Since the start of the first hotel in the early biblical times, guest dissatisfaction has been a concern hoteliers have been carrying. Centuries have passed by and it is still a highly misunderstood concept by many. Guest dissatisfaction is largely due to delayed services, not the services themselves. Keep reading to see how.
The average daily rate for branded hotels has risen 34.8% overall. But hotel guest satisfaction has declined 8 points (on a 1,000-point scale) from 2021, driven primarily by dissatisfaction with cost and fees and guest rooms.
Guest dissatisfaction is often misconstrued to be centered around bad service. But in most hotels, guest dissatisfaction has little to do with the hotel’s services themselves. Guests are, more often than not, unhappy about delays in providing these services.
Having guests line up for 20 minutes to check in? Making them wait 10 minutes for a simple question? Delaying spa appointments because of poor planning? Forgotten promotional offers that weren’t pushed to the guests? All of these factors contribute to guest dissatisfaction and a negative review of the hotel.
The rising prices and labor shortages have affected the guests just as much as the hotels themselves. Hotels are trying to get back on steady financial footing but holding off on upgrades after the pandemic. Thus, prices are higher, but the raised prices do not reflect improved guest services.
Source: ASCI Travel Report
How do we resolve this?
Timely intervention when the guests need it is all it takes to drastically improve their satisfaction. Optimizing processes for better satisfaction has been a challenge for hoteliers everywhere, especially due to the labor shortage in the industry. However, the intervention of technology in hospitality in the form of chatbots and AI-assisted tools has helped solve this problem to a large extent. Furthermore, a growing tech-savvy millennial and Gen Z guest base has made hotels realize that the way to keep up in the increasingly competitive market is to efficiently integrate technology.
A study conducted by researchers at MIT found that people who experience long wait times are less likely to be satisfied with the overall experience, regardless of the quality of the service they receive.
The study found that customers who had to wait longer than 10 minutes for service were significantly less likely to return to the business or recommend it to others. In addition, those who experienced long wait times were also more likely to leave negative reviews online.
Real time assistance: the real winner
70% of the guests want to use technology to speed up service time. AI chatbots have allowed guests to ask and get automated responses 24/7. Hotels can now offer guests virtual concierges who will track their sentiment and warn the hotel in advance in case of negative experiences. The front office can focus on providing quality care to every guest while repetitive tasks like answering FAQs can be automated. These responses can be automatically customized into multiple languages to help establish another layer of rapport between the guest and the hotel.
Help guests find what they need, and also what they don’t know they need!
Guests, especially tourists, might have questions about the destination or need services that the hotel can readily provide. The travel assistant or front desk might not always have time to effectively juggle these frequent questions. If all this information was available readily at the click of a button, guests wouldn’t need to wait and the hotel staff wouldn’t be further burdened. This not only helps nudge guests in the direction of ancillary hotel services, thus boosting revenue, but also frees up the hotel staff from mundane tasks and focus instead on amping up their service quality.
Extend guest touchpoints to more than just the front desk
Being in touch with the guest at multiple points establishes a rapport and makes the hotel a lot more approachable. What this means is that guests have a constant backup that they can trust to provide information, solve problems, and be more of a friend than a hotel that isn’t consistently reachable. This improves customer satisfaction, brand loyalty and helps guests improve their overall experience without having to jump through hoops.
Guest dissatisfaction, at least in the way it’s currently understood, needs to change. It is only through reducing response and resolution times across various touchpoints that guest satisfaction can be accurately measured and improved. Bettering guest experiences using technology results in increased revenue. Thus becoming the way of the future, which looks to be a bright one!
The hotel industry is increasingly employing conversational AI and robotic automation technologies, but there’s still a huge ground to cover. It has huge potential but is underpenetrated.
Engage-AI is RateGain’s Virtual Assistant Conversational AI platform which helps optimize your hotel’s operations, create upsell opportunities and generate more revenue per guest, ultimately enhancing guest experience and increasing satisfaction scores for the hotel.