How to Increase Guest Satisfaction with Messaging?

Travellers become guests as soon as they click the “book now” button. At this point, travellers open the line of communication between themselves and your hotel. But how do guests want to be communicated with, and what messages do they really want? Recently, we published the findings of a travel industry study, which identified a gap between how customers expect to communicate with hotels, and the experiences that hotels are actually providing. 
Clear communication between a hotel and its guests has a major influence on guest satisfaction, which can be measured by the difference between guest expectations and their actual guest experience. In our research, we wanted to identify the guest’s expectations in order to help hotels achieve this reality for their guests.

For the study, we surveyed 920 adults over the age of 18, all of whom travelled and booked an accommodation online within the past 12 months for business, leisure, or both. Here are some of the key findings:

     The majority (80%) of hotel guests expect that the accommodation provider will initiate communication regarding their booking, and 80% also expect this to be sent via email.

     73% of guests communicate through online communication channels, combining emails, social media, and text messaging; additionally, two-thirds say they prefer to communicate through written electronic means rather than by phone.

     Guests who communicate through text messaging services and through social media report statistically significantly higher satisfaction levels over those who do not.

     A large majority (75%) of guests want to communicate one-to-one with representatives on location and 91% would communicate issues during their on-site experience.

These findings indicate that hotels must begin communicating right at the moment of booking, and keep it up throughout the entire guest journey. By investing in guest messaging solutions, hoteliers can improve the guest experience, leading to higher satisfaction rates, increased guest loyalty, and ultimately, more hotel revenue.

To download the full study or to know how you can improve guest experience, fill up the form below –

This is a guest post by Valerie Castillo, Senior Director of Marketing at TrustYou.

Quick guide to avoid receiving negative reviews from your guests

77% of travellers usually or always read reviews before booking a hotel. 80% of travellers read 6-12 reviews before booking the hotel. Those are significant numbers presented by TripAdvisor’sresearch. If you think it over, you will come to one conclusion. As you probably have a lot of competitors, each mistake can cause the loss of potential business. Why? Because your guests care about their experience, not your business. Thus at this moment, negative reviews are your worst enemy.

I think that the well-known rule saying that 9 positive reviews and 1 negative sell more than 10 positive ones doesn’t apply in hospitality anymore. Instead, the single negative review can cause you trouble that will degrade your position not only in booking engines but in mind of your potential guests, too.
Note: Just to remind you, when you receive a negative review on Booking, you need at least 3 positive ones to restore your previous rating. Take 2, 3, 10 negative ones and multiply them by 3. As I said, trouble.
These days, booking engines requests guest to rate the hotel they visited 2 or so days after they check out. Wait a second. Isn’t it little too late? In Hospitality 2.0, guests should be able to affect their stay while they are still accommodated. The feedback should come in real-time. This way, each guest can contribute to quality of her stay. Small problems (missing toilet paper, noisy room, etc.) should be easily taken care of instead of seeing their “passionate” description on review sites later on. Will it affect your rating? It certainly will. 
You will not make it without first class customer service
Before we start, you should keep one thing in mind. You will not be able to please your guests unless you are ready to commit in high level customer service. What am I talking about? Certainly not about amenities you have at your disposal. There are other factors that matter more: willingness, decency, joy, helpfulness and humility. If you can swallow your pride and provide your guests with these, they will enjoy the “soul“ of the hotel instead of equipment only. You cannot be perfect anytime, no one is. However, your attitude to solve the problem in case it arise will definitely make a difference.
Give a chance to complain during the stay

The difference between positive and negative review is not just in a way of handling a complaint. Even more crucial is if you have an opportunity to handle it or not. Many times the guest faces some minor problem in the room (Wi-Fi or TV doesn’t work), she doesn’t want to call the front desk and permanently forget about it when they are around (I think this is the case of more people than solely mine). You might think everything is okay, however, once this guest is back at home, she turns on Booking, TripAdvisor and all other possible media and doesn’t hesitate to write about it. W-R-O-N-G! When something like this happens, you failed in the lesson “Know your guests 101“.
What you should do is to make it easy for your guests to complain during their stay in the way you can identify them. If you know who the guest is, you can get in touch and solve the problem immediately. In other words, you can turn unsatisfied guest to satisfied one until she leaves. The way you will do it (discount, extra free service, apology) is a matter of your policy, and only sky is the limit here. But medium that will allow the guests to let you know is what matters here.
There are several options to find out that there is a problem:
1. Complaint box

