I have spent half of my time on this planet in hotel lobbies, at the front desk, as a receptionist, and finally as a General Manager in several hotels. This allowed me just about the same amount of time to study guest habits and behaviors. My job was to make sure everything was “shipshape” from well before the moment they entered the lobby to way beyond the moment they left.
Everything that was done by my teams and myself was tailored to a single purpose – creating outstanding experiences for our existing guests, and attracting new ones.
You build a structure for all the daily hotel operations to run as smoothly as possible, you put in the work, you tie everything together, knowing the whole team has given 100%, and then some, hoping the other side will acknowledge the effort and that your hotel’s rating across all online platforms will start improving. More importantly, that the stellar reviews will start attracting new guests.
But, it does not improve! At least not as much as you would want it to! And the amount of stellar reviews falls short of all expectations!
I have spent countless hours at the front desk asking myself why.
Early on, we were all conditioned to function like that. As a kid in school, you complete a task and expect it to be “rated” accordingly. And no matter how well, or poorly, you performed „the rating” always came in the form of a grade – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or F, D, C, B, A. Whatever the grading system, the grade, the feedback was always there.
So, if all our minds have been prewired to expect the proverbial tap on the back or a slap on the wrist – why aren’t we getting more reviews? Why aren’t our hotels, restaurants, and pubs, receiving all the praise for all the outstanding services we have been providing?
Where are all the positive reviews we have worked so hard for?
Out of sheer frustration, I started digging into the subject. And these were the initial findings…
Of all the guests that have had a positive experience with your hotel, only about 12% will actually leave a positive review on any of the platforms, be it Google.com, Booking.com, Tripadvisor, etc…
Why only 12%? Didn’t you put in place e-mailing systems that will remind your guests to share feedback? Don’t you pay various booking platforms to do the same?
Of all the guests that have had a negative experience with your hotel, almost 100% will leave a negative review!
Are people really this mean? Do people really love to complain that much?
And… Out of sheer frustration, I found answers and a solution…
No. People are not that mean. Let’s go back to school for a moment…
In schools, we were not taught to give feedback, but rather mainly to receive it. In schools we were seldom teachers, hence we are not used to grading the quality of someone’s work.
Secondly, wherever they choose to stay, people expect a high level of service and nothing short of perfection. After all, we have been teaching them to have these expectations, each time we market ourselves as the best.
Further, the guests feel they have already given you value for your service, simply by paying for it.
And lastly, but most importantly, even though you think you have made it easy for your guests to post an online review about your services, you are wrong. I know this because I was wrong.
By the time your guests leave the lobby, their head is already somewhere else. They are thinking about the next steps, about all the things in their busy schedules. Mostly, they are feeling down because their hardly-earned holiday is over.
Is there a way to perk their mood up, just a little bit? Before they leave your hotel?
Yes, there is. Get them while their impressions about your service are still fresh!
“Dear Sir/Madam, how was your stay? and “Would you please be so kind as to leave us a review?” will not suffice. You would practically be asking them to put down their luggage, pick up their phones and start searching for your online profiles – a clumsy and time-consuming business! I should know because I have witnessed it so many times, and half the time, people just give up, while promising your receptionist they will do it later. They almost never do it later.
That is exactly why I have come up with Fast Review, a simple piece of tech that will transform all those awkward minutes the guests are spending googling your hotel, into several very pleasant seconds. A very short period of time where they will not only be able to post a review in a matter of seconds but where they will be able to choose a platform they prefer, at the same time being happy about the task they have just accomplished, rather than postponing it for later!
Why Fast Review?
By allowing the status quo you are allowing for a distorted picture about your business to be painted.
Having only 12% of satisfied guests leave positive reviews, and 100% of dissatisfied, will result in a false image of the service you are providing, an image that will be well below the actual quality. This translates into losing future reservations and, simply put, profits.
Fast Review can help you remedy that.
Next time, I will talk more about Fast Review, as well as why positive reviews are the holy grail of marketing and sales in the hospitality industry.
Until then, I invite all your feedback and thoughts!