matter and that it cares about their experience.
By acting on feedback received through Instant Feedback, hotels can avoid negative reviews on sites such as Booking.com or Expedia. When flaws are detected and promptly resolved, guests are impressed and more likely to leave positive reviews. On the other hand, if feedback is ignored, guests may become frustrated and leave negative reviews that can harm the hotel's reputation.
Identifying trends for continuous improvement
Analyzing the feedback received from guests can provide hotels with valuable insights into the guest experience. Identifying trends can help hotels to identify areas for improvement and make strategic changes to enhance the guest experience.
By using Instant Feedback, hoteliers can now ask their guests specific questions about their stay, such as the quality of the room, the friendliness of the staff, the service offering (specifically, each and every single service offered by the hotel) or the cleanliness of the property. This information can then be used to identify what is working well and what's not, and to make improvements where necessary.
With our ultimate live survey tool, you should expect to uncover numerous details that may have gone unnoticed before, providing you with valuable insights.
Recognizing and empowering your hotel staff
Keep something in mind: while feedback is often used to identify areas for improvement, it can also be used to recognize staff who have gone above and beyond to provide exceptional service. Recognizing staff for their hard work can help to boost motivation and encourage staff to continue providing exceptional service.
It's crucial to keep employees motivated and engaged. By doing so, staff will be more likely to act promptly on feedback and make necessary changes, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and ultimately delivering exceptional guest experiences that drive business success.
In summary, using Instant Feedback is a game-changer for hotels that want to improve their guests' experiences in real-time. By following these best practices, hotels can gather valuable feedback, act on it quickly, and ultimately increase guest satisfaction and loyalty. With Instant Feedback, hotels can stay ahead of the competition and ensure that their guests have the best possible stay.