Quite old school thing that can work especially well for people who are not that engaged in the technology. Let them share their feelings about your hotel via piece of paper and pencil. Don’t forget to include the space for the room number and also ask for it with call to action on the feedback form.
2. Complaint kiosk

You might saw a huge machine with the keyboard asking yourself What does this thing do?. In many cases it can be used to gather information about the hotel and the area, as long as it can allow guests to post some comment in. Put this machine to the frequently visited place in your hotel so it will not be overlooked (front desk, restaurant). It will increase your chances to collect some thoughts and suggestions. However, the price of these machines might not be favorable.
3. Mobile application

Many hotel mobile applications provide the guest with the feedback feature. Moreover, adding maintenance as your live chat option might be a vital step, too. It ensures guest can ask for help anytime something is going wrong. As guests can let you know immediately by picking up their smartphone or tablet, you can solve the problem quickly. As you usually exactly know who complained, you are able to provide nice gesture to say you are sorry. If the price is a matter for you, there are several providers on the market that can make it affordable for you.
Remember that your goal is to listen to your guests, react to their complaints and once they want to tell the world, they will praise you instead of plastering you all over the Internet
How would you ensure your guests leave satisfied? Share you thoughts and experience in comments below.
This is a guest post by Lukáš Kakalejčík, Marketing Specialist at RoomAssistant and PhD. candidate at Technical university of Košice, Faculty of Economics. He focuses on digital marketing, analysis and business development.

Top five trends which will shape US Hospitality industry this year – Part II

In my previous article (See Here) I’ve talked about Last Minute Bookings & Mobile Wallet that are the ongoing trends in the US here is the later part of the article.

Don’t underestimate the power of Meta & OTA

In the last couple of years metasearch has become a strong and separate medium for providing hotels more direct bookings – though OTAs still the largest medium for hotels to sell their rooms. But with the launch of InstantBooking by TripAdvisorlast year hotel veterans prophesise this is going to change the concept of contemporary hotel distribution. Hoteliers who were present at the event stated that in the coming future more and more hotels will opt for CPA (Click per Action) model which is more cost effective and gives better ROI. The future of hotel distribution is going to be mix of OTA and metasearch- one is stand for its dominating market share and the later to give more direct booking reducing commission money paid to the OTAs.

Customer Journey: It’s evolving

An eMarketer report states that 4.55 billion people in our planetsown a mobile phone. The global smartphone audience in 2014 was 1.75 billion and by the end of 2017, 50% of world population will have a smartphone. In US alone every people (327 million) own a mobile phone and more than 64% people (182 million) have smartphones – the number simply cannot be denied.   Such tremendous growth of mobile and accessibility of high-speed internet have changed the purchasing behaviour and travel journey of the people.  Over last three years US economy has reached to a stable position after its Great Economic Recession. Now, with more capital flows the middle class millenials continues its surge- spending their money on shopping and travel planning. The tech-savvy travellers with their always connected device are constantly researching about their favorite travel destination, hotels and sharing these experiences on social media. A traveller’s decision is taken much before he/she chooses an accommodation. They look for the right time to get their favourite rooms at right price doing comparison search at the very last moment.

Reputation management: It matters

While exchanging our views at the event I realized one thing in the coming years user generated content is going to be a top priority area for the hoteliers. Currently, there are total 3 billion internet users and 1.96 billion social media users in the world- it is no wonder that key hotel investment trends in 2015 would include the development of one-to-one relationship with guests through reputation management and personalized marketing. Managing reputation is no longer considered about how many positive reviews you have on TripAdvisor. It is about a conversation with your guests and what are their overall views about your property they are sharing on various social media channels.

A recent survey by suggests that 90% of travellers would avoid booking hotels labelled as “dirty” in online review sites. As an increased number of travellers using Facebook, Twitter to search about hotel information it is becoming crucial for hotel operators to manage their property’s reputation through a reputation management tool. Properties who want to monitor and manage their reputation will need a one-stop solution like RateTiger Review to consolidate all online guest reviews from various travel review and social media websites engaging in one-to-one conversation. If you engage with your guests in a conversation and respond to their needs publicly will definitely help you to win the trust of your guests which will drive more loyal customers for the future.

US travel market is the most diversify market in the world. Future of travel in this country is going to depend upon data-driven strategy.  As travel market is becoming more complex you need to understand various steps of travel journey through semantic analysis based on the available data to take more predictive decision.

