Customers Are Talking: The Hot Line

Interesting………. I came across an article today that I think would be very useful for you accommodation providers.

The most important thing for a service business is customer feedback. How do you collect feedback? Customer comment cards? Reading TripAdvisor reviews with one eye closed?

How about using the phone? Oh yes – the phone – in this age of online comments. If we stop to think about how customers actually behave then this model makes great sense. Read further to find out more…

the following was written by: John Caddell

Have you ever filled in a survey card in a hotel room? I haven’t either. But more times than I could count I have wanted to let a hotel know about something I liked about my stay or wasn’t happy about.

Survey cards don’t capture much meaningful information. During most of my stays, everything is fine; nothing noteworthy. Then again, sometimes, I’m passionate about something, and I want to let the hotel know about it. Survey questions like “Rate the cleanliness of your room 1 2 3 4 5″ are highly unlikely to pinpoint the thing that made me happy or disappointed.

If I do want to relate a situation on a comment card, I need to handwrite it in the space at the bottom. Have you ever seen my handwriting? Sometimes I can’t even read it. And there’s not much room to lay out a whole scenario.

All of the above leaves an impression that the hotel really doesn’t want to know what I think. They are happy with “no comment” or with a card with all 4s and 5s circled. But I don’t believe that. I think that hotels really care about their customers’ feedback and would love an easy-to-use, effective way to gather candid feedback on their services.

I recommend this: set up a hot line.

Imagine a card that says, “We really want to know what you thought of your stay. What delighted you? What outraged you? Call x611 to tell your story. If you do, we’ll give you a £10 meal voucher good for your next stay.” It would take 30 seconds to record a story. And it could be done in the moment, when the customer’s recall was fresh.

The rest is pretty simple. The messages are recorded. There are scads of different recording systems to do that. You can autotranscribe the calls using technologies like SpinVox or Dial2Do. Then you’ll have a real repository of customer stories that will tell you what’s working in your hotel… and what’s not. If you want to know what to do with that repository… well, come to the webinar on July 1.

My thought on this………………. these stories would provide you with quotes for your marketing activities and your website.

Original Post:

Sarah Lundy

2 Responses

  1. Hi, thanks for linking to my post. I’d be very interested to hear if any of your local hotels try anything like this.

    Best of luck with your blogging!

    regards, John

  2. I think this is a great idea! Having stayed in a hotel in London last week, we were quite disappointed with the standard of our room as it didn’t promise what the website portrayed. It wasn’t terrible but I did feel that something should be said to the hotel about the way they market themselves and what they actually have to offer! All the shared areas were great and the staff were really helpful, but in typical British manner I didn’t say anything to them at the time! If there was a hotline available I would definately give it a call to leave my comments rather than posting them somewhere like Trip Advisor.

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