Josh Liebman is ROLLER’s Guest Experience Evangelist based in Chicago, Illinois (USA). His role involves showcasing how the guest experience should be at the forefront of business decisions in the attractions industry. This includes enhancing guest satisfaction, removing friction, and driving loyalty﹘all of which ROLLER can solve from a technological standpoint.
The best way to learn about the strengths and weaknesses of your business is to collect feedback from your guests directly.
While social media and online reviews are valuable, it also means that you are learning about the downsides of your business while prospective guests are considering a visit.
In this article, you will learn the best ways to manage guest feedback, collect it, respond to and
engage with your guests, and make positive changes to your guest experience.
1. Focus on internal collection (otherwise, your complaints will be public)
Online reviews heavily influence more than 90% of prospective guests, and one negative review can turn away up to 30 future guests. While the feedback is critical to your growth, if you aren’t focusing on driving feedback through internal channels, your dissatisfied guests will air your dirty laundry for all to see.
It is more beneficial to your business if you ask your guests for their perceptions of their visit and, most importantly, allow them to complain to you directly. Complaints help you grow your business and strengthen your relationship with your guests. Still, they are most helpful when there is a direct line of communication between your guests and your business rather than responding to online reviews and social media posts.
2. Respond to guests promptly
In today’s world of instant gratification, people want immediate results. So it would be best if you made it easy for your guests to provide feedback. Similarly, you must also try to respond as quickly as possible.
A recent survey indicated that the average consumer expects a response to an inquiry or a complaint within one hour of submitting it. Some consumers expect an ever quicker response, down to 10 minutes.
Your feedback collection strategy should include alerts directly to a manager or guest service specialist who can get back to the guest as quickly as possible. The sooner you respond, the more satisfied the guest will be, alleviating the frustration that led them to complain in the first place. The longer you take, the more the disappointment festers, and by the time they hear From you, it may be even more of an uphill battle to win the guest back over.
3. Segment your categories of feedback
Feedback for the sake of feedback won’t give you what you need to improve your experience. By segmenting your guest feedback into the core categories of your guest experience, you can identify the most prominent issues and prioritize your actions accordingly. Better yet, allow your guests to select the most and least favorable portions of their visit so the data comes to you pre-categorized.
Categories of feedback can include:
- Anything else that is a critical component of a guest’s visit
4. Tackle the largest issues first
The best part of having a solid guest feedback strategy is always knowing what is top of mind to your guests regarding areas of the experience that can be improved.
When you’ve segmented your feedback categories, please take it to the next level by looking at your consistent blocks of time categories. For example, a month-over-month comparison allows you to identify trends in which areas of the experience are improving and may be declining.
By addressing the most significant issues first, you prioritize the biggest friction points in the guest experience. You can then observe the direct impact of the solutions you put in place by reviewing the data in the next block.
5. Solve for the perception, not the complaint
Perception is reality. Even if the perception does not match the actual circumstance, this is still your guests’ takeaway when leaving your venue. As you tackle the most significant issues, the solution is not always the opposite of the problem.
For instance, if your biggest complaint is that your prices are too high, solving the complaint would mean that you would lower your costs. But guess what? People will still think your prices are too high, and now you’re making less money!
Solving for the perception, however, would be repositioning the value your guests receive for the price they pay. While it may not eliminate the complaint, it can reduce criticism of this issue.
Solving for the perception allows you to get creative with your solutions.
Use guest feedback to your advantage
Guest feedback is a valuable resource that can help your venue grow.
An effective guest feedback strategy is best combined with robust guest feedback software that clearly shows where your venue excels, and improvements can be made.
Click here to learn how ROLLER can help you use guest feedback to improve your operations.