Jan Murza is Director of Sales- Americas at eRevMax.  He can be reached at

The impact of guest review on Hotel Business – Part I

Being a part of the industry, hotel reviews are something I always take with a pinch of salt. Especially those on the extreme sides.  However, internet is a place for opinions and if many more people join in the chorus to say negatives about a property, then I would rather give it a miss instead of taking a chance. But does that really make it a bad hotel? 
Truth be told, if most people are un-happy with the property, then there must be something wrong with it. Guests are expressing their dissatisfaction as they have had bad experiences. And hotels need to take them seriously. As the first rule of the service industry says customer is the king, and in this age of hyper-internet activity, they rule.

Understand your guests’ emotional journey

While interacting with hoteliers and visitors at ITB Berlin this year, I realized that in coming years personalised content will going to be a priority for hoteliers. With 3 billion internet users and 1.96 billion social media users in the world it is no wonder that key hotel investment trends in 2015 would include the development of one-to-one relationship with guests through reputation management and personalized marketing. As a form of direct communication, customer reviews clearly identify what are the most important things to the customers and what’s not. This also highlights where the hotel is performing well and where there is more room for development. Engaging with your guest in a direct conversation can possibly expose a more personable side of the hotel, build a greater level of trust with the customer and in the course spread a positive brand story. With TripAdvisor now offering direct bookings from their platform, a strong social media presence along with intelligent meta-search marketing can give hotels a real chance of improving, increasing conversion rates.
The Hidden Story within Reviews
A recent survey by suggests that 90% of travellers would avoid booking hotels labelled as “dirty” in online review sites. Sure, the situation might not be as bad as the guests made it seem, but the hotel cannot prevent the reviewer from expressing his/her opinion. However the beauty of online reputation sites is that most will give the property an option to respond. And it needs to do just that – Respond! More so for negative reviews. No hotel deliberately sets out to create negative emotions for guests, but it happens, and you need to know what those are so you can work out how to reduce their impact on your guests.

As revenue management evolves, it is getting away from simple rate management and is now incorporating customer relations and social media into its strategy. The more satisfied guests you have, the more likely they are to return and spend more money, as well as recommend you to others. Reputation has a positive correlation with the hotel’s overall Average Daily Rate (ADR) and revenue. It’s time now for the revenue management department to work hand in hand with the marketing team, if they are not already doing that.
In my next edition I’ll talk about how positive reviews and reputation management tool can can add more revenue to your hotel.

Francesca Stagi is Sales Manager at eRevMax.  She can be reached at

Supranational Hotels Conference 2013

This year’s edition of Supranational Hotels Conference took place at County Hall Park Plaza, London last week. The event meant exclusively for Supranational members offers them the opportunity to network with peers and leading industry figures, participate in seminars on key industry topics and conduct one-to-one meetings with invited consortia and corporate clients.

Chaired by its Managing Director, Cho Wong, the conference witnessed interesting discussions on various topics including Total Revenue Management, Outlook on Corporate Travel, Reputation Management and Corporate RFP.  

Michael McCartan, CEO, eRevMax, one of the speakers at the conference, took the opportunity to announce RateTiger’s selection as the preferred supplier and Channel Manager of Choice by Supranational Hotels.

He presented on The Distribution Landscape in 2013 – outlining the impact online travel has on total hotel bookings. Today, one in six travelers prefer to book online. They visit between 17 – 20 websites and check reviews before finalizing accommodation. Hotels need to ensure they are visible at every important touch point to get customer’s attention. However given the wide variety of channels it is difficult for them to identify the best demand generators from among the ever expanding channel universe.

Further, more channels mean more updates. The only way out is leveraging technology to automate distribution and avoid getting tangled in the channel-web. By utilizing a smart channel manager, hotels can collect and access the multitude of data in their systems to analyze rates, market pricing trends, competitor selling activities, historical and trend information to achieve the best possible room rates from the most desired guests.

Michael shared suggestions and examples on how to drive direct online bookings and how hotels can optimize product value through innovative room packages, new promotions and better positioning across different online distribution channels. The idea was to help hotels deal with the distribution challenge efficiently!

The conference was followed by interactive sessions where I got a chance to speak to member hotels about managing distribution and optimizing revenue strategy through RateTiger solutions.

Cristina Blaj is Sales Manager – UK, Ireland and Scandinavia at eRevMax and has gained extensive experience in the hospitality industry. She is based out of London and can be reached at