As a people-first industry, the hospitality space is no stranger to receiving customer opinions. Whether it’s in the form of a phone call, front desk visit, or online review, guest feedback is a significant part of hotel operations. Though customer complaints can often present a challenge, we welcome both positive and critical guest feedback in order to grow as a company.
At Narsi, we do our best to request feedback at every guest interaction. It really starts with an authentic approach; if our teams are genuine in their approach soliciting feedback, guests are more forthcoming with their opinions.
In the age of hyper-connectivity, it is critical to keep a keen eye on reviews. Reputation management makes a big difference in how a business may be perceived by current and future guests, employees, and vendors. Further, feedback can be utilized to identify trends or opportunities to fine-tune the organization, ensuring future stays are exceptional experiences.
It may be easy to brush off critical reviews and only listen to praise, but this mindset leaves no room for improvement. While praise is necessary to reinforce positive aspects of your business, constructive criticism provides an opportunity to change and grow.
Feedback comes in both positive and critical forms. At Narsi, we take a non-traditional approach to our responses by dividing the work up a bit. In our experience, positive (4-5 star) online reviews are great for future revenue streams. How you respond to these can make a huge impact on factors such as organic search results online. On the internal side, we like to spotlight our great achievers in the guest service space. General Managers incorporate positive reviews into morning huddle meetings and all-team gatherings.
We want guest service to be part of our operational DNA that our guests can consistently count on.
We have also identified that not so positive (1-3 star) reviews typically point out operational opportunities to improve. The not-so-positive reviews are always handled by the General Manager directly. As a best practice, we never get into a debate online with the guest. Instead, we provide opportunities to connect with us via telephone or other contact methods. We find that person-to-person dialogue and resolutions are a better approach than anything we could possibly type online.
We once had a mother and son check out of their stay with us, accidentally leaving behind a baseball uniform. Upon requesting that the front desk ship the uniform for an upcoming tournament, her card on file declined payment. Our attempts to contact her via phone went straight to voicemail, leaving our Guest Service Agent to rely on policy guidance. “Policy” advised not to ship without payment, resulting in the boy missing his baseball tournament.
This mother left us a very negative review for what would have otherwise been a positive experience. So, how could we aim to avoid this sort of mishap in the future? We have since changed our policies, empowering Guest Service Agents to make the right call in situations like this– putting the guest experience first.
Though negative reviews like this are no fun for anyone, it is extremely important to reflect on potential future improvements.
Narsi Properties is a private family-owned Hotel Development & Management company based in North Carolina. Founded in 1978 on principles of trust, authenticity, and family, we take pride in our community, guests, and team members as the cornerstones of our company values. Our philosophy of positive reinforcement ensures a comfortable and unique experience for hotel guests, in turn reassuring our investors and stakeholders of our consistent reliability and superior performance.