The past year, many Hotel Managers have asked me to map out the digital customer journey of their guests.
"Because my guests book via so many different channels, including my own website, it's difficult to keep track of what type of information they receive before arrival” is what I usually hear.
This challenge is why it’s good for an outsider, like me, to play the role of the guest. I then book a room on various channels, to understand the guest's point of view. Usually, this process stops at the moment the guest would check-in: I only look at the pre-arrival digital experience.
That was until a few weeks ago, when I received a quite unexpected request from a GM. “Listen, I am doing everything I can to gather feedback from my guests. But I could use some more. "Why don’t you come and stay at our hotel and let me know about your experience?”
This time, I would not just map-out the pre-stay digital guest journey …. but also provide feedback on the in-house experience as well!
Frankly, to receive this offer from a General Manager (GM) of a Crowne Plaza Hotel surprised me. In all honesty, if you would ask me to name an innovative hotel brand, I wouldn’t have immediately thought about Crowne Plaza...
But for this specific GM, guest satisfaction is a top priority. Full focus on the guest experience.
"So I replied:
During my actual stay at the hotel, it was so great to be a guest and enjoy the different facilities. Everywhere I went, I noted down my impressions to be able to give real-time feedback. And I could use either my phone or my computer share my experiences.. via Oaky of course :)
After a pretty delicious breakfast (seriously, these eggs..), I met with the GM and the Front Office Manager. I must admit that I had pretty low expectations for the feedback meeting. I know how difficult it can be to handle feedback. But the attitude of both the GM and his FOM amazed me. At every single point of feedback, I felt how interested they were to hear more. To hear why. To hear how. And also to hear about solutions.
This was the most interesting meeting I’ve ever had with an hotelier. I could see and hear how much this team cared about making an impact to make their guests happier. Even at a Chain Hotel, and after many years of experience, the passion of this GM to please his guests remains intact.
With Oaky, I'm happy to offer them a new way to capture more feedback from their guests in real-time. It is working with GMs and teams like these that make me truly enjoy my job. That, and the delicious breakfasts :)